The Self-Realization Fellowship does not sound like a place that I would ever visit. I imagined skinny, creepy guys with shaved heads that could be in a trance or asleep. There are large columns topped with huge gold flowers along the road surrounding the
Fellowship Temple in the middle of Encinitas, California. A friendly surfer recommended a visit, so I walked around to the entrance.
What we found was simply stunning. The grounds are meticulously maintained to perfection. The steps lead up to the top of the gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The view of the top shows where the temple was originally built, and over looks Swami’s reef, named for the gardens founder. During our visit, the surfing was excellent so many surfers can be seen in the distance.
Throughout the gardens are areas to sit and relax. There are some lovely little areas for seclusion. There are many areas to sit and quietly watch the ocean.
There is a lovely koi fish pond that wrapped around trees and rock over several levels with waterfalls.
The meditation gardens are open to the public (free). There is a wide entrance gate, where normal looking people walk freely in and out of the gardens. The Fellowship is considered part of a Religion,but the gardens are just a beautiful display of nature. The people in the gardens and nearby Bookstore were not creepy, pushy, or in any way trying to make anyone feel uncomfortable. These beautiful gardens were such a pleasant surprise. I would recommend anyone in the San Diego area should plan a detour to visit.