We have been working with our landscape architect Caitilin Pope Daum to develop plans for the plaza and paths that will surround the larger-than-life statue of Yogananda being sculpted by Gary Roller. Caitilin came to us highly recommended by another architect and has enthusiastically embraced this project.
Her attunement with our goals is clearly evident in the designs she has produced. The statue plaza features a lotus design in the cement surrounding a central earth mound with a green ground cover so that the statue can be appreciated up close or at a distance. The surrounding low walls incorporate seating on the uphill (south) side. Graceful paths spiral out to other points in the garden. The new plaza will be located on the upper—presently cultivated—area overlooking the Laurelwood Valley, the Ananda Center at Laurelwood and the present Yogananda shrine located about sixty feet to the northwest.
This design offers ample space for group events and yet is not too large to appreciate individually. It seems appropriately scaled to the eight foot high central statue. Can you see yourself in this picture in the near future?
The lotus plaza is part of a larger plan for the garden that will have places for many nooks and shrines for contemplation of spirit and nature. As presently conceived the upper entrance will be a little further up the road from the beginning of the present path providing a very gentle rise and descent to the plaza area with several special spots along the way. Other paths will sweep through the forested area or pass above and beyond the plaza to descend in a meandering way to lower areas including the present small Yogananda shrine.
The theme of spiral arcs and graceful curves echoes the expansive all-inclusive nature of Yogananda’s teachings. The slowly rotating statue will further express this message of world brotherhood and universal cosmic truth.
Early next year (2016) we will be developing detailed plans and pushing toward physically manifesting the plaza area during the summer, Divine Mother willing. Meanwhile Gary Roller can be sculpting the large statue of Yogananda and it all could come together as early as summer’s end.