I first visited Encinitas, California, in June 2000 as part of the annual Self-Realization Fellowship Convocation. When I walked into the SRF temple where dozens of devotees were silently meditating, I was immediately enveloped in thick, palpable loving energy. I stopped in my tracks, transfixed. I wanted to stay right where I was, rooted to the ground, and let this incredible energy wash over me for hours. I forced myself to sit in a pew but was too overwhelmed to meditate. When I finally walked outside again, I left the energy behind at the door. I walked around in a giddy daze for quite some time.
In January 2005, I was blessed to be able to bring my twenty-five-year-old daughter, Erin, to Encinitas with me. She said she felt a peaceful energy the moment we drove into town. I had been looking forward to showing her Paramahansa Yogananda’s Hermitage a few blocks from the temple. This was where Yogananda lived for quite some time and where he wrote the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. After waiting in line with other visitors, we were led inside for a brief tour. When I approached Yogananda’s study, I was overwhelmed with his loving presence. It was very similar to what I felt when I first entered the Encinitas temple back in 2000. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I just wanted to stay bathed in that peaceful, healing energy all day. Even after Erin and I left and were walking down the street, I still felt that energy surging through my body. Erin said she could tell something was happening to me as I stood outside Yogananda’s study. She also said she sensed a peaceful energy in the Hermitage. What a gift to have her with me in Encinitas, my favorite place on Earth!
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