Yogananda described his work as a “church of all religions.” He made that statement because the path of yoga is universally applicable and can bring a direct spiritual experience to truth seekers of all faiths. The World Peace Gardens is our effort to honor the common “inward religion” that can be found in all faiths, and the unique perspective that each faith provides to its followers. We are not trying to do this by sharing each religion’s specific teaching, but rather through a series of gardens which honor the vibration of each faith.
The World Peace Gardens are to be located on Triunfo Canyon Road, in Agoura, at what is presently the Sai Anantam Ashram. The Ashram was founded by the late Alice Coltrane, also known as Swamini Turyiasangitananda. The property has been a spiritual sanctuary for over 20 years and has a wonderful spiritual vibration.
Located on approximately 46 acres, the land includes a lovely year-round creek, a temple, a bookstore, a large unfinished library, a duplex, a small home, and numerous mobile homes. (As nice as that sounds, it should also be noted that most of the buildings are in a state of disrepair.) Also on the land, because of its quiet location, are deer, rabbits, beautiful birds and other wildlife.
The purpose of the World Peace Gardens is to create a lovely sanctuary for those seeking peace and inward reflection. The property lends itself to a series of gardens which we envision representing five of the major world religions plus one for those who are not of any particular faith. The intent of this concept is to allow people of any faith to find an area within the gardens with which they can readily identify.
Unlike most gardens and arboretums, the purpose isn’t just to have lovely flowers and a natural setting, but rather to provide a place of sanctuary for prayer and inward reflection. At present the gardens that are planned include one for those who would like to do a walking meditation and affirmation, and gardens honoring the Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Judaic and Christian faiths. It is our goal that each of the five main gardens be designed and partially maintained by members of that faith.
Other aspects of the World Peace Gardens will include a prayer wall where guests can list people or situations for which they request prayers, a lovely bookstore and statuary center, a cafe, library and museum, a meditation hall, and a small guest retreat facility. There will also be a large vegetable garden, orchard and greenhouse. The residents who live and serve at the World Peace Gardens will maintain a group yoga and meditation practice in which guests are invited to participate. We will also be offering classes in meditation and, on occasion, have special events.
1. Help with financing the purchase of the property through loans and donations. (The organizational structure of the World Brotherhood Center will be a nonprofit 501(c)3.)
2. Help creating a conceptual drawing of the property and individual gardens.