Best places to meditate outside in San Diego


San Diego has some of the best places to meditate out in nature. San Diego also has some of the best weather for sitting and meditating on its assortment of spectacular views. The purity, beauty, vastness and harmony we can enjoy meditating in these spectacular spots around San Diego County can inspire us to rediscover our own natural balance and poise within ourselves.

With over forty miles of beaches and cliffs looking out into the ocean there are some very secluded spots in San Diego to find your perfect place to sit, calm your body, clear your mind and bring to the fore the splendor and measureless expanse of your spiritual heart. Here are but a few of the most inspiring places to meditate:

  • If you are looking for a long flat uninhabited stretch of sand with rolling dunes and estuary behind, the south end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach stops at the very end of development along the U.S. pacific coast. You can walk south for nearly a mile before the warm sands meet the mouth of the Tijuana River leaving you at a very secluded spot with still over a mile of open beach to the boarder. You are also bound to find a deserted stretch of sand with a short walk from either end of the Silver Strand State Beach parking lot.
  • Sunset Cliffs Boulevard provides a number of spots to either walk out onto the cliffs or down to a beach that can be quite deserted at different times of day or seasons of the year. At the south end there is a staircase that leads down to the water and at low tide you can easily jump onto a quite beach or stay along the top of the cliffs to find a place to sit without residences behind you.
  • From Bird Rock to La Jolla Cove there are public access spots that lead you to secluded coves and rock points. Because most of the shoreline along this area has small to medium cliffs it is very easy to find a secret place to sit and meditate on the various sea life and birds as they drift by. Calumet Park, Bird Rock Avenue and Sun Gold Point are three of the best spots to venture out along the coast especially at low tide.
  • Of course you can’t beat Blacks Beach and Torrey Pines for perfect views with perfectly placed benches and long stretches of unpopulated soft warm sands. But there is a little known short collection of trails called the Torrey Pines Extension that you can enter from the top of Del Mar Scenic Parkway or the end of Mar Scenic Drive that provides some stunning views of the ocean on the upper west side.
  • South of the San Elijo State Beach parking lot there are quite beaches protected by cliffs that provide for a secluded meditative atmosphere. The San Elijo Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area provides trails starting near the ocean that wind east out along its lagoons that are very peaceful. If you follow the trail along the south side you can also pass below the freeway and wander quite far surrounded by water, birds and other wildlife.
  • In Carlsbad, where the Palomar Airport Road hits the Coast Highway there are some wonderful places above and especially below the cliffs to find a private spot to meditate on the vastness of the pacific.
  • If you are heading farther up north you can walk out onto some very quite locatoins in the San Onofre State Beach or Crystal Cove State Park that have expansive undeveloped beachfronts perfect for an uninterrupted ocean meditation.

Inland in the San Diego County there are some genuine natural treasures with secluded views, forest and desert terrain, rivers and mountain peaks. Below is a partial list of some of the larger parks with a few hints as to where to wander off the more crowded trails to meditate in private:

  • The Lower Otay Lake is very peaceful. Best to drive out to the Otay Lake County Park and stroll out from there to find a place to sit and look out on the waters.
  • Lake Morena County Park has peaceful lake views, beautiful trails and green fertile meadows where the water used to cover over years ago.
  • Cowles Mountain has one the best views of San Diego and surrounding areas. Perfect for a morning sunrise meditation or an evening meditation looking out onto the sunset.
  • Mission Trails Regional Park winds through the rugged terrain between Mission Gorge Road and the 52. Many secret spots can be discovered out along the Father Juniperro Serro Trail and its offshoots in both directions.
  • Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve has trails that wind under shady trees along the conyon that stretches over five miles all the way to Sorrento Valley.
  • Lake Miramar has a popular road for walking and biking that goes all the way around, but along the east side, starting just east of the parking lot, there is a lesser traveled dirt path right along the water that provides for some very quite nooks to find some solitude.
  • Iron Mountain and surrounding trails have some nice rock ledges to sit out on for deep meditation and contemplation. Not much shade out there so bring a hat.
  • Rancho Bernardo Community Park is a great destination to drive out to for long clear trials around Lake Hodges. Plenty of beautiful view points to call your own.
  • The areas and trails throughout Julian, Cuyamaca, Mt Laguna, Laguna Meadow and Palomar Mountain hold some real hidden jewels for meditating in nature.

San Diego also has a few beautiful gardens set aside just for meditation. The Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the nicer spots to meditate in Balboa Park. The Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas maintains exquisite grounds with streams, koi ponds and astonishing views of the Pacific. And finally the Sri Chinmoy Centre has a small meditation garden on Adams Avenue at Arizona Street in Normal Heights with a statue of Sri Chinmoy meditating, artistic landscaping and benches to sit, meditate and contemplate.

Sri Chinmoy has written about meditating in nature in a book entitled A Galaxy of Beauty’s Stars:

“The best way to appreciate nature’s beauty is to sit and meditate with nature. If you take a tree as nature, then sit at the foot of a tree and meditate. If you take the sun as an expression of nature, then look at the sun and meditate. If you feel the ocean or sea as nature, then sit in front of the water and meditate. While looking at the tree or the sun or the ocean, try to feel your oneness with it. Anything that you consider as nature or nature’s beauty, you should try to become one with.

Again, if you want a particular thing from nature, you have to go to that thing. If you want to have vastness, then just go out of the house and look at the sky and you will enter into vastness. If you want to have a very vast, pure consciousness, then stand in front of a river and meditate on the river. And if you want to get height in your life, then go to a mountain and meditate there. So whatever you want, you have to stand in front of that particular thing and invoke it. You have to invoke the spirit of nature or become one with the soul of nature. That is the best kind of identification.”

Even a short trip out into the beauty of nature can afford us a deeper contemplation and inner peace. Find that quality time to head outside of your usual routine and consciously rediscover the beauty that lies within everything around us.