Friday, August 6, 2010

Swami Beach, Swami Cafe and the Swami スワミ

At least five people in New York told us to go to Encinitas, CA. It is a classic surfer's town where many liberals and intellectuals live. There is a famous ashtanga yoga guru living here, too..., but the most famous spot in this lovely town is the ashram of Paramahansa Yogananda. He was one of the first yogis who brought Eastern philosophy and spirituality to the West. The entrance of the ashram was grand, and it made me feel as if I was in India, but when I saw this 'surfer sign' it made me realize that I was in So-Cal, indeed.


The Meditation Garden of the ashram was breathtakingly beautiful. There were colorful flowers and plants everywhere. There were big carps in the ponds. There were benches everywhere for you to sit and meditate... or to gaze into this gorgeous Swami Beach.


My favorite black cactus roses were there, too. 大好きな黒バラ(カクタス)もここにあり。

The ashram is supposed to be Hindu, but there was this lovely painting of St. Francis at the garden. アシュラムはヒンドウー教ですが、なぜかお庭の一角にセントフランシスの絵が。笑

After spending a few hours at the garden we went to the Swami Cafe across the street.

The portion was huge! It seemed that more I ate more food appeared on the plate!

What to do after the lunch? A nap, of course! We went down to the Swami Beach, and took a long nap under the tree. All I heard was the sound of flying seagulls. I felt "enlightened" for two seconds, but woke up craving for a cup of tea. So it began. After the Swami ashram, the Swami Cafe, Swami this, Swami that... it is not so easy to be enlightened after all!


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