Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Convo at the Lake Shrine

Today's Reading: 2 Kings 10-12; John 1:29-51

I missed my Dad’s church yesterday and trained Capoeira this morning so I felt like I needed to do something to fill up my spirit. I decided to go to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple.

It is a special place.

The guy who started it, Paramahansa Yogananda, created it as a place where anyone of any faith could go to share and meditate. A good friend of mine told me about the place years ago and ever since then I have gone there when I needed some quiet time alone.

As I walked along the path that circles lake in the middle of the grounds I admired all of the beautiful trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers that pepper the landscape. The colors from the plants pop out at you. From the reds of the wild berries to the beautiful greens of the ferns and bamboo it is easy to get lost in wonderment as you walk the grounds.

I passed by a place where I saw the most beautiful blue flowers growing in the gaps of a rock wall and felt something special there.

But I continued on.

When I got to my usual spot there was someone already there. Frustrating, but I guess that’s cool. It’s not like I own the place.

Plus, there was something about that area with those blue flowers that kept running in my head. So, I went back and sat there, took out my Bible and meditated a bit.

Several people walked by my spot along the path. Some of them were buried in their cell phones, or talking loudly with other passersby. But others were reverently walking the grounds.

It was these folks that took the time to say or nod hello. I responded in kind.

When I was in my meditative space I could feel someone approaching on the right. I looked over and saw that there were two women approaching, middle aged and peaceful. The woman on the left was walking with a considerable limp. For some reason I could see the pain in her hips.

She stopped at some bushes just before me and I felt the urge to pray for her asking that God would give her some healing for her hip and whatever else might be wrong. Then I returned to my meditation.

Out of the corner of my eye I watched as she picked a flower from the bush in front of her and continued walking toward me.

I turned to look at her but she was already looking at me.

We smiled.

Then she walked directly to me and without a word she handed me the flower. Her smile said “thank you”.

I smiled back “You’re welcome.”

She continued along the path, her steps a bit lighter, and her gait a bit stronger. At least that’s how it seemed to me.

But what I am certain of is that I was in that place at that time for a reason. There are no coincidences, only opportunities to walk through doors.

But in the end, it is each one of us who must decide whether or not we will take the first steps.


  1. That is a favorite place of mine, too! It could have been me with the limp....:-) Love you, Mr. C! xopaula

  2. Wow!! This is such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your experience today. While you were sharing, I felt the love of God as you were guiding through your journey.

    Clarence, you are such a special person who has a unique way of expressing your heart.

    I Thank God for you...

    God uses you to reflect such beauty that so many overlook without a second glance, but you have a way of extracting that which is hidden from the naked eye. It's a beauty that comes from within and demonstrates the exquisiteness of the heart of God…for the simplest to receive and appreciate.

    It's always a pleasure to read your writings.

    Much Love and Many Blessings

  3. "Coincidences" something my world is quite full of right now. Some are meant to give us "light"; like seeing a hummingbird hover at eye level only a few feet away from you, some to give you insight; like having a converstaion with someone you usually wouldn't speak with bring you knowledge, some are distractions.

    The third ones are the ones to be cautious of. Every coincidence isn't one that may be to our benefit. If it is, as God works coincidences, what comes across our path once is bound to cross it again.

    Sometimes our roll is to leave our path open. Like not turning your eyes away when met by the eyes of stranger to instead meet them with a smile. This allows that stranger to appreciate your energy and smile. In turn they are given energy to traverse the path you laid in front of them to give you a flower. You then are given energy by the attention and kindness of their gesture.

    What a nice story of exchange!

    Oh and thanks for sharing about this spot. :-)

  4. @nic-what a beautifully expressed sentiment. :-)

  5. Hey Paula!! I didn't know that you loved this place too. We should go some time once your ankle is feeling up to it. That would be awesome.

  6. Awww thank you Nic! I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. :)

    @Alegria No problem! It is a truly special place in LA. And what you said about coincidences is very true. The key is having the wisdom and insight to know when it is good and when it is not. But that insight doesn't come from the mind.. it comes with being in tune with the spirit.


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