The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, Pacific Palisades - A LOVE STORY!

In September 2006, my adult son lost his father & I lost my husband of over 40 years.  One of the things we did to comfort ourselves early on was search for this oasis of tranquility set amongst the frenetic pace of Los Angeles.

Right off the famous Pacific Coast Highway next to Malibu; is a 10 acre site that was founded in 1950 & used as a film set during the silent era.

A very peaceful & relaxing meditation center offering abundant gardens & a man-made lake which transports you to a different world of serenity.

It wasn't a place to ooh & aah - it was to find peace.  Tourists may come; but that's not its purpose.

Known as a non-denominational order that doesn't proselytize; as we wandered towards the end of the woodsy path, we found ourselves sitting inside that musty windmill among other souls who needed the same solace at the same moment in time.

Prayers were silent - prayers were heard.

We walked out as silent as we walked in; finding our path to the end of our respite from life outside. 

There's no doubt this sanctuary did its part for us; but what I remember most about that day is what I saw as we passed a young man on one knee & his beloved sitting on the lone bench with her life before her waiting for it to begin. 

What a metaphor for life.

Putting loss in perspective at just the right moment.

A small inward smile graced my face for the first time in a long time. 

A smile of hope, purpose & continuity.

On a lighter note - I didn't think of it until I wrote this; but I also was betrothed on a Park Bench - which gives this tale even more serendipity -  of course, mine was in downtown Washington, D.C. next to my Gov't building, a hot dog vendor had malodorously just passed & I was on a lunch break!

But it's all good.


Views: 112

Comment by JMac1949 Today on December 1, 2016 at 11:46am

R&L One of my favorite places in SoCal.

Comment by marilyn sands on December 1, 2016 at 1:49pm

Thanks jmac!  Some things just stick with you.

Comment by koshersalaami on December 1, 2016 at 4:03pm

I proposed in late evening in Washington, DC on the shore of the Tidal Basin under a blooming cherry tree. 

Comment by Julie Johnson on December 1, 2016 at 4:11pm

Marilyn, this was really nice.  Do you go back, often? 

Comment by marilyn sands on December 1, 2016 at 5:24pm

Thanks Terry!  If your wife said yes - that's the only thing you got to remember!

Comment by marilyn sands on December 1, 2016 at 5:25pm

Thanks kosh - you romantic, you!  Sounds just right!

Comment by marilyn sands on December 1, 2016 at 5:33pm

Thanks Julie!  No, I never want to go back - no desire to - but it was there & I used it as it was designed to be.

Happily, my life turned a 180 & live totally in the present - of course, my bad sense of direction keeps me on my toes!

Comment by Dharmabummer on December 4, 2016 at 11:48am

Hi, Marilyn. I'm so sorry I missed this. What a beautiful place! I'm so glad it gave you and your son solace.
I've never been to the shrine but I have read a lot of Paramahansa Yogananda and he is a great source of inspiration. Further up the coast is my sweet spot. Have you ever been to Esalen?

Oh, and my husband proposed in bed. The place matters little when the person is just right.

Comment by marilyn sands on December 4, 2016 at 11:57am

Thanks DharmaB...Proposed in Bed?  No better place to seal the deal!  ha ha

Sure, I've heard of Esalen - never been.


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