Everybody from Oprah to Russell Brand is doing it. Why shouldn’t you do it? Of course, I am talking here about meditation. The amazing benefits of mindfulness meditation cannot be ignored. However, if you are looking to go a step further, you should know that visiting a meditation retreat is one of the best things you can do in order to improve your life and take your meditation sessions to the next level.
If you are here looking for the best of the best meditation retreats all across the world, you have landed on the right page. Additionally, you will get to read about the amazing benefits of going to a silent meditation retreat.
Nevertheless, you need to know that Hollywood starts and famous supermodels from all around the world choose to go to meditation retreats to experience unique feelings and transform their lives. For instance, the world-renowned Victoria’s Secret fashion model Gisele Bundchen has been going to a yoga meditation retreat for years.
In the United States, this trend is sweeping all across the country, as more and more people are turning to silent retreats in order to experience a whole new level of healing and rejuvenation. Of course, there are plenty of resources online that teach you everything you need to know about transcendental meditation, yoga or mindfulness meditation. However, enjoying a full meditation weekend retreat is something that comes with a whole new array of benefits for your whole being – mind, body and soul.
I have experienced the amazing benefits offered by meditation and yoga retreats from USA, Thailand, India, Ireland and UK. After talking briefly about the benefits of visiting a meditation retreat, I will list some of the best meditation retreats in the UK and from the other countries I’ve visited.
First off, let’s see why you should start attending a silent meditation retreat.
Benefits of Retreat Meditation
- Focus Like Never Before
The first reason to go on a meditation retreat and spend a couple of days up to one week in there is to enjoy a focus like you’ve never experienced before. All meditation retreats are located in secluded areas, which mean you are safe from all the noise from the outside.
As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that you cannot even answer your phone or check your email. My phone and my laptop which I brought with me at a Vipassana meditation retreat were seized by the guards.
Eventually, as I managed to take my laptop back after I gave them a few personal reasons, I’ve realized that I had no internet connection, and that my Internet stick was not working. However, after the weekend was over, I thanked them for this experience, because it helped me to relax much more than ever before and forget about all the stress and anxiety I have to face when living in the society.
The more you forget about the daily tasks and worries, the higher your focus will get, and you will be able to clearly see the problems that need a solution. Moreover, your will easily find the right solution, because you will gain a different perspective on each situation. You are now above and beyond the ordinary and you can see everything different, like never before.
- All of your needs are well taken care of
Another benefit of spending some time in one of your favorite yoga and meditation retreats is that you get to eat amazingly healthy food and all of your basic needs are satisfied. Some retreats even include high-end spas and Jacuzzis, which make the experience much more fulfilling altogether.
- Enjoy Peace and Quietness like Never Before
Spending time in a retreat in NSW enabled to me to experience a feeling of peace and joy that I’ve never experienced my whole life. There are many meditation retreats in NSW you can go to, and I’m going to direct you to a certain one. However, here you will find some of the best retreats in the whole Australia.
While being here, I stayed in an isolated area that featured rich forests, a few rivers and a beautiful mountain view. I have also chosen to sleep in a tent so that I could take in the view and to study the amazingly beautiful Blue Mountain. Here is a similar image to what I was seeing.
Just imagine the privilege I had getting to enjoy this astounding view on a daily basis. It just made all my days brighter and helped me to really be thankful for what God created. This is one of the most intense experiences I’ve had my entire life, an experience I’m not going to forget anytime soon. Of course, I left this retreat feeling rejuvenated and invigorated like never before.
- The Main Focus is on Practice Rather than on Theory
This is yet another great benefit of spending time in a meditation retreat. Even though there are daily sessions where you will get to dive deeper into mindfulness meditation, yoga, Buddhist meditation or Vipassana meditation, you get to practice up to 10 hours a day. Of course, this practice is more like a relaxation. If the weather is fine, you can even get to enjoy the beauty of the nature and get closer to the Creator.
In my own experience, the closer I got the God, the better I felt on the inside and the stronger I got out of this experience. I literally felt invincible every single time I went into one of these mindfulness meditation retreats.
- Instructors are there to Help
You will always find instructors in a Buddhist meditation retreat or in any other type of retreat. If you think you won’t know what to do or you are afraid that you will be all alone in your endeavor to meditate properly, you are mistaken. All the instructors in meditation retreats across the globe have undergone strict training and are ready to help you overcome all of your fears. They are always there for you, providing constant support.
