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Zen L.A.: A Mindful Guide to Chilling Out

11 April 2019 Written by   Jeff Shotwell Published in blog
Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens www.peacelabyrinth.org

When staying at The Seaview Inn in Manhattan Beach and visiting Los Angeles, it's easy to get caught up in the social scene or the industry hustle, but in the city that never loses its chill, there are also plenty of ways to grab some downtime. Read on to learn where to go to disconnect or at the very least decompress, because it's all about balance, om I right?

Almost hidden from view but easily accessible from Sunset Blvd is a little bit of paradise called The Self-Realization Lake Shrine Temple. This is not, in fact, exclusive to religious visitors but open free to the public, where you'll find a peaceful oasis of trees, carefully manicured gardens, a small windmill chapel, and if you're interested in the tour or devotional activity, the actual temple, which requires a bit of a climb up the hill. Well-maintained paths lead around the lake, or there are strategically placed benches that allow a perfect view of the water, including ducks, swans and turtles. Guided meditation sessions are also available on site.

If there was a place in L.A. most likely to bump into the Dalai Lama, this would be it. The Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens is where you can "unwind your mind" and offers free admission if you reserve your date in advance. Take a deep breath, toss your smartphone in the glove compartment and be ready to let your worries go as you stroll among the beautiful gardens or trace the labyrinth path.  If you're feeling inclined, sign up for a tour or one of the self-improvement classes for a very reasonable fee.  Also on-site is the Guasti Villa, an historic Italian Renaissance mansion, the perfect place to get lost in art or architecture.

Sometimes all you need to do is improve your view to get a different take on life, and who knew that the most strategically placed juice chain store might offer some serious zen, or at the very least, decent parking and a friendly server? Located at the Pepperdine University Campus in Malibu, the local Jamba Juiceis situated just high enough to get sweeping views of the ocean from the roomy patio, and who knows, you might get an idea for a new novel or start-up biz while you sip a mango peach soy milk smoothie with an added boost of L.A. sunshine.

We'd be remiss if we didn't include a spa on this list, so we've carefully chosen one to meet a variety of needs, boasting four separate floors and even a full-service restaurant. WiSpa, located close to downtown and Hollywood, will whisk you from the bustling traffic into the slow lane, Korean-style. There are five different types of saunas, various soothing treatments and massages, and of course, the traditional Korean buff so you leave relaxed and soft as a baby's cheeks. You can bypass the treatments and opt for a simple soak and sauna for a reasonable fee, and the place is open 24/7, so if you're experiencing a restless night, WiSpa could be just the ticket.

Finally, where would you go if you wanted peace and quiet AND a view of the L.A.  scene? Why, the West Hollywood Library, of course. Not only is it perfect for hunkering down with a good book, but you can contemplate your next hemp project while staring out the floor to ceiling window from the comfort of one of their modern leather chairs. Or, take a mindful coloring class, join the Scrabble Club, or attend Drag Queen Story Hour (because, when in Rome). The events are varied so check the schedule in advance. And once you're done with downtime, the hip Melrose scene is a hop, skip and a latte around the corner.

For additional ideas on where to hang loose in L.A., check with our concierge