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Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens
Ranked #1 of 33 things to do in Encinitas
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 25 November 2013 via mobile

Free admission to well kept garden with koi ponds on bluff overlooking ocean
Placed to meditate too under beautiful trees
Easy free parking

Thank bess32355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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342 - 346 of 429 reviews

Reviewed 17 November 2013

Beautiful grounds to explore, enjoy the view or sit and meditate on one of the many hidden coves in the gardens. While there is a large "gate" on the Coastal Highway - the entrance to the gardens is hidden on K street. It is free to enter but there are multiple donation boxes around the facility and it's only kind to enjoy such a beautiful space to donate a bit to help with the upkeep. This is NOT a place for children unable to be silent - many are there to reconnect with themselves and children chattering is not welcome.

Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

First of all the stuff- the buildings, the gardens, the plants are all 5 star. The overview of the ocean and all of the p-lants and the koi pond are exceptional. Go if you just want to see that.

But my experience in visiting a meditation garden open to the public was totally unpleasant for a number of reasons.

First they post a bunch of rules at the front gates. I followed all the posted rules ( I have a service dog) and went into the meditation gardens to do a little meditation in the form of qigong or tai chi. In fact the style I do is often called "a moving meditation". I have practiced on the great wall of China, meditation gardens around the world from Portland Oregon to Singapore and have never had issues. In fact I have often had people simply start following me. It becomes like a very slow "flash crowd" and then we dispersed :-}

Among the rules here was no talking and no cell phones- which is fine by me, but they have several dozens of "gardeners" or grounds keepers all with walkie talkies and all of them bleeping all the time.

Again this is their prerogative to make the rules since they own the place. No issues with that. Just curiosity at the double standards

As I wandered in to the farthest end of the garden with no one within 100 feet, I started my moving meditation. as soon as I started, an officious uniformed person ran up to us in a huff literally yelling about the dog ( I showed her papers and she still didn't shut up) and then claimed that no exercise was to be done in the garden.

I pointed out that there were many people doing various forms of prana yoga both sitting and moving around- but she just got more and more weird. She had her finger on the walkie talkie button and was calling people, and basically I could enlighten her or leave- and chose to leave her in her state and just left.

She got as prickly as the plants they surround the estate in. ( try and crash the gate and you will be picking thorns out of your hide for days :-)

I am assuming she was being one with the plants!

I guess mediation is ok if you do their kind of meditation but not if you want to share some of who you are with some of who they are. . If they truly believe this then they should post it as part of the rules. The one true meditation the one true god or God , etc etc ad nauseum.

In another life I would have had a loud knock down "discussion" about inconsistencies in what they preach vs what they do - but I have better things to do with my time so I thought I would leave this note to let you know - just go and enjoy the surround like you would enjoy a picture. Don't try to improve the place or yourself by interacting with it unless you want to argue with some one in an officious uniform who claims that rules exist even when not posted.

I just find it both awkward and funny that most established "religions" are not for the good of the people - not even for the good of their people, but only really serve the "leaders". I am not sure if that is the case here , but it is obvious that they are more interested in protecting "STUFF" and their ideology than in interacting with the people and planet around them. The same planet that actually supports them.

Yes I had a skewed view, based on one person and a host of "gardeners" with walkie talkies - but sometimes the universe is revealed in a single atom.

If you just want to sit in a quiet garden and twiddle your thumbs ( oh sorry I forgot you aren't allowed to "exercise") - or breath then go and enjoy the surround -but if an officious woman in a uniform starts toward you with her fingers mashed on walkie talkie button - I would start looking for an exit.

Yes this is a totally negatively biased review but it was based on what I hope is a singular experience. Just a block away overlooking the very same ocean - in a quiet little park We did our tai chi practice and left a little better for it. Hopefully the park thought so too! :-)

3  Thank Mithra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Visitors are allowed, during visiting hours, to walk through this gorgeous, immaculately maintained garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There are alcoves with seats to relax, meditate, and enjoy. Exotic plants from around the world are nestled throughout the garden along with coy ponds and stunning views of the ocean. Highly recommend a visit.

Thank looski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

The SRF Meditation gardens is one of the most tranquil and peaceful place I've ever been. It is easy to sit in a wonderful place amongst the lavish gardens and close your eyes to connect within.

Thank lilykandaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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