IIf what’s stopping you from packing your most comfortable leggings and doing a meditation retreat is the price before you settle for a mindfulness stay (courtesy of your smartphone), try adding the word “scholarship” to your search.
It turns out that an abundance of financial aid is available to meditators as centers around the world trying to become more inclusive. “We are committed to making these teachings widely available,” said Andy LeSavage, marketing manager at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. “Money [shouldn’t be] a barrier to practice on. “
An internet deep dive brought back a number of programs and places like Spirit Rock. However, if you take advantage of the sliding scales, scholarships, and other discounts, you can order the secret healthy menu at Panera Bread – you can only do this if you know it is there.
Here are 5 healthy travel hacks that can make your next meditation retreat more affordable.
Photo: Instagram / @ spirit_rock
1. Apply for a retreat scholarship
Believe it or not, spiritual scholarships abound in the world of meditation. Most require quite a bit of digging and a lengthy application process. But if everything goes as planned, enjoy a pro bono weekend of forest walks, vegan food, and (of course) meditation.
Where should you look First, find out about funding from Shambhala, the Omega Institute, Spirit Rock, and Siddhayatan. Both the full and partial scholarships are awarded quickly. So check the registry for the best results.
Pro tip: Do you have a teacher you consult for anything meditation related? Consult with them for smaller teacher-led retreats. Many usually offer one or more scholarships.
Photo: Zen Mountain Monastery
2. Become a fellow in a meditation center
Meditation scholarships are on the rise and ready to help you fill your 9-5 with mindfulness. When you are selected, the meditation center invites you to move into a residence, devote more time to your practice and connect with other like-minded people. Some, like the Hemera Foundation’s Art Fellowship, you’ve even put together with two (yes, two!) Mentors – one for your meditation practice and one for your artistic endeavors.
Where should you look The The Hemera Foundation offers scholarships to artists, educators, and healthcare professionals in meditation centers across America – from Colorado to California, New York and beyond. A retreat and a beautiful setting? Yes, please.
Pro type: Many centers also offer work retreats. This allows you to split your time between helping with housekeeping and maintaining your own practice.
Photo: Instagram / @ jengler7
3. Go All In with a Free Vipassana Retreat
Yes – with no airfare, your first retreat through the Vipassana Meditation Center, which has nearly 180 locations around the world, is 100 percent in-house. The tradition is one of the oldest forms of meditation in India. An intensive course consists of 10 days of meditation with step-by-step instructions. In the ancient Indian language of Pāli, the word “Vipassana” means “to see things as they really are”. Already fascinated?
Where should you look Go to the Vipassana website on the right to sign up for the closest location. Or take a trip to a distant destination that meets all of your # travel destinations.
Pro type: Unsurprisingly, these free retreats fill up quickly. Apply a year or more in advance.
4. Opt for a shared room in an ashram
Basically the DIY of the retreat world – ashrams offer you the opportunity to customize your schedule with yoga classes, group meditations, vegetarian meals and numerous hiking trails. Plus, you can stay for just $ 75. Just prepare for rustic camp-style bunk beds.
Where should you look First, ask your search engine for the ashrams in your area.
Pro type: As with retreat centers, most ashrams also offer retreats. If you like the idea of trading off for yoga and meditation, this program is pretty much made for you.
5. Give your retreat fund the crowdsourced treatment
If you’ve ever used Kickstarter or similar platforms to start a creative endeavor, you know that asking others for help can be a powerful tool. This time, ask loved ones to invest in your wellbeing instead of your next big project.
Where should you look The offering bowl is a great option. Just rent the space on their website (free), set a goal and watch your numbers grow.
Pro type: Each campaign lasts six months. So don’t wait until the last minute to start advertising. Share your goal on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, stat.
Did you hear that we are leading our second Well + Good Retreat in the Hudson Valley this August? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place asap.
Originally published October 26, 2017; updated June 25, 2018