I am upset with myself.
For literally decades I have wanted to visit the Meditation Gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship Shrine Temple in Pacific Palisades. But for some unfathomable reason, every time the opportunity has presented itself I have not made the effort to go. This past Wednesday my mother’s assisted living group planned an outing to the gardens. I decided this time I was going no matter what.
So that is why I am upset with myself. The place is unbelievably beautiful and I have been missing out on this magnificent scenery all these years.
The photo at the top is of the Golden Lotus Archway.
I was going nuts with my camera. Photo opportunities abound at every turn in this 10-acre (40,000 m) site. The next day when I dumped all the photos into Photoshop I had a really hard time deciding which pictures to include in this blog post.
Reproduction of a 16th-century Dutch windmill with functional sails.
The Meditation Gardens have had an interesting history since the early 1920s as the site of the Inceville Movie Studio and later, after changing hands a few times, as a vision in one man’s dream at three in the morning where he foresaw the land belonging to a church of all religions. You can read the story here.
This walking trail loops around the park. Other trails lead into meditation areas and nooks and crannies.
I don’t have a clue what kind of plant this is but it is certainly stunning.
Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes are spread in many locations throughout India. The Lake Shrine is the only place outside India to receive his ashes.
The word serenity springs to mind. People come from all over just to sit and meditate in the gardens.
Turtles sunning themselves on the shore.
This lattice work shades one of the meditation areas overlooking the water.
Yes, another view of that windmill through the red maples. George Harrison’s funeral was held at the Lake Shrine. Family and friends, including Ravi Shankar, gathered inside the Windmill Chapel.
A couple of benches to rest your weary bones.
This Mississippi-style houseboat, “Adeline,” was brought from Lake Mead by the Hoover Dam to rest here at the lake.
The Golden Lotus Archway from across the lake. In India the lotus flower symbolizes the awakening of the soul to its infinite potential.
The 4,000 square foot temple is at the top of the hill, overlooking the lake. It opened in 1996.
Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Shrine, believed in the equality of all religions. This column honors Buddhism.
One last look back at the houseboat and one of the meditation areas.
Pathway leading to the gift shop which carries arts and crafts imported from India.
I’ve already figured out how to get there by bus and I am looking forward to my next visit. On this trip our group didn’t visit the Self-Realization Temple. Guided tours are offered so when I come back on my own or with a friend, I intend to do that.
Please click on all the photos for a larger view.
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