Calm Your Mind at These Meditation-Friendly Destinations3 min read
Sometimes it’s fun to take the kind of vacation that you’ll need a vacation from—think a whirlwind tour of Europe, traveling from city to city to see the sights. But if a spiritual journey is more your speed, you might want to try a meditation retreat.
People have been practicing meditation for thousands of years, seeking inner peace and a higher consciousness through a variety of techniques including focused concentration and reciting mantras. These practices can lead to a sense of calm and peace, even in stressful situations.
Some types of meditation have also been known to heal by lowering blood pressure, improving sleep and reducing anxiety.
And for your emotional well-being, meditation can help you gain a new perspective on personal situations, become more self-aware, reduce negative emotions and truly live in the present.
Sound like what you’re looking for? If so, try these international meditation destinations to calm your mind and body.
Tushita Meditation Centre, Himachal Pradesh, India
Tushita Meditation Centre is a center for the practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahyana tradition. It’s situated just north of McLeod Ganj, Dharmasala, the seat in exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Tushita offers courses for everyone, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey or what religion they practice. Beginners can take courses in Buddhism, focus on meditation retreats or even drop-in meditation classes. Students can take part in mindfulness/shamatha meditation, as well as visualization and mantra meditation throughout the day.
Anand Ashram @Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Anand Ashram @ Ubud is a great place to find inner peace. Located in beautiful Bali, Anand Ashram is an “inn for spiritual travelers.” Visitors can take part in morning and afternoon chanting sessions in the Chapel dedicated to Mother Goddess, as well as evening meditation and other events that cleanse the soul. The healing pool and the gardens are also must-see amenities at the ashram.
Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage, Chaiya, Thailand
If you’re looking for a challenge, travel to Thailand and embark on a 10-day silent mindfulness meditation retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage in Chaiya. This silent retreat begins on the first day of the month and ends the 11th day of the month. It’s a great way to truly focus on mindfulness. Throughout your 10-day stay you’ll practice sitting meditation, yoga, walking or standing meditation, chanting and loving kindness meditation.
Dhamma Pataka Vipassana Centre, Western Cape, South Africa
Dhamma Pataka in the Western Cape offers 10-day introductory courses in Vipassan Mediation, the ancient Indian practice of “seeing things as they really are.” During this retreat, students learn how to meditate and remove “inner agitation” through step-by-step teaching, where each day builds on the previous. Vipassana practice includes noble silence, where students refrain from speaking to each other. The South African location of Dhamma Pataka is set among mountains and streams, adding an especially peaceful air to the retreat.
Kadampa Meditation Center, Alhaurin El Grande, Spain
Kadampa Meditation Center (KMC) Spain features a number of individual, personal retreats throughout the year in a beautiful locale just outside of Malaga that boasts nearly 300 sunny days per year. Focus on your meditation with the guidance of an instructor as you relax, clear your mind and seek inner peace. During your stay at KMC Spain, you can walk the beautiful countryside, volunteer in the community and participate in other spiritual activities.