Yoga & Meditatiom
Retreats

Meditation Spiritual Retreats

Meditation Spiritual Retreats

With all the regular activities in our day – phone, texting, email, social media – we have a hard time to find a pause with a moment just to breathe and enjoy the present. Talking about meditation and finding time to do it are often two different things, so we don’t meditate as much as we should or would like to.

Regular meditation is recommended and even if we’ve just tried it a time or two we know that it’s good for us. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to just get away and go on a meditation retreat.

What is a Meditation Retreat?

A Meditation Retreat for many is a form of adventure travel, going to some distant place for a few days to sit with a bunch of loving meditation people in peaceful and quiet serenity.

Most retreats are in beautiful settings and are focused on heading inside, to explore the realm of our inner worlds. They offer guidance to those on an internal quest and whether it’s for one day, three, or a week or two, a retreat is a powerful commitment to yourself as well as to your practice and your life.

==> See the many Meditation Retreats available

What’s Included at a Meditation Retreat?

The main thing included at a Meditation Retreat is a lot of meditation. Some retreats are silent and others are not, and they usually have a variety of activities besides just sitting meditation.

Many include complementary pursuits like yoga and usually there are a series of nature walks with focus on mindfulness.

Finding time for a long retreat may be challenging, but the rewards can be great. For your first retreat you might want to start with a weekend, a week or even 10 days but keep in mind that it takes time for the mind to slow down, and so longer retreats can be helpful to go deeper into our practice and get past the chatter and the daily grind.

And remember, even if you’re a seasoned meditator who can sit for 30 or 40 minutes at a time, meditating all day, away from the comforts of home, in complete silence with a new group of people, for several days on end, can be a lot to handle. Remember also that retreat veterans often go back and swear how helpful the retreats are for them.

Some Good Things About a Meditation Retreat

Actually there are a number of reasons why you would consider a retreat:

It has a schedule: One of the best thinga about a Meditation Retreat is that it has a schedule, you don’t have to think about arranging the activities and events. It beats trying to make your own retreat at home and at a retreat We can give it our full attention without worrying about other things.

It’s a breath of fresh air: Also fun to consider is that people like to get away, a retreat is a new scene with none of the same old stuff so it really is a breath of fresh air.

Everything is included: At the retreat the staff does it all – the timing, the food (usually vegetarian), drinks, accomodations, and the teachers provide both lessons and guidance. Also we can talk to the teachers directly which allows participants to address all of their meditation questions and issues.

We find good company: Many people have practiced meditation solo for weeks, months or years and may find that going on retreats can make our aloneness feel less lonely with all the good company and fellow meditators. Many find new and lasting friendships too while giving a group feel to an otherwise solitary activity.

A retreat has a lot of time for you: Many people try to fit a time to meditate in their day but sometimes get too busy to actually do it. At a retreat meditation is your main focus in life, so imagine what rewards you might accrue from several days or more of meditation time with all accommodations and a loving group of fellow meditators. It really is a lot of time for you!

Retreats Vary Greatly in What is Offered

Each retreat is unique in its makeup and so when you look at a retreat you can choose something to match your particular needs. Besides the meditation there’s usually a focus on health, so it might also offer yoga and fresh vegetarian or organic foods.

Also there are different types of meditation, so you must check out the schedule and curriculum to see what each retreat has to offer. Retreats cover many meditation types and methods like Zen, Buddhist, pranayama, vipassana and some Chinese methods that really give you a lot of choices.

For many people a meditation retreat is part of the annual calendar, and they always look forward to that time away with peace and reflection as the main focus, even though it’s only for a few days.

It’s incredibly liberating having this time to tune into our own mind and body for even a short time, so we can improve our consciousness and basic functioning and get our life up to its full capacity.

Viewing The Retreat Schedule

For most retreats the day begins between 5 and 7 a.m. and runs through a full day of activities, usually until around 9 p.m.

This includes periods of sitting meditation that last 30 to 45 minutes, which is often followed by walking meditations of the same duration.

The Walking gives you a chance to unfold your body, stretch, and limber your muscles, which can be a welcome relief since it’s ridiculously hard to sit in one position all day.

As the retreat goes on, sometimes people find that a lot of sitting gets to wear on them but it’s good also to remember why you are there. The time meditating is usually muchly welcome and appreciated and so people find a way to do it – by floor sitting, taking to a chair, walking or even laying down if you need to.

The Meals at a Retreat

Most retreats practice silence and that carries over also to the mealtime. During the meal you’re supposed to be paying close attention to the eating, mindfully watching the whole process and being with your group as a whole. It can be a rich experience and many find it a new way to eat – eating with focus on being present.

After the Retreat

There are inspiring moments during any meditation retreat but returning to the outside world can be a bit overwhelming.

After the retreat all the feelings of pain, awkwardness, strangeness and wonder all well up and above it all is a feeling of peace and accomplishment. All the days of effort and looking give way to feelings of joy, stillness and insight with many finding a new perspective in their life.

You get an affirmation that meditation is good and that you are on the right path which often shows as an increased clarity.

As you start to make your way home the ways of the world come back to you and everyday things resume their place in your life – you turn on your phone and see so many calls, texts and emails which all remind you that you are returning to your “normal” life again.

You have to get in your car and drive through many colors, noise and sensations in a world that you have to flow with. The best advice for this is to remember your progress, your meditations.

Back at Home

In the retreat you would have noticed that you slowed down, quieted yourself and found a peace that you are now familiar with. When you are back at home, put that serenity to work.

Be mindful in your dealings with people, lean on the calm that you learned during your retreat.

Your spouses, children, pets and friends are all glad to see you and for sure curious about how you feel after your retreat. Be calm when you relate with them and remember to keep an eye on your breathing – the calm, steady, peaceful breath that you have with you from your retreat.

As you face the world remember this, have faith and count on it as a tool that lasts more than just the time at the retreat. Probably the best tools you learn at the retreat is to stay grounded and centered, that you are one part of the whole. And remember to meditate!

What is Giving Dana?

At the end of a retreat, it is traditional to offer dana (generosity) to the meditation teacher, usually in the form of funding. The amount of dana is completely up to the giver.

Giving (dana) is one of the essential preliminary steps of Buddhist practice. Like all good deeds, an act of giving will bring us happiness in the future, in accordance with the kammic law of cause and effect taught by the Buddha. Dana is part of the foundation and seed of spiritual development.

3 Meditation Retreats

5 Day Meditation, Personal Development and Yoga Retreat France

French houseYoga Thym offers a family-like welcome into their home with great food and hospitality. Enjoy a daily routine of guided meditation, gentle Zen yoga, life-changing workshops, and yoga Nidra all included in the price.

Choose the arrival day best suited for you and stay as many nights as required (minimum stay 4-nights). If you feel like it’s time for you to make a difference in your life, read on.

During this retreat, you will stay at Nikki’s home, a quaint 300-year-old farmhouse set in the peace and tranquility of the Breton countryside.

Surrounded by four acres of private farmland, Nikki has lived here for over twenty years with her parents, Sylvie and Laurie, and their two little family pet dogs.

Highlights:

  • Daily Zen yoga classes
  • Daily consolidation time
  • Daily inspiring life-changing workshops
  • 4 nights accommodation (single occupancy in double room)
  • Local airport or train station transfers
  • Three daily meals and beverages
  • Time for relaxation

Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate

Styles: General

Spoken languages: English
Length: 5 days / 4 nights
Price: from $678 USD
Website: BookMeditationRetreats

Read all about this Retreat at the Retreats website

8 Days Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat in Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh templeVedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine are happy to invite you in their special silent meditation retreat (Vipassana). In the main practice of Vipassana, you will be mentally scanning each body part of yours and as a result, get to feel many sensations in each of these body parts.

This retreat will help you to not only discover yourself and recognize your weak and strong sides, but also make you stable and balanced!

During this retreat, you will stay in a twin shared, private or double room at the Kriya Ashram or at the Vedansha Retreat Center. The rooms offer hot water, a clean toilet, warm conditions during cold seasons, and security in the area.

Rooms have a fan and are well-ventilated. Every room has private bathroom with toilet and shower. Vedansha will provide you with fresh towels, soap, toilet paper, bed sheets, pillow covers, and blankets.

Highlights:

  • Daily practical meditation
  • Concentration and awareness sessions
  • Study materials and certificate of attendance
  • Mala string of beads energized by a Yogacharya, Dr. S.K.Pandey-Ji
  • One excursion to the Himalaya
  • 3 vegetarian meals per day
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Detox beverages

Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced

Styles: Vipassana, Buddhist, Mantra, Hindu

Length: 8 days/7 nights
Instruction in English
Spoken languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Russian, Sanskrit
Price: from $320 USD
Website: BookMeditationRetreats

Read all about this Retreat at the Retreats website

5 Days Getaway to Meditation and Yoga Retreat in California

Santa Barbara yoga sudioSanta Barbara Yoga Center is passionate about providing consistently excellent teaching, accessible classes, and a yoga home that welcomes all, body, mind, and spirit. Don’t worry if you are new to yoga – this retreat offers a large variety of yoga styles to suit different needs and ages.

Join some of Santa Barbara Yoga Center’s finest teachers in California to kick-start your yogic journey, or simply to relax and rejuvenate!

Established more than two decades ago, in 1992, Santa Barbara Yoga Center is one of California’s leading yoga centers, home to some of the finest instructors in the state. Located in a beautiful, historic building, their studios have an expansive atmosphere, with twenty-foot ceilings, huge skylights, and are filled with light.

The studio is available to one or two people because they have only one queen-sized bed and one apartment. A full kitchen is yours for your use.

Highlights:

  • Daily yoga classes
  • Qi Gong, Pilates, and Ayurveda practices
  • Meditation and seated meditation sessions
  • Access to unlimited yoga classes
  • A large variety of yoga styles
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Private yoga studio

Skill level: Beginner

Styles: General

5 days/4 nights
Instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
Price: from $835 USD
Website: BookMeditationRetreats

Read all about this Retreat at the Retreats website

These are just a few of the many Meditation Retreats available. Go have a look to see more!

You might also want to see our Yoga Retreats Review

We’d love to hear your questions or suggestions about Meditation Retreats in the comments down below. Also please follow us on Social Media.

Rishikesh photo credit: By McKay Savage

Santa Barbara photo credit: By R-E-AL (talk

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