Los Angeles is a big city with a lot to offer. The things to do, stuff to see, and places to get your workout on are seemingly endless. Tal Rabinowitz, however, found something that LA lacked and left a high powered position at NBC to create it.
She needed a place to meditate. Somewhere to go where it was structured and on a schedule— somewhere easy and fast, accessible and normal.
“You can go to yoga, crossfit, ballet… you can do almost anything on a schedule but there’s nothing for meditation on that smaller scale,”
explains Tal. There were the bigger places of course. The ones with the long sits, the bigger commitments, but she found that there was nothing for normal people just looking for a safe haven in the middle of the day to connect.
She had to do something about it. She quit her job after 17 years, and sought out to open a meditation studio. She named it the DEN because she wanted it to feel like home. A place where people didn’t get intimidated and somewhere people wanted to hang out. “People of all different types belong here. Be a vegan, don’t be a vegan. Drink alcohol, don’t drink alcohol. It’s all okay, there’s no strict rules,” she says.
The DEN officially opened on February 1st of this year after a two week free-for-all to help spread the word and to introduce meditation to LA. “For a lot of people meditation is a weird thing,” Tal adds. “That’s why I wanted to do it for free. Even if someone didn’t think they were going to love it they could come try and visit all of the different classes. Next thing they know, they’re hooked on a chanting class and are like ‘I can’t believe I like chanting now!’”
Located off of La Brea, it was a perfect location for Tal. “I had always said my dream place was to be on La Brea, next to a yoga studio, a juice bar, and a lot of cafes. This place was everything.” One big space when she got it, Tal and her team revamped it completely, now occupying the space next door as well.
There is a wide range of classes offered for members. “Some of them are more spiritual, some of them are weirder, while some of them are straight shooters. Everyone reacts to something different,” she explains. “Everyone should try different things– different exercises for different muscles. Sometimes we just need something different than what our bodies are used to.”
For those looking to expand their grasp on meditation, workshops are offered. Month-long series are hosted by some of the best instructors in LA, as well as guided retreats that will take you on life-changing spiritual journeys to places such as Joshua Tree, Mexico, and India.
Still wanting to introduce meditation to as much of LA as she can, the DEN offers a $40 unlimited membership plan for the first month. In a city as diverse as LA, Tal’s desire is for her DEN to become your home away from home– a place that holds something for everyone, big or small, and most importantly, a place that preaches to just be yourself.
And for a busy city that has it all, it’s truly the zen LA needed.
Lindsay DeLong is the Managing Editor of The Fullest. Her DEN is currently her couch, but she’s thinking of upgrading. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media via @lindizzaster.
Photographs by: Marielena Verdugo.