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There is no place like om.
Meditation retreats are becoming increasingly popular as our world becomes more hectic and busy. Today, many travelers want to incorporate wellness into their vacation to ensure optimal health and optimal emotional wellbeing. These retreats can provide you with the guidance and inspiration you are looking for in order to unplug, decompress, and find peace and harmony. Some of these programs take place in a day, while others last a week or more and may even include a training program. Each of these meditation goals offers something unique to help you achieve an Om state.
Ontario Vipassana Center (Ontario, Canada)
Ontario Vipassana Center
Vipassana, which was first taught 2,500 years ago, is one of the oldest forms of meditation in India. The Ontario Vipassana Center offers hands-on methods of self-awareness and shows you how to find life balance in its ten-day meditation retreat. This program includes nine days of silence, during which you will not do anything that is considered harmful to yourself or anyone else. You will observe your breath and calm your mind while practicing Anapana meditation and then transition into Vipassana, which is the meditation of mental cleansing through insight. The retreat is located about an hour from Toronto in Egbert, Ontario.
Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage (Thailand)
Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage
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 lectures and instructions will be given in English and registration is only possible in person. If this schedule doesn’t work for you, you can visit the main monastery in Suan Mokkh between retreats and do your own exercises. People from all over the world come to experience various aspects of the Buddha’s teaching. The retreat offers simple living conditions in close proximity to nature.
Bali Eco Stay (Bali, Indonesia)
Bali Eco Stay
Over the years, Bali has become a popular destination for travelers looking to relax off the beaten path in paradise. Bali Eco Stay is a green sanctuary in the heart of Bali where you can truly connect with nature. There are stunning open air bungalows with views of rice fields, mountains and breathtaking forests. If you are already part of a retreat group this is the ideal place to book. They can be reserved exclusively for up to 25 people.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
If you love yoga, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires might be your dream come true. It is located on 100 acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the middle of the breathtaking Yokun Ridge. You can sign up for a class or moderator-led program, including spiritual practice and meditation. The center offers day passes so you can arrive very early and stay until dusk, or sign up for accommodation that is simple, comfortable and in keeping with the tradition of retreat living.
Shamballah Yoga Retreat (Portugal)
Shamballah yoga retreats
If you’ve always wanted to combine meditation with surfing, you must visit the Shamballah Yoga Retreat in Sintra, Portugal. The surf, yoga, and meditation retreat includes surf classes, yoga classes, guided meditations, and delicious healthy meals. Her meditation sessions are aimed at anyone looking for balance, peace, clarity and happiness. Accommodation is included and is just a short walk from the exquisite coastline in Sintra National Park. Guided hikes, forest therapy, sound journeys, and Pilates are also available. The closest airport to Shamballah is in Lisbon, about 40 km away.
Tushita Meditation Center (India)
Lama Zopa blesses dogs in the Tushita meditation center.
Tushita meditation center
India is of course a natural fit for meditation and the Tushita Meditation Center is perfect for the study and practice of Buddhism. The philosophies come from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. If you want to learn the Buddha’s teachings and put them into practice, the courses here aim to get you on that path. The center also offers group retreats and drop-in sessions. The Tushita Meditation Center is located on a mountainside surrounded by forest and the Dhauladhar Mountains near the town of McLeod Ganj. Her meditations are based on the tradition of the Tibetan Lama Tsong Khapa.
Vipassana Hawai’i (Hawaii)
The Buddha teachings in Vipassana Hawai’i come from the Pali canon of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The goal is total happiness and peace through mindful presence in relation to your life. The retreat is located on 30 acres in the beautiful North Kohala district, which is on the northern tip of the island. They offer various programs according to Theravadic Buddhist teachings, including Sunday meditation sessions in North Kohala, to which all are welcome. Just bring a pillow.