Motorcycles and the Art of Zen Maintenance

Location: Pacific Palisades. Subject: Lake Shrine Temple and Gardens

Recently, I decided to join a few photography groups. One of them is going to Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades next weekend, but unfortunately, I can’t join them. I had a couple of hours to spare today, so I went up on my own. Located near the intersection of PCH and Sunset, Lake Shrine is a “Self Realization Fellowship” site. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with a blending of Hinduism, yoga, and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The one thing I do know is that the grounds are beautiful, and although relatively small, well worth a trip. The facility was built in 1950, when I imagine it was a lot easier to lose oneself in meditation. On the whole it’s a peaceful experience walking the grounds, but when a motorcycle (or group of them) comes rumbling down Sunset the whole park takes notice.

Enjoy the photos.

This first photo shows a 1,000-year-old sarcophagus containing some of Gandhi’s ashes. Part of the “World Peace Monument,” it’s one of the first artifacts you encounter as you head into the grounds.

Nothing says “be still” and “quiet” like a noisy camera clicking away. ;)

This windmill was on the property before the temple facility was built. According to the visitor guide, it’s an authentic replica of a 16th-century Dutch windmill (although the chapel beneath it has been extended a few times).

You can’t see it, but above this waterfall is a large statue of Jesus wearing what appear to be leis. A smaller waterfall across the way has a statue of Krishna.

And last but not least, a small boat moored to the side of the windmill. Besides these small boats, there’s also a large house boat on the lake (which I don’t show here). This place is so eclectic, it’s fantastic.

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