Self-Realization Fellowship & Meditation Garden

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During a recent visit with my dad in Encinitas, California (Dec 31 – Jan 1) I spent time at the Self-Realization Fellowship and Meditation Garden. This location—founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda—is always included when I visit.

It’s a wonderful place to recharge one’s personal battery; to just sit and drink in the beauty with all of the senses; to meditate, relax, and renew. It was a welcome part of my journey. I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

36 thoughts on “Self-Realization Fellowship & Meditation Garden

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Self-Realization Fellowship & Meditation Garden « Speaking from the Heart --

    • Catie – You used the perfect word — sanctuary — to describe it. I’m not a huge fan of brick-and-morter type churches, but this sanctuary was like being in Nature’s cathedral.

    • Kim – I had two highlights during my stay. This was one of them. I’ll share the other one on Thursday. It takes a much stronger person than me to meditate in the snow. My hat goes off to you!

      • I mediditate inside at the SNow!….LOL

        Sending this message to see if you get and please respond back. It seems I am not getting responses back to some blogs to my e-mail and I am having a hard time figuring out why? It could somehow be my new cell phone.

      • Kim – I just received three responses from you. This one, majestic, and gravy. By the way, I saw your comment on Sandi’s blog where you miss her posts (I do too). If you follow this LINK you can enjoy an article she wrote in GRIT magazine.

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey and your lovely photos. I was a brief retreat at my desk, which reminded me that each of us MUST take time for “self-caring” while we are taking care of our familes and businesses. Brava for taking good care of yourself while you were taking good care of your father.

    • Jean – If Jeff, or Terrill, or Kathy D. had been there with their cameras you would have gotten an even better virtual tour. But even with my point-and-click a picture is worth a thousand words.

    • Ted – I was at the ready as they unlocked the gate in the morning. Encinitas (where this meditation garden is located) is a very casual, laid-back beach community. I’ll share more about it on Thursday. By midday it’s busy (but I’ve never seen it “crowded”). And regardless of the number of people, it’s always library quiet. People are very respectful of the medatative environment.

  3. I opened the window and saw all these lovely scenes before my eyes and sighed. I love photos of gardens, anyone’s gardens, I have piles of books about gardens. So when I got an eyeful of these, I went to the shed got my mattock and started a new border by the Crape Myrtles. Tomorrow I will sow seeds of Poppies and Sweet Williams that will bloom come summer. See, you planted a little seed in my mind, I will plant more seeds tomorrow and you will see the photos some months from now. That is the sharing of gardens. Thanks.

    • Sandi – I’m so glad you enjoyed that virtual tour, enough so that you planted even more seeds than you’ve already done – WOW! I’m looking forward to the photos from your garden this spring/summer.

      I just uploaded a new book on my Kindle. There are three main characters: a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter. You may well like it because the granddaughter is an organic vegetable gardener. The name of the book is “Summer House: A Novel” by Nancy Thayer (I’ve read her before and enjoyed her writing style).

  4. lovely pictures, Laurie, thank you for sharing them. It inspires me to create my own meditation garden outdoors in the nice weather and indoors during bad weather. Hmmm . . . Jonathan might have to find a different place for some of his stuff . . .

    • Barbara – I think having personal meditation space in your own outdoor garden would be cool. I’ll betcha that Jonathan would be more than willing to relocate some of his stuff. Heck, he’ll probably offer to build your space for you 🙂

  5. Now that is my kind of place! Thanks for the pictures Laurie. The last time I was in L.A., I wanted to go there, but ran out of time.

    I may be going again soon, so now I am inspired to make it one of my top priorities.

    Thanks so much!

    • Ben – I know that if you get the opportunity to go you’ll just love it. I think the Lake Shrine Temple and Retreat in Pacific Palisades is much larger (and much closer) to Los Angeles. Here’s a LINK – you may want to check it out.

      If you do go there, I want to hear all about it 🙂

  6. Hi Laurie, your Dad is very blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country.
    The meditation gardens are beyond lovely! Can only imagine what it must be like to sit in that quiet and peaceful spot. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of having a personal meditation garden or labyrinth in one’s own back yard.

    • ColleenLen and I got to do a labyrinth in 2009 with Susan Wisehart (author of Soul Visioning) for her 60th birthday. It was amazing (and it was followed by a “Gong Bath”) – what a phenomenal treat that was! There’s a Self-Realization San Francisco Meditation Group. Here’s LINK. I’m not sure how far that is from your home, or what their meditation garden looks like (if they have one). If you check it out, please let me know your thoughts.

      • Hi Laurie, thank you very much for the link. As far as I can tell they don’t have a garden but I’ll have a closer look next time we are in the city. And…. we have just found out that we will be in San Diego for a week in February and will be able to spend some time in Encinitas and in the meditation garden. I’m so looking forward to it!!

        There are two beautiful labyrinths (inside and outside) at Grace Cathedral in San Fransisco, in case you are ever travelling in the area. As I’m writing this I’m realizing that you’re probably already familiar with them 🙂

      • ColleenOhhhhh, I sure home you make it to the meditation garden in Encinitas during your trip to San Diego – it’s well worth the visit. I wasn’t familiar with the labyrinths at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, but I just made note of them and will do a bit of research — THANK YOU for the tip.

  7. I would think that such secluded hamlets, Laurie, are rare in the area you were spending time in, but what a lovely place to have on your regular itinerary. Secluded benches, meditation gardens, tree lines over the ocean, imposing cliffs, and a nice fish pond to boot. It’s an intoxicating place for nature lovers, but beyond that as you note it’s a place to re-charge, to take stock of, and to philosophically reflect. It’s a place, alas, that fully supports the goals and essence of this soulful blogsite!

    • Sam – You captured the essense of the place with the beautiful adjectives “hamlet,” “intoxicating,” and “nature lover.” As you step through the gates a mantle of reverence seems to settle on each person’s shoulders and that’s what lends quiet and stillness to entire place – and it’s large. Even though there are many people, each person seems to deeply respect the space. I observed many families with children and even the little ones had a hush about them.

  8. What a gem Laurie! You have captured it beautifully. I like what you say to Sam about “As you step through the gates a mantle of reverence seems to settle on each person’s shoulders and that’s what lends quiet and stillness to entire place.” Is this place too within walking distance? I can imagine you sitting here drinking in “the beauty with all of the senses; to meditate, relax, and renew.” A real treasure.

    • Terrill – Unfortunately, the Self-Realization Fellowship & Meditation Gardens aren’t within walking distance from my dad’s home. They’re not far, but not close enough to walk (if you could walk as-the-crow-flies it would be). It is definitely one of my favorite geographic places on this planet.

  9. Pingback: Slip Slidin’ Away « Speaking from the Heart

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