This past Saturday my wife Peggy and I sought some time away from work and the world at a favorite spot of ours—the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage, Retreat and Meditation Gardens in Encinitas. Strolling along the bluffside paths among ponds and gardens, stopping to sit here and there and gaze out at the ocean, all served as the ultimate refresh. Here are some visual examples of what that spot offers:


The SRF Encinitas Ashram Center was founded in 1937 by Paramahansa Yogananda. From 1938 to 1942 the grounds also included a structure called the Golden Lotus Temple, which attracted visitors and worshippers until erosion of the bluff on which it stood caused the building to slip off its foundation and slide almost two-thirds of the way down to the sea before it was dismantled in the summer of 1942. The rest of the campus remained intact, and continued to attract visitors and worshippers. Through the founding of various ashrams and the authorship of books like The Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda had by the time of his death in 1952,  earned worldwide recognition as an advocate of the principles of yoga and meditation. In the words of an informational brochure published by the center, he “dedicated his life to uniting East and West in the lasting ties of spiritual understanding, and to helping others toward realization of the limitless resources fof love and peace that exist within every human being.” Food for thought as well as nourishment for the rest of your senses. SRF is open to visitors Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Mondays. For further info 760-753-1811 or visit their website,