Finding Zen in the City of Angels

by: Magdaleena Nikolov, Spa Director

March 29, 2021

With everything that has happened in the past year, many of us are feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin. Luckily, Los Angeles boasts an abundance of beautiful, serene places to let go and escape—you don’t need to drive all the way to Joshua Tree to get off the beaten path.

You may associate Los Angeles with movie stars and busy streets, but the city offers much more, with a full range of breathtaking natural areas, parks, and centers for those of a spiritual mindset as well. It is in fact possible to find a sense of calm, and center yourself, in one of the biggest and best cities in the West. Here are a few favorites from our Director of Spa, Magdaleena Nikolov that offer the opportunity to stop, take a minute, and dive into the practice of meditation regardless of where you are along your own wellness journey.


The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine was the meditation place for the renowned Paramahansa Yogananda in 1950. Nowadays, it has become a spiritual sanctuary for locals and visitors alike. Once you arrive there are many places to sit and meditate surrounded by nature. The lake, at the center of the property, and where this place gets its name, has paths and plenty of hidden stops to sit and contemplate. Spend time watching turtles and fish swim in the milky blue waters. If you walk further you will find shaded and sunny benches, waterfalls, and an alcove of bamboo that is being watched over by a meditating buddha.

Fellowship Lake Shrine


Amir’s Garden

Amir’s Garden is a labor of love on the east side of Griffith Park. The five-acre ornamental garden has been maintained by volunteers since 1971. When a major brush fire ravaged the area a local hiker named Amir stepped in to not only restore the landscape, but also create something enduringly beautiful. It’s a beautiful place filled w/benches, areas to picnic and or simply soak in the beauty and mediate.

Amir's garden


The Blue Ribbon Garden

Nestled on the rooftop of the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a hidden place spot for serenity, The Blue Ribbon Garden. The garden features a gorgeous lotus sculpture, along with a host of flowering plants, trees, statuary and flowers that bloom year-round. Stroll through the garden to gather your thoughts and admire the beauty of the landscape juxtaposed against the hustle of the cityscape.

Lotus statue