One of my early blog posts included pictures of the new-age Self-Realization Fellowship's serene Lakeside Shrine and Meditation Gardens in Pacific Palisades. It turns out that the Fellowship's administrative headquarters are also located in Los Angeles in the pleasant Mount Washington neighborhood a couple miles north of downtown. The grounds of the headquarters are surrounded by beautiful gardens that are open to the public.
Here is a view of the sundial garden with the downtown skyline in the background:
One of the Fellowship's administrative buildings is the old Mount Washington Hotel, which the Fellowship's founder Paramahansa Yogananda purchased in 1925. The hotel operated as a fancy resort from its construction in 1909 until 1921. There used to be an incline electric railway that brought guests up Mt. Washington to the hotel from downtown. Here is the old hotel building:
The hotel's lovely tennis courts:
Like the grounds at the Lakeside Shrine in Pacific Palisades, the gardens in Mount Washington are beautifully landscaped with lush greenery and flowers:
The gardens have lots of nice little benches and seats for meditation, reflection, picnics, and outdoor meetings:
More information about the history of the Mount Washington electric railway and the Mt. Washington Hotel is available at the Electric Railroad Historical Association of Southern California website.
Walk number 37 in my favorite book Walking L.A. covers the Self-Realization Fellowship grounds and the nearby Elyria Canyon Park which has some little trails with pretty views. Elyria Canyon park is "rustic" and kind of isolated so I would not recommend walking there alone. Here is a map showing the entrance to the Fellowship grounds and the entrance to the park:
View Mount Washington in a larger map