When Tinder isn’t turning out to be the spiritual experience one had hoped for, where DOES one go to meet a nice, spiritual soulmate who also happens to be Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes?
I’m inspired by cousins who’ve met their husbands at Catholic church but unfortunately, while I remain spiritual, I’ve lost faith in organized religion. And don’t even get me started on disorganized religion!
So I set out to find the 10 best spiritual single scenes in Los Angeles. (Please feel free to list your own suggestions in the comments section or share where you met your spiritual soulmate.)
#1. Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple
Where: Pacific Palisades 17190 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, CA, 310-454-4114
When: Sunday morning services 9 and 11 a.m.
Observations: It's a good-looking, diverse crowd of YUMs (young urban meditators). For the dress code, you can make it your own thing; nothing is too farfetched for these groovy mountain meditators. It's basically a great opportunity to rock that cape you’ve always wanted to wear.
Overall, this is a nondenominational meditation and service paying homage to all spiritual paths in a beautiful palace with a man-made lake. I brought one of my Tinder dates with me. I’m pretty sure his name was Steve or Bryan because he was listed in my phone as “Steve or Bryan.” He was spiritual, down to meditate (DTM), and looked like he was in The Strokes. Steve or Bryan told me he rides Harleys and is from a Harley family and I said I’m from a Toyota family. Toyota Corolla.
Try this place if you want an inspiring, awesome experience. It's a little churchy and chanty but nothing you can’t handle. Full room of young, vibrant DTMs. Afterward we had coffee by the sea and it was a lovely Sunday adventure.
Where: 4860 West Sunset Blvd.
When: Sundays 9:30 and 11 a.m.
Observations: Here I encountered a cool and diverse scene with some chanting, soothing waterfalls, a harpsichord and an inspiring talk given by an adorable and charismatic Irish priest. People wore Southwestern art prints, ponchos, purples.
#2. Kabbalah Spiritual Social Hour
Where: 1062 S. Robertson
When: Once a month, Monday, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Observations: Spiritual social hour is a chance to mingle in a cozy courtyard with hot cocoa and cookies and different monthly themes. Stay for free “Zohar Connection” (deep study of source of wisdom, every Monday at 8 p.m.) or the "New Moon Connection."
Dress code: Upscale casual, just do you.
Vibe: Light in the eyes, warm embraces, super friendly and happy. Their publicist says the LA branch is more consisting of families while the New York location has more singles, however she did meet her husband at the LA location.
Overall assessment: You could totally meet your husband here or your next literary agent.
#3. Dharma Punx
Where: 4300 Melrose (between Heliotrope and Vermont)
When: Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Observations: A powerful 30-minute meditation (no mantra, just “now I am breathing in, now I am breathing out”) followed by a thought-provoking talk on dharma and a Q & A. $15 suggested donation. Comfortable chairs and floor cushions, hot tea, nice looking crowd of DTM tattooed YUMS. (Related: You could also check out the Weekly Buddhist Meditation Group at the Santa Monica Zen Center at 1001(a) Colorado Ave. This practice is also in San Francisco and NYC.
Where: 5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City, (310) 348-1250.
When: Sunday services, 9 and 11 a.m.
Observations: Get there early to park; this place is popular and crowded with DTMs of all colors, shapes and sizes. Expect: Dreadlocks, kaftans -- you wouldn’t be out of place here if you were carrying a dreamcatcher. The atmosphere is celebratory and inspired with singing. Dr. Michael Beckwith gives an impassioned talk that is reminiscent of a Chris Rock stand-up routine -- without the jokes.
#5. David Lynch Foundation on Hillhurst
Where: 1655 Hillhurst Ave #102. (323) 375-4108.
When: Sundays 6 p.m.
Observations: After a brief opener (example: “What were you for Halloween”), we get right into it and meditate for 22 minutes as a group. I think David Lynch is really doing good in the world, bringing meditation to schools and people who need it. Mantra is $960 -- discounted for the recession -- and scholarships are available. Overall, there is a good guy to girl ratio. You can look forward to bonding through powerful group meditation and free pizza -- both regular and gluten-free versions. Dress code: casual/transitioning out of opiates/weekend in rehab comfortable. Floor length sweater coats, puffy down vests and sweat pants with a boat shoe/moccasin hybrid, scruffy beards.
#6. SGI -- Soka Gakkai International (Buddhism)
Where: 5899 Venice Blvd. (323) 965-0025
When: Check calendar for event listings
Observations: Multicultural multi-ethnic shiny happy people chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in unison for world peace. And also whatever else they want. You know, 'cause you chant, you won’t, and you don’t stop.
#7. Marianne Williamson Talks based on “A Course in Miracles”
Where: The Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd. (just east of La Cienega)
When: Monday nights
Observations: Marianne breaks it down with a good-looking crowd of DTMs, most of whom look familiar. Probably from past lives or this one.
#8. Thom Knoles Vedic meditation talk
Where: Free floating locations -- sometimes the Skirball Center.
When: Whenever he’s in town.
Observations: After a meditation Thom shares his wisdom and does a Q & A for an appealing crowd of multicultural DTMs.
#9. Church of Science Mind
Where: Harmony Gold Theater, 7655 W. Sunset, West Hollywood
When: Sundays, 10 a.m.
Observations: Meditation first, then tranquil meditative music warms up the theater as jovial crowd pours in. People are wearing anything from suits and dresses to dreadlocks and tinted spectacles. The lavender is flowing freely. This is held in an impressive theater with uplifting music. There is something about sunrises and being all you can be. You know the drill. The ol’ potential and passion power punch peppered with devotional ocean rhyme schemes.
Overall, it's a good place for people who enjoy "scientific" spirituality. And singing. And lavender.
#10. Brunch at the Scientology Celebrity Center
Where: 5930 Franklin Avenue. (323) 960-3100.
Observations: In a beautiful castle on Franklin called the “Celebrity Center” I walked in on a Sunday and ordered brunch for one. Yes, just anyone can walk in to have brunch on Sundays and no; apparently you don’t have to be a Scientologist to eat there. There was no line and plenty of seating. Celebrities spotted: zero.
People were dressed in a mix of casual Sunday wear and postal looking uniforms.
I wanted to love this elegant cafe in the heart of Hollywood with its spacious, lush gardens but instead, I encountered a somewhat soggy looking buffet and opted for eggs a la carte and a cup of coffee. The coffee cup had lipstick on it and the eggs had a pube-looking hair. The waiter very politely offered to comp my check the next time I came in. Since I said I probably wouldn’t be returning, he refunded my money, in $2 bills.
If the brunch isn't enough, there is also the Scientology introductory movie. Showtimes are all day every day. No popcorn available but they do offer a complimentary personality test. Though the plot was farfetched and the acting wooden, the 20-ish minute film concluded with a highly entertaining ultimatum to join Scientology and it’s easy to see how it became a cult classic.
Overall, I’m sure a lot of people hook up here but I prefer the eggs at Nickel Diner.
In conclusion: Wow, there are a lot of spiritual people and places in Los Angeles!
Also, after a few dates, I realized that Bryan or Steve was actually just named Bryan** and we kinda hit it off so I guess ultimately I did end up having a spiritual experience on Tinder.
**Not his real name(s)