The day before yesterday, we visited the serene and gorgeous Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens in Encinitas. So far, for me, this was perhaps the greatest highlight of our various outings during this week long yoga retreat. The official organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, was founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda. He is the yogi most famous for his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. His mission was to teach what he referred to as “true yoga” or what it is to be truly the best human being one can be. His greatest message was that to be fully human is to learn to LOVE, to embrace the highest notion of love: love and respect of self, of humanity, of earth, and of all living sentient beings. His message was to pair LOVE with SERVICE. To reach our highest fullest human potential, we must learn to love and to be of service. I feel as if I am trying to hold this very powerful message in my seemingly tiny hands! I am a child at Paramahansa Yogananda’s feet.
When I walked through the garden with its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, I was immediately transported to a world of serenity. I was deeply moved when I saw the simple words LOVE and SERVICE engraved onto two stones. I imagined a world where every human strives to be loving and compassionate, where every person is searching for a way to be of service to others, to all living things, to our great Mother Earth. It made me dream. In spirit, Paramahansa Yogananda and MLK seem to have collaborated to create a dreamworld of unity, peace, and the dream of reaching and fulfilling our full human potential that just might be within our reach! LOVE and SERVICE. It starts with oneself and blossoms out like the flowering cyclamens in this elysian meditation garden.
Here is a beautiful slide show I put together from the Meditation Gardens. Please make sure your volume is turned up high so you can hear the music. My hope is that the slide show carries with it the same meditative calm I experienced when walking through the gardens!
|Free photo slideshow created with Smilebox|