On April 8, 2023, Self-Realization Fellowship resumed its annual Easter Egg Hunt for neighborhood children on the picturesque grounds of the International Headquarters atop Mount Washington in Los Angeles. Approximately 500 people, ranging from newborn babies to grandparents, came together from around the neighborhood to participate in this community event — for the first time since 2019.
The main gates of the Mother Center opened to reveal the grounds transformed into a children’s wonderland, vibrantly decorated with Easter eggs, butterflies, ribbon, and more. Monks, nuns, volunteers, and the Easter Bunny welcomed the colorfully clad children and their adult companions to this truly engaging experience.
Fun Activities for the Kids
Kids were divided into four age groups for the egg hunt and other games. While there was no limit to the number of eggs each child could collect, any sparsely filled baskets were supplemented by nearby monastics and volunteers so that no child would feel left out. One young gentleman, helping himself to handfuls of candy from a basket as his sister came up, made sure to let her know that he was getting some for her too.
After the egg hunt, there were activities such as temporary tattoos, face painting, beading, and balloon sculpting. Open play on the main lawn included hula hooping, balls, tunnels, and of course, visiting with the Easter Bunny.
First Timers and Returners from the Past — All Had a Blast
Many people mentioned to the monastics and volunteers how grateful they were to experience the event again. One mother who lives on Mount Washington first attended this event some years ago when her daughter was two years old. Her daughter, now eight, said she still loves it.
Another mother, her daughter sporting a green turtle balloon bracelet, was attending the event for the first time. She said that her kids were too young at first, then the pandemic came, and they were happy to be here now.
James, around eight years of age, got a skateboard balloon. One set of siblings managed to bring their grandparents visiting from Orlando with them. Annabel, 8, though playing with the bubbles, said she loved hunting for the Easter eggs best. She is staying with her godparents nearby, though she lives far away.
Visitors enjoyed the peaceful vibrations of the grounds. One woman said to another newcomer, “Have you seen the meditation gardens? They are gorgeous.”
United in Service and Joy
Approximately 30 volunteers and 18 monastics were involved in the preparations, production, and organization of the event. Originally from Argentina, one of the volunteers helping out is a volunteer from the SRF Hollywood Temple. Another volunteer, one of the face painters, has been a makeup artist for 15 years and attends the SRF Glendale Temple.
It was a perfectly beautiful sunny day. Paramahansa Yogananda, who loved the fellow feeling engendered by such sweet and pleasant events, would have no doubt seen the Divine working through all who served and all who attended, as the neighborhood joined together for wholesome games and smiles in a spirit of fun and friendship.
Welcome back children and parents and grandparents! We missed you too!