Great Ideas for a Meditation Retreat

Where there is peace and meditation,

There is neither anxiety nor doubt

– St. Francis De Sales

How many of us get the time to meditate every single day? Even if some of us do practice meditation, the time always seems to be limited. In fact, most of us are so stressed up due to our responsibilities towards a job and family that meditation is one of the last things that come to our mind! While in reality, practicing meditation can have long-term positive benefits for us. As mentioned in the quote, meditation enables one to remain free of tensions and anxiety even in stressful situations. It is not something that is meant for those who have taken a nirvana from life and gone to the forests to practice it! It can be practiced by all of us who lead apparently “normal” lives. But, practicing meditation efficiently requires ample time and a suitable place which is very difficult to find in day-to-day life. But, if one wishes, one can carve out ample time by visiting places across the world that are one of the best meditation retreats. This way, one will get the required exposure and a chance to roam around the world and also regain the mental peace that is so important nowadays to improve the quality of life.

 

Best places for meditation retreats

The Esalen Institute, California

Commonly known as Esalen, this place is located on a 120-acre land spread over the Big Sur coast in California near the Pacific Ocean. The institute focuses on working on the mind-body connection by forming alternative education and encounter groups.

It is easy to find a suitable cottage for one week to stay and work along with the groups that are formed by the authorities to work on awareness of one’s thoughts. The institute was set up in 1962 and has since worked for the likes of Joan Baez and Susan Sontag. Considering its reputation for working through newer methods with changing times, this place is a must visit for all those who are seeking peace and advice on tackling their uncertain life and mind.

The Holy Isle, Scotland

Nestled off the west coast of Scotland, The Holy Isle runs on Buddhist teachings. It welcomes guests and day visitors in the summer season between April and October. The key teaching/activities include:

  • Respect life and refrain from killing
  • Respect other people’s property and refrain from stealing
  • Speak the truth and refrain from lying
  • Encourage health and refrain from intoxicants (including alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs)
  • Respect others and refrain from sexual activity that causes harm

By following these simple rules, guests get an idea of how to lead a life sans any undesirable activity that will automatically give one the required peace of mind. As in everyday life, we experience the after-effects of a simple lie in the form of a restless mind and heart which affects our overall efficiency in daily work. This retreat will help one overcome such small weaknesses also.

Assisi Retreat Home & Hermitage, Assisi, Italy

Assisi is a hilltop town in Italy where you can rest, read and visit the sacred places. Kitchen space is provided to prepare your meals.

You can also go with the teachers on a pilgrimage walk.  Explore the hidden treasures, gardens, olive trees and back streets. Visiting new places will provide a break from the daily grind and revive the much-needed peace in personal life.

Kripalu, Massachusetts

Kripalu is primarily a yoga centre with other facilities of meditation and massage. As we all know, yoga also proves to be a healer for one’s mind. This centre provides a package of all the facilities, and one can practice meditation as well as participate in yoga sessions. One may also sign up for different meditation courses.

Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

This retreat is located on a 600-acre land in Shambala. It includes a botanical garden, a bird sanctuary, and a beautiful Buddhist shrine. There are meditation halls available which can be chosen by visitors for meditation instruction (optional). The centre also has a variety of other meditation programs, including a weekend-long “Learn to Meditate” retreat. It also introduces activities like mindfulness-based stress reduction. There are specialised retreats for artists, writers, and children. You can enrol for a weeklong meditation tutorial that is made up of a mix of daily meditation sessions, discussions, and guided teachings.

So, if you are planning to travel this time, choose a place to meditate and regain the mental energy that has been long lost due to tensions and anxiety. But wait! Do not forget to avail the best international travel insurance to ensure your safety from any emergency while you set foot out of your house. The purpose of this meditation journey is to get some solace, however, unforeseen events, like loss of baggage, trip delays, flight cancellation, etc.; can strike anytime to disrupt your peace of mind. So buy a comprehensive travel insurance that secures your journey and ensures peace and comfort. While, the above places will give you internal peace, a travel insurance policy will shield your journey and take away all your worries so that without any tension you can discover the magic of these meditation places.

Discover yourself from within as Khalil Gibran says

“I discovered the secret

Of the sea

In meditation

Upon a dewdrop”

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Related post:  5 Destinations to Conquer with Your College Gang

Images credit (under CCL) by order: feature, meditation sunset

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