These are tips about the SRF annual Convocation sent by devotees.

Hotels:

The Westin Bonaventure

Biltmore Hotel

Add New Convocation Tip
  1. Safety - do not go outside the hotels after dark without a group.

  2. Airport Transportation

    SuperShuttle Airport Transportation to and from LAX or Amtrak Train Station - shared van rides at a reasonable cost... My husband and I have also used the SuperShuttle service when flying into San Diego Airport to visit the Encinitas Hermitage... Online Reservations: supershuttle.com...
    or call (800) BLUE-VAN or (800) 258-3826...
    From Johanna W.

  3. Bus from LAX to Lake Shrine or Downtown

    To take the bus to Lake Shrine, take the C Shuttle from the terminal to the City Bus Terminal (C Parking Lot)

    Take Big Blue to downtown Santa Monica ($1.50). Then transfer to Sunset Boulevard to get to Lake Shrine. Walk 500 feet to Lake Shrine.

    Bus 439 goes from the airport bus terminal to downtown ($1.85).

  4. Supermarket Near Bonneventure

    Devotees attending Convocation will be the first to be able to shop in a real supermarket in downtown Los Angeles. The downtown area has been without a supermarket for more than 50 years. Within the last couple of weeks, a new Ralph's Grocery Store has opened at 645 W. 9th Street.

    If you want to pay supermarket prices instead of hotel prices, exit the Bonaventure on the Flower St. (east) side and walk south (right) on Flower until you reach 9th. Turn left (east) on 9th, and look for the address.
    From Art E.

  5. Groceries

    The central market has a large variety of inexpensive fruit, vegetables and other items. The hotel can give you directions. It is about a half of a mile from the Bonneventure. Many devotees go there for fruit.

  6. Farmer's Market: LA Library Street Market
    From Traci Z:

    There is a weekly Farmer's market in front of the LA Library. I believe it is on Thursdays, possibly Wednesday, but I believe it is Thursday. It starts in the Morning and goes through the early or mid afternoon. They sell crafts and the like - but they also have a booth selling flowers. I Picked up my flowers there last year - they were beautiful. If you go later in the day when they are starting to close up - they might make you a good deal. The man there last year made me and my friend a great deal on 3 bunches of flowers.


    There is also a Farmer's Market, which is about four blocks away from the Bonaventure near the Kawada Hotel at 650 West Fifth Street. (from Phil B)

  7. Parent/Child Room

    If you plan on attending with your babies or young children be sure to reserve places in the Parent/Child room early so you don't need to wait each day on the standby line (by Master's grace everyone on the standby line last year always got it, it was often close down to just a seat or two).
    From Steve F.

  8. Drug Store

    There is a drug store (Rite Aid) one or two blocks past the Biltmore, going away from the Bonneventure. Then right a block. They have juice, water, milk, and other supplies. I do not have the exact directions or name, so if someone can help me out with this I would appreciate it.

  9. Biltmore Hotel Lobby
    From Karen S.
  10. I would like to mention the Biltmore Hotel Lobby. A pilgrimage to this spot is always one of the highlights of my convocation week. For those who may not know, the lobby was formerly the music room where Master entered Mahasamadhi at the dinner for the ambassador from India in 1952. It is still permeated with Master's vibration. You can find the exact spot where he sits in the picture of "The Last Smile", by the fountain. If you take a copy of the picture with you to the Biltmore, you can see the designs on the wall which have been preserved, and find the exact location.

    The Biltmore is a short walk down 5th St. from the Bonaventure, on the right hand side as you walk down.

  11. Lake Shrine, California Ballroom
    From Dawn W.

    1. Go to the service on Sunday at Lake Shrine. It's always nice to get in an extra experience.
    2. I was thinking about it I was planning on bowing to Master's picture when I first walked into the room instead of waiting until I got to my seat. Maybe it wouldn't have gotten me a better seat but it would have been nice to remember Master before running for a prime seat.
    3. Sit on the left side of the room if you are going to be in the California ballroom. The AV equipment blocks a lot of the seats on the right side of the room. There really aren't any bad seats in the Pasadena room.
    4. Remember why we are all there and don't push and shove on your way into the California ballroom.

