A Soulful Walk Through an
Enchanted Wood in Ojai, Ca.
by Jeff Hutner
You want to get away from it all.
You want to take an easy one-hour walk and contemplate things in a peaceful setting.
You want to be immersed in nature and interact with soul provoking art and unexpected
inner-directed activities along the way. You can now enjoy all these elements in one place at one time. It's not the Yellow
Brick Road of Oz or the Twilight Zone but rather a magical
adventure known simply as "The Walk."
The Walk, located in Ojai, California, about an hour and a half north of
Los Angeles, is a one-of-a-kind experience that invites you to explore a
burning question or issue in your life. You take your question into the
woods and walk a gently winding path past, over, around and
through boulders and brush and past a creek that runs for several months a
year. Along the way, you will visit eighteen interactive contemplation
stations that invite you to pause and reflect on your life, nature,
spirit and the art experiences that have been exquisitely combined to
achieve an eco-spiritual masterpiece.
Hundred's of people ages 8-80 have had experiences ranging from fun to
the profound on The Walk since it first opened in the summer of 1998.
The vision of Ojai artists Zubin and Shahastra, the Walk was an
inspiration that moved Zubin from his backyard teahouse into an area of totally overgrown brush that no
one had entered for 30 years. Driven by intuition and a deep desire to
serve, Zubin did not stop working for four months.
During that intense summer, he pulled out hundreds of dead plants,
cleared spaces, cut as little as possible, created trails where none had
existed, and developed the contemplation stations and interactive art
pieces with his wife and partner Shahastra. "I have never worked so hard
without knowing what was going to be produced. Each place on The Walk
spoke to us silently and revealed what was wanted there. our job was
simply to listen. Shahstra and I were the land's stewards and totally
gave ourselves over to the will of spirit," says Zubin, remembering the
burning fever of love that drove him relentlessly to keep going.
This article has purposely not revealed specifics so that our readers
may experience their own magic. "If you don't know exactly what to
expect" says Shahastra, "You'll have a much richer experience." "We look
forward to having the Soulful Living community visit us this summer and, to one day seeing similar walks that support visitors in experiencing
the oneness of life built by other social entrepreneurs in hundreds of
locations around the world."
The Walk is available by appointment only since it is in Zubin and
Shahastra's back yard and what a back yard--bordering on the Angeles
National Forest with beautiful mountain and valley views. The suggested
donation is $15 but if you mention SoulfulLiving.com when you make your
reservation, you can enjoy The Walk for $10, all of which goes to Zubin
and Shahastra's Inspirit Foundation which maintains and promotes The
Walk. For further information on The Walk or to read more about Zubin
and Shahastra and their other activities, visit their website at
For reservations and directions, call 805-646-2000.
Jeff Hutner is an
Ojai, California based evolutionary business writer
and consultant, master networker musician, and the
founding editor of New Paradigm Digest, a window on
emerging culture. He is currently completing two
books, one on living in the moment from which these
quotes are taken and a second of evolutionary wisdom
for business. In April, he will embark on a trip
around the US to conduct video interviews with
"Practical Visionaries" from many
disciplines. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.