Creating Community

Topa Institute envisions a thriving, peaceful planet filled with creativity, connection, and care. We honor global traditions of perennial wisdom that create peace, healing, art, and learning.

What We Do

The Topa Institute is a retreat center set atop a tranquil, awe-inspiring ridge in the Topatopa Mountains. We host creative workshops, classes, and gatherings facilitated by leading teachers, artists, and culture makers in their fields. 

The Institute joins together three deeply interconnected areas of programming: Arts & Culture, Nature Connection, and Holistic Education. Each unit advances our collective mission, engaging timeless practices of community building and deep listening.

Our Work

For over 45 years, our founding organizations have developed innovative cultural, environmental, and social-emotional practices in community, now offered through our three units.


Arts & Culture

Zimzalla is a creative community hungry to uncover and reveal the alchemy of unsung and underrepresented cultures through a variety of artistic and scholarly pursuits. Learn more about our arts & culture events, workshops, and residential opportunities.

Dragon Ridge

Land Sanctuary

The 36-acre land sanctuary located in the Upper Ojai Valley, California — the historical home of Indigenous people devoted to creative practices in art, agriculture, and wisdom. At Dragon Ridge Land Sanctuary we honor and continue this work through our land-based offers such as permaculture, nature immersion, and Indigenous wisdom.

Teaching Tree

Educational Center

Teaching Tree is our center for social-emotional and environmental education practices. Combining deep listening practices and nature-based activities, our program’s purpose is to forge genuine, trusting relationships between people and nature. Learn more about council trainings, rites of passage programs marking life transitions, and team-building workshops.

Join the Circle of the Topa Institute

Sign up to receive news and updates about our upcoming retreats and events.

* indicates required