Last month, I decided to visit the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens in Los Angeles (West Adams Historical Area). It sparked my interest at first because of the intricate landscaping I have noticed on numerous photography websites. Approaching the Peace Theological Seminary, the gates were closed off and it appeared ambiguous to whether or not it was open to the public. For this reason, I parked outside and approached the gate. There was a black intercom and I was a greeted by the receptionist. She asked for my name and purpose for the visit. Then, she welcomed me into the Seminary and mentioned a tour will be provided. While waiting, I took the opportunity to read the pamphlet and explore their ideology.
The Guasti Villa is the Italian Renaissance Beaux-Arts mansion now known as the Peace Theological Seminary. It was built between 1910 and 1913 for Secundo Guasti, who owned the world's largest winery at the time. Below is a photo of the lounge, where I waited for my tour and noticed the painted mural on the ceiling of the Guasti family created by their youngest son.
When the tour guide came by, she asked me first if I ever walked a labyrinth and explained that the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens is a place where people can be in retreat without leaving the city. As we walked towards the labyrinth, she went into detail about how to walk the labyrinth and that there are infinite focuses we may choose. How we walk the labyrinth will be determined by where we are in our life, the questions we may have, our concerns, and our goals in this moment. The labyrinth can also be a metaphor for how we live our life. Do we walk it fast? Slow? Does our mind race along on its normal thoughts or can we let our mind focus on our steps? How we walk the labyrinth may illuminate how we live our life. It can also be meditative, where we seek to simply walk with an open mind and allow ourselves to be open to the experience.
It was an amazing experience to witness this hidden oasis on West Adams Street. Never would I have ever thought this place existed and I am grateful to walk my first labyrinth.
To see more photos, please check out the slideshow: