As a meditation teacher, a lot of people ask me what the best meditation retreat in the world is.

In 2020, wellness vacations are a hot topic. And mindful resorts are one of the most popular types of wellness retreats.

You can find them in America, in Canada, in Europe, and of course, in the places we traditionally associate with the practice, such as in India. To be honest, there are destinations pretty much all over the world in 2020 because the mindfulness industry has exploded and now even your regular old-fashioned hotels have various mindfulness and wellness packages that you can take.

Below, you can find the best meditation retreats in 2020. But first I’d like to explain how you can go about choosing the best meditation retreats for you. Because these vacations are a lot more personal than your typical package-vacay.

When we take a holiday usually we are happy just to visit a country, relax, have some fun, eat some nice food… You know, the typical holiday.

When we book a meditation retreat, we are booking some time away specifically to relax, to purify the spirit, and to reconnect.   We all go for different reasons: to relax, to learn, for enlightenment, or for fun. It’s important that you determine what it is you want to get out of the experience, otherwise you will end up making the wrong choice and going to a devout religious destination when you actually just wanted to kick back and chill out.

Picking your vacay is a matter of personal preference and it’s imperative that you match your intent to your preferenes. For instance, if you want to go to connect with your spiritual self, what type of places do you find spiritually inspiring? Or if you want to just go a chill, where do you personally find relaxing?

Picking your best meditation retreat is a matter of personal choice. Here are some important considerations you should make before deciding on your destination.

*You might also like to consider booking a beginners yoga retreat.

Answer these questions to find your best meditation retreat

1: What kind of meditation retreat?

Are you going to be doing serious techniques or easy ones? Are you a beginner or an advanced practitioner?

There are two types of people who book meditation retreats. Some people go solely for some relaxation. If this is you, you probably don’t mind what specific types of exercises you will be doing on the retreat just so long as you relax.

Then there are more serious practitioners. If this is you, you will want to know what specific type of practices the retreat caters for.

For instance, there are Vipassana retreats such as the 10 days silent Vipassana retreats in Rikashesh India or the 5 Day Transcendental Meditation Retreat run by Gaia Retreat Center in Bali.

There are 31 major types of meditation, and they all have various benefits. You will find good retreats for most major types of practice. So be sure to choose the type of techniques you want to do before you book.

2: Where to take it 

What is the best spiritual vacation destination for you personally? [I personally recommend a spiritual trip to India]

Obviously, when it comes to booking a vacation, one of the main decisions is: Where? You can’t find the best meditation retreat in the world until you decide where in the world you want to visit. It’s important to consider the types of locales that you personally find relaxing, inspiring, uplifting, or however you want to feel while you are away.

The best meditation retreat for you is the one that’s in the type of location you find peaceful.

Do you find beaches relaxing? If so, you might like to go to California, where the beaches are stunning. Or do you find forests relaxing? In which case you might want to book one in Thailand, which would be absolutely sensational for some Forest Bathing!

Consider the types of places you find most peaceful.

3: Are you spiritual or religious?

One huge question you need to ask is: How does the meditation retreat reflect your own spiritual beliefs?

The practice itself is traditionally a religious practice, even though today it is more accepted as simple wellness exercise. If you are religious, you will want to make sure your meditation retreat is the same religion as you. If you are an atheist, you might like to book a retreat that practices non-religious exercises.

Many retreats cater specifically to Buddhist techniques,  such as Anapanasati and Vipassana. So, make sure that your resort is not in conflict with your own beliefs.

Beyond this, there is the question of what vibe you personally like. Do you want a more serious experience or a chilled out, fun one? These are all critical decisions to make.

4: Advanced or beginners meditation retreat?

You can’t choose your best meditation retreat until you determine the level of tuition you want to receive.

Make sure you book one that is suitable for your level of experience. If you have only been meditating for a few months, it would be unwise and unhealthy to book a ten-day Vipassana retreat. A serious resort like that is more suitable for someone with years of experience meditating.

For most people, it’s a good idea to pick a more fun and straightforward one the first time around, something that invites you to explore the practice and to discover new things. That way, even if you’re an absolute beginner, you will have fun and you will learn a great deal about the practice.

Then there are meditation retreats for teacher training. [READ: Free Meditation Teacher Training Course]

5: Intention

To find the best meditation retreat you really need to ask yourself what your intention is. For instance, are you going on a vacation for some serious contemplation time or just to have fun and relax? You will find mindfulness destinations that cater to both those things. Either way, make sure your retreat is designed for the type of vacation you want to take.

6: Other considerations

There are numerous other essential considerations to make. For instance, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you will want to make sure that your mindfulness destination caters to your dietary needs.

Also, do you prefer places that cater to both genders or just men or women? There are lots of women-only meditation retreats available if that is what you prefer.

Group sizes vary too. Are you happy meditating in a large group or do you prefer smaller groups?

Also, consider the other activities you would like to try. For instance, do you want to do yoga, swimming, biking and other activities? If so you may be better off booking a wellness retreat instead of a dedicated meditation retreat.

Answer these questions will help you find the best meditation retreat for you.

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Written by Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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