A Few Hidden Spiritual Hotspots in Los Angeles
The Hollywood Vedanta Temple
L.A.’s spiritual hotspots are calling, and there’s no time like the present to take a tour – much less traffic and so few tourists. Hop in your car and visit these sacred sites to soak up shakti energy:
The Hollywood Vedanta Temple’s radiance is intense. A glamorous group of writers and mystics who gathered around Aldous and Laura Huxley hung out there, and guru Adi Da Samraj achieved enlightenment inside. As monk Jnana Chaitanya stated, “Some very holy people lived and taught here and contributed a great deal to the vibration.”
Vedanta is an ancient Hindu religion whose main teaching is the oneness of all, respect for all, including all religions, and that God dwells within all hearts. The main teachers were Swami Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi (“Holy Mother”) who were a married couple, and later, Swami Vivekenanda.
Built in 1938, the Hollywood Vedanta Temple is located in the midst of a quiet residential community right by the Hollywood freeway. Even though you can’t enter the temple right now, the powerful energy permeates the grounds.
Hollywood Vedanta Temple
1946 Vedanta Place, Hollywood, CA 90068
Bonne Brae House
The Pentecostal movement — the Christian sect including baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, charismatic preachers, healings — that must have started in the Deep South, right? Actually, it started right here in L.A. at the Bonnie Brae House.
William J. Seymour, a black, one-eyed preacher who was the son of slaves, had come out from the Midwest. In 1906 at this little house, a group of African-Americans had gathered to fast and pray. Suddenly they began speaking in tongues, and it was an ecstatic moment of outpouring of Divine energy. The intensity blossomed and swelled, filling up the house, pouring down the street, and entering the hearts and spirits of willing Angelenos.
It spread out so far that within three days the House and surrounding streets were jam-packed with crowds of all income levels and ethnicities — blacks, whites, and Latinos — speaking in tongues, singing, and shouting. The worshipping went on continually night and day until finally, the front porch of the house started shaking and collapsed from the rapturous celebration.
Seymour’s preaching must have been phenomenal, because the word is still spreading. You can imagine how high the energy must have been – utterly joyful, ecstatic, blissed out. A bit of that vortex power remains – can you feel it?
216 N Bonnie Brae St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Today it’s a bit tacky, run-down, run-of-the-mill apartment building in the Hollywood Hills, Beachwood Canyon to be exact. But in its heyday, the Krotona Apartments were a hotbed of occult activity hosting a temple, a metaphysical library, a vegetarian cafeteria, a theater, a “magnetically charged” meditation room, and a fascinating cast of characters such as Charlie Chaplin and Annie Besant. It was the headquarters of the Esoteric School, the Temple of the Rosy Cross, and the Order of the Eastern Star.
Begun by the Theosophical Society in 1912, the Krotona community consisted of eleven acres in Beachwood Canyon hosting homes for about 500 people. The 17-unit Krotona Apartments were its center. The complex was to be an institute of higher learning and research on the subtler aspects of science including psychology and psychic phenomena. After all, the Theosophical Society’s mission was to “explore the inexplicable.”
In 1926 the community relocated to Ojai citing the growing influence of urban Hollywood. The Krotona Apartments have continued to be populated by artists, hipsters, and spiritual explorers ever since. In the 60s and 70s there were reported LSD parties around the courtyard’s lotus pond, and guitar sessions with the likes of members of Jimi Hendrix’s band. It is rumored that Quentin Tarantino crashed on the couch of a screenwriter resident for seven months. Plus, the hundreds of intriguing characters whose names we will never know.
If you visit, you can still see the lotus pond resting quietly in the center court, keeping any previous occult or bohemian activity a secret. Upstairs you’ll find a building with a Moorish-style dome and a circular stained-glass window. That symbol is a Rosicrucian seal, and the door is to the former Grand Temple of the Holy Cross. Very little other information offers itself, and the mind wanders to fantasies of what may have gone on inside these walls. Or what’s going on inside them today, for that matter.
2130 Vista Del Mar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Find More Spiritual Hotspots
Don’t wait to visit these holy places and more – the lack of other spiritual tourists won’t last long!
Find out more in Catherine Auman’s book Guide to Spiritual L.A.: The Irreverent, the Awake, and the True, available on Amazon and at your favorite retailer.
Catherine Auman, LMFT is a licensed therapist with advanced training in both traditional and spiritual psychology with thirty years of successful professional experience helping thousands of clients. She has headed nationally-based psychiatric hospital programs as well as worked through alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings.