A meditation retreat is an exercise that can help you gain a new, more positive outlook on your life. It’s something worthy doing after months of a stressed out routine where you barely get time to yourself. There are many exotic places worldwide where you can retreat to quieten your mind, explore the inner you and open up your heart. If you are looking for something closer to home or far away, here are some of the most meditation retreats worldwide where you can get your much needed relaxation.
The Buddhist Retreat Centre, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Perched on a ridge and surrounded by lush forests, hills and valleys, the Buddhist Retreat Centre allows you to disconnect from the daily bustle of life and seek calm in a serene environment. The center has been providing a peaceful retreat venue to people in search of tranquility for over two decades. This site is just half an hour’s drive from Durban, which makes it easily accessible, yet remote enough. If you’re an environmental conscious person, you’ll also love the fact that this place is a National Heritage site, recognized for its approach of using native plants, and putting in efforts to save the Blue Swallow. The center spans 300 acres, giving ample space for walking exercises and bird watching
Ananda in the Himalayas, Uttaranchal, India
The spectacular Himalayas mountain views are just one part of the diversified experience offered at Ananda. Surrounded by nature in a 100-acre estate, there are numerous yoga and meditation pavilions found in the garden. You can even choose to have individual meditations sessions, tailored to meet your specific needs. Sessions can happen either outdoors or indoors, and vary in length. Within the estate are temple villages of Rishikesh and Haridwar. Ananda’s lavishness is enhanced by a tea longue, antique billiards room and a large foot spa.
Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
50 miles northwest of the Fort Collins area, Colorado, find the Shambala Mountain Center. This retreat center covers a 600-acre area, and offers guests a variety of packages and programs. There are even nature-bases programs that incorporate an interdisciplinary focus on astronomy. Others include ‘The Path of Simply Being’ and ‘Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.’ Guests can stay for as little as a weekend, or for as long as a week or month as they explore their inner selves, focusing on body awareness, mindful living or personal transformation. You can decide on camping during your stay to experience the lush nature around, or go for more modern lodge suites.
Simple Peace, Assisi, Italy
This center found in the ancient city of Assisi offers meditation retreats aimed at assisting those who participate connect to the peace, beauty and love that comes from inner stillness. Simple Peace is perched on rolling hills that overlook acres of olive groves. The center does not have religious restrictions, participants from all faiths are welcome. The retreats are week-long, led by Bruce and Ruth Davis, a married couple. Accommodation is available in a renovated Assisi monastery, where modest bedrooms are available.