Spiritual Topanga

Paula LabrotBy Paula Labrot

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Spiritual Topanga
Joseph Campbell said, “The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet.” Here in Topanga Canyon there is an eclectic variety of places to nourish one’s soul and one’s spiritual nature. From mainstream to alternative spiritual practices, Topanga provides a number of “soul-full” environments. Check out their websites for information as most are now closed due to state mandate until further notice. The Topanga Christian Fellowship Church has been part of the canyon since 1953. Their programs include pastors, speakers and musicians. This little country church is a vibrant, musical place, whose doors welcome all who wish to enter. They are a non-denominational, Protestant, full-service church whose mission statement sees its congregation as serving “as a local body of believers whose purpose is to witness God’s love to others as revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ, our crucified, risen, exalted, and soon-returning king.” Normally, there are services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. The Fellowship is available for weddings, memorials, special holiday events, and is home to AA and Debtors Anonymous meetings.. Located at 269 Old Topanga Canyon Rd. topangachristianfellowship.org.
The Chabad Jewish Center was founded in Topanga by Rabbi Dovid Weiss in 2003 and has grown into a lively, warm, joyful, very personal organization. They have Shabbat services on Saturday from 10:30-11:30 a.m., followed by a hot lunch with challah, gefilte fish and stews. Chabad has wonderful classes like “Paint a Portrait of Your Soul,” a Women’s Circle, a Jewish-Karate fusion approach to Hebrew School, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Children’s Programs, The Rosh Chodesh Society, cooking classes, special events and lectures, a Torah class on Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. and more activities throughout the year. This vibrant, happy place is located at 1459 Old Canyon Road. www.chabadoftopanga.com.
The Vedic Cultural Center at the Pyramid House has been serving Topanga since 1979. Here you can learn the principles of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion to Krishna. You can find fellowship, knowledge, kirton (congregational chanting of the holy names), mantra meditation (freeing the living entity from the limitations of the mind), and prasadam (food offered to Krishna). The center offers lectures and events throughout the year, geared to Vaisnav studies and devotion. nrsimhananda@gmail.com.
At Shamanworks Mandy King offers teaching in Shamanic Healing. Shamans go gently to the origin of unhealed wounds, enabling deep healing and far-reaching transformation. At Shamanworks you can explore Soul Retrieval, Ancestral and Past Life Healing, Ghost Crossing, Dreamwork, Divination, or Land and Home Clearing Blessing. “Mandy intuitively weaves these healing approaches together in her work to create a shamanic healing experience as unique as the client themselves.” Connect with Mandy at shamanworks.com.
The Beloved Witch Circle led by former Topanga resident Coco Blignaut, is a place to practice Celtic Animism. Animism attributes a soul to all forms…living beings, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. You can meet one to one with Coco Blignaut or participate in Beloved Witch circles, where she leads searches for meaning in a topic like Covid19, teaches how to communicate with and through trees, and explores The Angelic Kingdom. Right now, the circles are online. Topics vary. When social distancing is over, participants will be able to meet at Coco’s home to listen, create, sing, dance, hear gorgeous Celtic music, experience sound baths, feast on Druid food, and get anointed with essential oils, all the while increasing one’s sensitivity and tapping into the great Universal Intelligence. Presently, Coco has a circle for teens on Saturday at 11 a.m. and a circle for women at 1 p.m.. Contact Coco at bookofseraph@me.com.

Drum Circle with Jamie Papish encourages fellowship through drumming. Jamie leads drum circles for participants age seven and up. The old expression “getting into a groove” illustrates the soul-connections music can create among groups of people playing together. You can join in on all kinds of instruments, from frame drums to pots and pans. Contact Jamie at jamiepapishmusic.com.

Twelve Step Programs in Topanga Canyon include Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, Narcotics Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous. There may be more I don’t know about. These beautiful programs provide a spiritual approach to living that is healing and practical. According to Wikipedia, “A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems.” It becomes much more than that to many who practice this deeply spiritual path. You can find these programs by checking Los Angeles websites…aa.org, alaonla.org, na.org, ,i>debtorsanonymous.org.

These wonderful places are a smattering of the “soul food” of Topanga Canyon. There is more…seek and ye shall find. If you have a suggestion to add to our list, please contact us at editor@thecanyonchronicle.com. Meanwhile, wishing you all Love and Peace.
Paula Labrot

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July 24, 2020