12 places to find solace for your soul in Los Angeles
A truly enlightened being should be able to access inner peace no matter what’s going on in the world — no matter where they are. For the rest of us, there’s Los Angeles.
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Alongside its natural beauty — the solidity of its mountains, the vastness of its beaches, the quiet of its dusty canyons — L.A. is home to the most diverse assemblage of spiritual practitioners in the world. From Mount Washington to Malibu, churches, temples, monasteries and New Age centers have created sacred spaces accessible to people of all religions (and no religion), to help us find solace and fill our spiritual cup when we’re depleted.
“If we have peace in ourselves, then we can carry it anywhere, but first we need to find it,” said Swami Sarvadevananda, the spiritual leader at the Vedanta Society in Hollywood. “If you can’t find it inside [yourself], then you go to a holy place.”
Below is a list of holy places I’ve found in my journeys in and around Los Angeles. It includes a glass chapel in the trees, a perfectly shaded stream, a labyrinth, and a mountain observatory where, nearly a century ago, astronomers first discovered our place in the universe. It’s an incomplete list, and after you read it, I hope you will help me fill it out.
We all struggle with pain and loss, and grief and stress at some point in our lives. Although the world might beat us down, we are lucky to live in a city that is dotted with places that can lift us up.
Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park
Monastery of the Angels
Velaslavasay Panorama gardens
By appointment only, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, $7.
Mt. Wilson Observatory
Self-Realization Fellowship Mother Center meditation gardens
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
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