Irasha Talifero

Irasha Talifero has lived in the Ojai Valley since 1976 and has cultivated a wealth of local connections. She moved to Ojai to have and raise her son, Snowshadow Talifero, who is now a local hero — a fireman who protected the ridge that Topa Institute now calls home during the Thomas Fire. The same year Irasha arrived in Ojai was the first time she went up to the ridge above what is now the Besant Hill School, then the home of Human Dimensions Institute West. She soon began volunteering and gardening on the site, planting some of what remains there today.

Irasha has had the privilege of experiencing many new ways of learning from teachers from all over the world. Here, in her own backyard, she was blessed to know and interact with the prominent spiritual and cultural figures of the Upper Ojai, including Jiddu Krishnamurti, Beatrice Woods, as well as Chumash elders Grandfather Vincent Tumamait and Grandfather Semu Huate. This was a new awakening for her. Over the decades, she continued her involvement with the Ojai Foundation and began facilitating programs for thousands of students, some of which were her most valuable teachers. In 2016, she became a Council Trainer. Four generations of her family have become a part of the ridge’s practices and communities: at present, her granddaughter Tara Talifero is a junior at Besant Hill School — a star student and representative at the campus. Irasha brings this long history on the ridge to Topa Institute, continuing to introduce this special place to new generations of people.

Events with Irasha Talifero

Council 1 Training: Intro to Council | BIPOC & LGBTQ+
February 11 - 12, 2023

Council builds positive relationships between participants by fostering attentive listening and authentic expression. It supports a deep sense of community and fosters recognition of a shared humanity and interconnectedness. It enables individuals to give voice to their stories. PRICE: Tuition Fee: $400.00  Camping: $30/night (optional) DESCRIPTION Council Training 1: Introduction to Council, is a powerful and inspiring introduction to the practice of Council and provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the roots of the practice. The fundamentals and nuances of the forms and modalities in Council are explored in some depth and a good deal of background is offered on…

Council 2 Training: Deepening the Practice | BIPOC & LGBTQ+
March 4 - 5, 2023

PRICE: Early Bird (by January 27, 2023): $400.00 with 2 nights of campsite included.  Regular fee: $400.00 (+ $30/night per campsite – optional) *Limited scholarships available. See below for more info. DESCRIPTION Council Training 2 is a powerful opportunity to deepen one’s practice and explore the more complex contours of the work. This training is geared toward folks who have been facilitating Council for some time and have had direct experience with challenging situations, conflict and shadow dynamics in groups. Facilitators may also be starting to look at some personal obstacles that have shown up in their development as a practitioner.…

Cosmic Compass Festival: Land Sanctuary Tour and Council
March 31, 2023

Cosmic Compass Festival: Land Sanctuary Tour and Council We invite you to the beautiful ridge in the upper Ojai valley, housing the Topa Institute, formerly the Ojai Foundation. We will start by taking you on a tour of the land sanctuary, where teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Robert Bly, Joanna Macy, and Allen Ginsberg came to share their knowledge. After the tour, you’ll deepen your connection to yourself and one another through a facilitated council* on the Divine Feminine. *Council is a practice that builds connection by fostering deep listening and authentic expression through storytelling. It supports a deep…