I recently went to the Lake Shrine Self Realization center in Pacific Palisades, CA with friends Dorinda, Ronnie, Gabby and Jesse. We all work super hard in the entertainment business and thought it would be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Ronnie, Gabby and I rode in one car and Dorinda and Jesse met us there. As with most situations my group got a bit lost. We ended up at the wrong entrance, which actually worked to our advantage. We saw a lady in her van leaving the temple through the gate and thought we would run in after she left like 3 stealth ninjas since we weren’t able to pry the gate open. She ended up picking the three of us up after Ronnie jokingly asked her to give us a ride, and drove us down to the main gate but along the way she shared her story of her path to Lake Shrine. It was so uplifting and personal that I felt we were definitely meant to hear her story. The 3 of us hitching a ride was not a mistake.
We spent the day exploring the trails and paying tribute to Gandhi’s memorial and Yogananda. At 3pm we all met at the bottom of the stairs for the long trek up to the temples where we would learn about meditation. We all found a seat to participate in the group meditation. Everyone did great except Gabby and I fell asleep within the first minute. UGH! Testament as to why I meditate in the am as opposed to late afternoon. The grounds were exceptionally beautiful. There were people mediating, couples sitting in silence adoring nature, turtles basking in the sun, ducks swimming around the lake, beautiful majestic swans with their heads held high and very well manicured lawns. There was also a flower garden dedicated to 5 religions of the world that really added to the beauty of Lake Shrine.
I couldn’t believe there was a place like this in the middle of Los Angeles. I had personal reasons for wanting to go to Lake Shrine. Meditation has been in my family for a long time. One of the biggest icons of meditation that dates back centuries is Buddha. My mom was born and raised in Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother who was catholic and a Chinese/Vietnamese father who was Buddhist. I grew up with lines being crossed all the time because I wanted to learn about Buddhism, but I was being raised as a Catholic and going to catholic school and yet I wanted to understand the Asian culture which doesn’t necessary follow Catholic guidelines. I learned early on about meditation and the art of being able to clear out the mind and the importance of giving it rest so it can properly recharge. There are different perspectives on the art of meditating that can vary with different ethnicities. It’s no different than there being hundreds of different religions to choose from…you have to find the one that fits you best. When I think about meditating the word “reconnect” comes to mind. The silence I hear and stillness I feel. My personal experience is that it allows me to feel connected to another source. I feel strong and centered and my moral compass feels intact. It’s an overwhelming feeling of balance along with the sense of being grounded. Sometimes I feel like we doubt ourselves so the ability to listen to our intuition gets a bit jumbled. All of us have intuition and meditation allows you to get in touch with yourself, however, it’s always a choice on whether or not you want to listen to your intuition. Most of the time it is right but we choose to not hear it because of other distractions placed into our lives.
What does meditating mean to you?
Ronnie Jr : Meditation is a chance for me to connect spiritually. As I’ve been spending time in chaotic LA & NY, this special time w friends and nature definitely allowed me to understand my focus, my plans, and myself.
Jessie: A peaceful sense of awareness, a higher energy
The Lake Shrine Self Realization Fellowship Temple has many options for meditation. I would highly recommend checking out the site so you don’t miss anything. We found out about the temple tour only minutes before it started. We also didn’t realize until too late that there were meditation services for beginners, etc., TIP: first hour of the first Friday meditation of every month is a guided meditation. There is also a beginners meditation class on Thursdays held in the windmill in the gardens.
CLICK HERE to check out the calendar and times.