  12. Using the Subway to get to Hollywood Temple starting from Pershing Square (near the Biltmore)

    From Sonia: The best I can suggest would be to take the subway going to North Hollywood and get off at Sunset / Vermont. Both the exits from the Vermont / Sunset station lead to Sunset Blvd and then one would need to walk about 3 blocks west and you can see the Temple on the left side of the street.

  13. Ice Chest, Side Trips
    From Dave C.
  14. I have a couple of tips for the Convocation.

    First of all we bring our own ice chest. We stay at the Bonaventure usually but I am sure the other hotels wouldn't mind. With a large ice chest, the ice is replenished by me from the ice machine on the floor we are staying on, we are able to keep things like milk, fruit drinks and soft drinks cold. This way we bring our own cereals and bowls and have breakfast in our room without the expense of the restaurant. It also means that there is cold water and drinks available for us in our room without expending money for those. It's like having a small kitchen with us.

    Secondly, I would recommend that if any attendee has a free morning or afternoon and has transportation they visit the L.A. Zoo (http://www.lazoo.org/ ) or the Getty Museum ( http://www.getty.edu ). The Zoo is located in Griffith Park near Hwy 134 and Interstate 5, just a short drive from the Bonaventure. It is worth a visit. The Getty is in the foothills above Beverly Hills off Interstate 405, a little longer drive than the Zoo but worth it. The Getty is world renown for its Renaissance art and Greek sculpture. Also well worth a visit. You might call now for reservations to the Getty because it is very popular.

  15. Folding Cooler

    We recently purchased a folding cooler for a reasonable amount and it worked very well. It holds 24 cans and is made of nylon with insulation inside.

  16. Paru's Restaurant

    We went to an Indian restaurant near the Hollywood Temple the last time that we were there. It was wonderful food, the owner was friendly, and it just felt Indian to be there.

    Sonia: The restaurant is still operating and favourite with devotees! It is called Paru's and it is about 3 to 4 blocks west of the Hollywood Temple, just after Sunset / Normandie, on the left side of the street [south side!]. Week day hours are from 11:30 to 3 PM and again from 6 PM to 10 PM. On Saturdays and Sundays, they are open right through from noon until 10 PM. Click here for a 10% discount coupon!

  17. Los Angeles Public Library Card

    If you have children along, the Los Angeles Public Library, between the Bonneventure and Biltmore, will allow you to check out books from the library, even if you do not live in Los Angeles.

  18. Downtown Transportation

    The downtown DASH system runs inexpensive busses around the downtown area. You can visit Chinatown, the Japanese district, Toy district and so on.

    Dash Weekend Schedule

    Dash Weekday

  19. Free Internet Access
    From Meledath D.

    If you need Internet access it is free at the LA Public Library, very near the Bonaventure and Biltmore. If you have a laptop, they have free wireless. If not, get a guest card and use their PC's. The hotel charges an arm and a leg!

  20. Affordable Convocation Hotel
    From Bryon R

    For those trying to save money, a room at the Stillwell Hotel is the most affordable that I have found in the Convocation area.

    Even though Mother Center does not list the Stillwell on their registration form, they make sure that the shuttle bus runs every half-hour to/from there to accommodate the many devotees who stay at the Stillwell. And the hotel is also within walking distance of the Bonaventure.

    One year I waited too long (until June, I think), and it was too late to get a room at the Stillwell. All the rooms were taken. During April might be a good time to make a reservation...tell them you will be there for the SRF Convocation. I believe the rooms are still less than $60/day!!!!!!!(and even cheaper if you share)

    Stillwell Hotel Phone: (213)627-1151

  21. Downtown Parking

    Shuttles and Parking Rates

    PDF file from Mother Center on rates