- You can Leave if you Wish
People who think that someone might kidnap them or might try to influence them at some point should realize that they are free to leave anytime. A meditation retreat works similarly to a boot camp. If you have other important matters to attend to or you are simply bored of the sessions, which is quite improbable, you may leave.
I have left two meditation retreats quicker than I’ve planned because I just realized I need to change some things in my life. Of course, these realizations came after I’ve spent a few amazing days at the retreat and I’ve managed to clear my head of any persistent worries.
No one is going to take your wife or your first born if you decide to leave quicker. In the end, you have paid for the whole weekend or for the whole week, so they are actually happy that they got an extra free spot.
- Religion Change is not Mandatory
Many people of different religions, including Christians or Jews, have the impression that only Buddhists or Eastern Religions are allowed in a meditation retreat. Nothing can be further from the truth. If you are going to a Buddhist retreat, it does not mean that you are changing your religion.
Everyone is accepted at these venues, regardless of religion, sex or social status. One of the ground rules is that you are free to reject any religious teachings you receive and you can focus solely on finding your inner peace and experiencing freedom from all external thoughts and problems.
Top Meditation Retreats in Thailand
Thailand hosts some of the world’s best meditation retreats. Here are two of them:
- Wat Suan Mokkh, Chaiya: this retreat is open all-year long. At the beginning of each month, you can enroll in a 10-day retreat where you get to experience freedom at the Garden of Liberation. However, note that the regulations are rough – you need to wake up at 4 am each morning, and you get to sleep on a wooden pillow and straw mat.
- Dhamma Canda Pabhã – Chantanburi province: located in the Eastern Thailand, Dhamma Canda Pabhã, also known as “The Glowing Moon of Dhamma”, is considered to be the 9th largest retreat in South East Asia and a truly famous Thailand meditation retreat. This location is renowned for its tropical fruit plantations, mountain breeze and serenity.
Meditation Retreats in India
India is one the first countries that started this trend with meditation retreats. Due to their strong Buddhist culture, there are literally tens of hundreds of retreats spread all across the country. Because of this large number, I will let you search for yourself for the best place to go and experience real freedom.
However, you need to keep two things in mind when looking for a meditation retreat in India: access to means of transportation and comfort. For instance, the Ananda in the Himalayas, Uttaranchal is a world-class India meditation retreat and probably one of the most beautiful in the whole world. Here are a couple of photos of the location:
When it comes to yoga and meditation retreats in the UK, I strongly want to mention the Madhyamaka Kadampa Centre in Yorkshire. I’ve visited this retreat a couple of years ago and I can’t but be amazed of how extraordinary this place feels and looks.
Meditation Retreats in Ireland
Ireland has its own shares of retreats for meditation. For instance, Lake Isle is specially designed to help you relax and transform your life radically. You are the one to make your own schedule here, and you can select from several classes and activities available through the day. You can even select your own menu and enjoy a 30-minutes massage performed by an experienced masseur.
Out of the many yoga meditation retreats in this beautiful Island, I also want to highlight the Passaddhi Meditation Centre, a beautiful location in the Beara peninsula where you can become one with the nature and you can learn all the insights and benefits of vipassana meditation.
Meditation Retreats in the USA
Lastly, if you are from North America or you are passing by, you can be happy. There are thousands of beautiful resorts spread all across the country that can meet your needs and even exceed your expectations. Hop in a plane and fly towards one of these oases of peace, adventure, relaxation and awe-inspiring panoramas.
You don’t necessarily have to go to India or other country in South East Asia to discover the true spirit of mindfulness meditation. Now you can capitalize on the best meditation retreats in the world on American soil. Here are 4 must-see places in the next few years.
- Travaasa: this place is simply gorgeous. It’s like the Creator himself came down on Earth and revealed a part of his majesty and beauty. Located in the heart of Texas, this location exists for people who want to learn how to “disconnect to reconnect.” This luxury resort will captivate you for eternity.
- Shambhala Mountain Center: hidden deep into the Rocky Mountains, the Shambhala Mountain Center enables you to find your true worship style and discover the true meaning of yoga and mindfulness meditation. In addition to the meditation sessions, only here you will get to have a unique hiking and running experience.
- Canyon Ranch: you can find this beautiful resort hidden deep in the Massachusetts State. This elegant building fit for royalty offers you a personalized adventure and will enable you to enjoy the luxury and elegance of New England.
- Esalen Institute: located in California, the Esalen Institute is the best place to go if you are on a budget and you want to reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation while interacting with people at a personal basis. This meditation retreat is probably one of the friendliest in the whole world, a place where you love to meet new people and meditate on the beauty of life.