SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

 SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

The Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) Lake Shrine lies a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, California. It was founded and dedicated by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. The 10 acre site is a natural amphitheater with lush gardens and a spring-fed lake surrounded by hills from all sides.

 SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

 SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

The gardens consist of an open-air temple with golden lotus towers, a houseboat which is open to visitors on Saturdays for meditation, and a beautiful newly-renovated Windmill Chapel which also hosts meditation classes for beginners.

 SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

 SRF Lake Shrine gardens, Pacific Palisades, CA. Image©thingstodot.com

There is also a temple located on a hill that overlooks the lake and holds regular Thursday evening and Sunday services. SRF members can also stay and enjoy a silent retreat at the Lake Shrine.

This is my favorite spot in Los Angeles where I can spend hours walking around the lake, meditating in the gardens or just sitting and watching kids as they feed the swans, turtles and ducks in the lake. It is said that Elvis Presley was a regular visitor and used to ride his bike the entire length of Sunset Boulevard to get here. 

The opening hours of the gardens are: Tuesday - Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Sunday: 12:00 noon - 4:30 pm

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