The Chakra Shack in Laguna Beach serves as a beacon for spiritual seekers

Terry Silberstein leads a sound bath ceremony during a summer solstice celebration Wednesday at Laguna Beach's Chakra Shack.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

If you’re looking for Laguna Beach’s Chakra Shack, a spiritual shop offering crystals, candles and meditative aids along with energy readings, clearings and aura photography, you could consult a map — or, better still, your own intuition.

For nearly 20 years, locals have been finding their way into the small shop owned by Jill Templin, a Laguna Beach resident with a penchant for the metaphysical.

For the record:

9:57 a.m. June 28, 2023An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified sound bath practitioner Terry Silberstein.

Now in its third location in town, a storefront on South Coast Highway, the business has a way of attracting people on spiritual journeys who are looking for a sense of community.


“It’s just such a love fest here, and I think everyone who comes in here feels that,” Templin said of her humanity-focused business model. “They just feel it, I don’t know how to explain it.”

Guests shop for metaphysical items Wednesday at a summer solstice celebration at Laguna Beach's Chakra Shack.
Guests shop for their favorite metaphysical items during the summer solstice celebration at the Chakra Shack in Laguna Beach on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Templin on Wednesday rolled out the astral carpet, inviting Chakra Shack devotees, local residents and even passing tourists on summer vacation to participate in a summer solstice celebration.

Sunflower and butterfly decorations adorned the lively space, as artist and assistant manager Slade Finn played songs to a packed house. Area intuitives offered free readings on an outdoor patio with games ahead of a free sound bath, in which participants are bathed in sound waves and guided into a deep meditative state.

The Chakra Shack started celebrating summer and winter solstice — the periods in which the sun is in its highest and lowest positions, respectively, in the sky — as a way of opening its doors even wider to the local community.

Tibetan prayer flags adorn the entrance to the Chakra Shack in Laguna Beach Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Employee Cyrena Guyot explains how summer ceremonies deal with new life, activity and abundance, while winter rites focus on slowing down and moving inward. Both events attract a wide audience of attendees.

“It’s a great community bonding activity, so many people come and connect with each other,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to tap into yourself spiritually as well.”

Attending Wednesday’s ceremony was Daniel Newberry, a personal trainer who recently moved to Laguna Beach from England after visiting the city during a trip last April and feeling a strange sense of belonging there. New to the area, he just happened to stumble across Chakra Shack.

“My intuition brought me here,” said the 36-year-old, who’s now a regular at the shop. “It’s just peace, it’s home. I literally come in, drink tea and sit down to talk to someone and immediately feel better. This is exactly where I’m meant to be.”

Laguna Beach resident Jill Templin, owner of the Chakra Shack.
(Courtesy of Jill Templin)

Templin began delving into metaphysics after the death of her father. She found it to be more broad and open to interpretation than some of the churches she’d attended in her search for meaning and truth. One day, she felt deeply called to help others make a similar leap.

“The idea to open a shop came to me, and I literally had no second idea,” the 45-year-old said with a chuckle.

Although a soul has no age, Templin finds that a lot of young people come through her doors. Many of them even end up working there, including Sasha Safarzadeh, who started in college and now, in his 30s, works behind the scenes as an operations manager.

He said the pandemic seems to have inspired a renewed interest in metaphysics and the quest for meaning that resonates with what Chakra Shack is all about.

“It’s about informing the community and guiding them in their journey,” Safarzadeh said Wednesday of the store’s mission. “[And] the community has really grown with us.”

A small buddha rests on a table with incense sticks as Terry Silberstein performs a sound bath ceremony Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Guyot, 21, started working at the store three years ago and now comes back while on break from her studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

“I don’t usually work throughout the year, but every winter I come back here,” she said.

Stacy Boura-Garcia came to Wednesday’s solstice event to celebrate the friendship she’s formed with Templin over the years, partially over their shared love of dogs. In fact, the 56-year-old Coto de Caza resident brought her blind Jack Russell terrier Marley with her to the event.

Chakra-related items on display Wednesday during a summer solstice celebration at the Chakra Shack in Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

She said she’s had regular intuitive readings performed at Chakra Shack and always comes to check out the merchandise when she’s looking for gifts for friends.

“It’s kind of like a gathering of spiritual energies, just the vibe of the space,” Boura-Garcia said. “It’s a place you can come and ground yourself.”

As Wednesday’s solstice wound to a close, participants gathered inside the store, sitting cross-legged on cushions and folded-up yoga mats for the sound bath led by Terry Silberstein, a practitioner of kundalini yoga. Silberstein led the group in a mantra, before beginning the meditative experience.

Together, the audience imagined seeing themselves sitting in a field of yellow flowers. Silberstein guided them to envision their energetic bodies floating up toward the sun and out into the universe before bringing them back to the earthly realm. Outside, the sun had already set, illuminating the tops of waves with pink light as night descended.