Self-Realization Fellowship Temple and Meditation Gardens

    For students looking to release pent-up midquarter stress, a
    trip to the Self-Realization Fellowship
    and Meditation
    in Encinitas, about a
    20-minute drive north of La Jolla, is one such possible
    outlet. The place’s prime meditation area, next to the temple, which is visible
    from the Highway 101 by its large gold spires, is the Meditation

    Overarching trees and rich flora provide a peaceful backdrop for visitors seeking tranquility at the Meditation Garden. (Andrew Ruiz/Guardian)

    The gardens, while not spatially impressive, provide a
    calming atmosphere, complete with various local and exotic plants and a koi
    pond with impressively large fish. There are also stone benches and open areas
    that overlook the ocean, which serve as comfortable and calming meditation

    While the gardens are a tranquil sanctuary for those looking
    to escape their noisy roommates, the site is serious about providing a
    consistently relaxing environment. A sign at the entrance of the gardens warns
    against cell phones, large cameras and improper conduct. Encinitas locals are
    usually sprinkled around the scene, meditating on the various benches and
    soaking up the soothing, subtle sounds of the ocean. Unfortunately, hoards of
    tourists occasionally interrupt the natural feel of the surroundings.

    A 71-year-old hermitage located on the left of the gardens
    is open for viewing Tuesdays through Sundays, and tends to promote a lot of
    unwanted touristy traffic. But despite the possible crowds, it’s still easy to
    find a road less traveled by where you can procure tranquility.

    For those even more committed to peace and quiet, the
    Self-Realization Fellowship runs daily and weekend retreats. However, the
    program asks that participants first learn about SRF by taking lessons and make
    reservations in advance. The weekend retreats provide vegetarian meals and
    housing accommodations, which are provided with a suggested donation of $85 a
    day during the week and $100 a day for the organized weekend stays. All retreat
    activities are conducted by the monks and nuns of the SRF monastic order.

    Whether you stay for a few hours or a few days, when the
    stress hits and the roommate ruin takes hold, the Self-Realization
    Fellowship Temple

    and Mediation Gardens
    can serve as a calming and reflective solution.

    Self-Realization Fellowship
    and Meditation

    215 K Street

    Encinitas, CA


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