Alex only has one pick, but it is a good one. The Lake Shrine Temple is a shrine dedicated by Paramahansa Yogananda as a place to honor the five major religions of the world and to celebrate peace, as well as to provide a place of tranquility. It is a temple of the Self-Realization Fellowship, but please do not be frightened off by that. This is not Scientology or anything like it. No one will give you a personality test, hook you up to a machine, or make you a slave to Tom Cruise. I have had relatives with varying involvement in the Self-Realization Fellowship and no harm seems to have been done, and no alien overlords invoked.
The grounds of the shrine include a walking path, that wanders through tranquil gardens celebrating Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and Hindus. The winds around a lake where you can see a houseboat where Yogi himself hung out while the shrine was being constructed, and where today you can go to the houseboat landing and meditate like the Yogi, or feed the lake birds if that's more your style.
Every city needs an authentic Dutch windmill, and the Lake Shrine Temple provides one for L.A. It's an authentic Dutch windmill replica that does double duty as a chapel.
Other features of the grounds include a rose garden, the Court of Religions with monuments to different religions, a gazebo, a sunken garden and grotto, a gift shop/musem, a "Jesus waterfall" (you know you can't resist it), the Gandhi lawn and Peace Memorial, an Indian Lotus temple, a Krishna waterfall, and meditation benches.
Even if, like me, religion is not really a part of your life, I think we can all agree that peace and quiet and pretty views are a positive thing, especially for us urban folk. If you are ever desperate to take yourself completely out of the way for a while and just get some peace and quiet, and get some solitary thinking and meditating done, this is the place to do it.
Lake Shrine Temple
17190 Sunset Blvd
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
|Friday, January 11, 2008|