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Meditation retreats are becoming more popular as our world becomes increasingly hectic and busy. These days many travelers are looking to incorporate wellness in their vacations to maintain optimal health and emotional well-being. These retreats can offer you the guidance and inspiration you may be looking for in order to unplug, decompress, and find peace and harmony. Some of these programs occur in one day while others span a week or more and may even incorporate a training program. Each of these meditation destinations offer something unique to help you achieve a state of om.
Ontario Vipassana Centre (Ontario, Canada)
Vipassana, first taught 2,500 years ago, is one of India’s oldest forms of meditation. Ontario Vipassana Center offers practical methods of self-awareness and teaches you how to find life balance in its ten-day meditation retreat. This program includes nine days of silence where you also refrain from any actions that are considered harmful to yourself or anyone else. You will observe your breath and calm your mind while practicing Anapana meditation and then move into Vipassana, which is the meditation of mental purification by insight. The retreat is located about an hour from Toronto in Egbert, Ontario.
If a trip to Thailand is on your radar, Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage offers a ten-day silent meditation retreat on the first of each month. All talks and instructions are given in English, and registration is in person only. If this schedule doesn’t work for you, it’s possible to visit the main monastery at Suan Mokkh between retreats and do your own practice. People attend from all over the world to experience various aspects of the Buddha’s teaching. The retreat offers simple living conditions in close proximity with nature.
Bali Eco Stay (Bali, Indonesia)
Over the years Bali has become a favorite destination for travelers looking to unwind and surround themselves in paradise off the beaten path. Bali Eco Stay is a green sanctuary located in the heart of Bali where you can truly connect with nature. There are stunning open-air overwater bungalows with views of rice paddies, mountains and stunning forests. If you are already part of a retreat group this is the ideal location to book, and they can be reserved for exclusive use for up to 25 people.
Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
If you love yoga then Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires may be your dream come true. It is situated on 100 peaceful acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the middle of the stunning Yokun Ridge. You can sign up for a course or presenter-lead program including Spiritual Practice and Meditation. The center offers day passes so you can arrive super early and stay until dusk, or sign up for their accommodations that are simple and comfortable in keeping with the tradition of retreat-style housing.
Shamballah Yoga Retreat (Portugal)
If you have always wanted to combine meditation with surfing you need to visit Shamballah Yoga Retreat in Sintra, Portugal. The Surf, Yoga and Meditation Retreat includes surf lessons, yoga classes, guided meditations and delicious healthy meals. Their meditation sessions are aimed at anyone who is seeking balance, peace, clarity and happiness. Accommodations are included and located just a short walk from the exquisite coastline in Sintra’s National Park. Guided walks, forest therapy, sound journeys and Pilates are also available. The closest airport to Shamballah is in Lisbon, some 25 miles away.
Tushita Meditation Centre (India)
India is of course a natural fit for meditation and Tushita Meditation Center is perfect for the study and practice of Buddhism. The philosophies originate from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. If you want to learn the teachings of the Buddha and put them into practice, courses here aim to set you on this path. The center also offers group retreats and drop-in sessions. Tushita Meditation Centre is located on a mountain slope surrounded by forest and the Dhauladhar range near the town of McLeod Ganj. Their meditations are based on the tradition of Lama Tsong Khapa of Tibet.
Vipassana Hawai’i (Hawaii)
The Buddha teachings at Vipassana Hawai’i stem from the Pali Canon of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The aim is total happiness and peace through mindful presence as it relates to your life. The retreat is located on 30 acres in the district of beautiful North Kohala, which is at the northern tip of the island. They offer several programs in accordance with Buddhist Theravadic teachings including Sunday meditation sittings in North Kohala where all are welcome, just bring a cushion.