As a meditation teacher, a lot of people ask me what the best meditation retreat in the world is.
In 2021, 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, Canada, Europe, and of course, in the places we traditionally associate with the practice, such as India. To be honest, there are destinations all over the world because the mindfulness industry has exploded and now even your regular old-fashioned hotels have various mindfulness and wellness packages.
Below, you can find the best meditation retreats in 2021. 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. But when we book a meditation retreat, we are booking some time away specifically to relax and reconnect.
Picking your vacay is a matter of personal preference and it’s imperative that you match your intent to your preferences. For instance, if you want to connect with your spiritual self, you might want to go to India. If you just want to chill in luxury you might want to go to California.
Picking your best meditation retreat is a matter of personal choice. With that in mind, 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?
There are two types of people who book meditation retreats. Some people go solely for relaxation. If this is you, you probably don’t mind what specific exercises you do 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.
Choose the type of meditation you want to do before you book a meditation retreat.
2: Location, location, location
What is the best spiritual vacation destination for you personally?
Obviously, when it comes to booking a vacation, one of the main factors is location. You can’t find the best meditation retreat in the world until you decide where in the world you want to visit.
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.
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 a simple wellness exercise. If you are religious, make sure your meditation retreat is the same religion as yours. 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 doesn’t conflict with your beliefs.
What vibe you personally like? Do you want a more serious experience or a chilled out, fun one? These are all critical decisions.
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.
For most people, it’s a good idea to pick a more fun and straightforward retreat the first time around, something that invites you to explore the practice and 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.
To find the best meditation retreat you really need to decide on your intention. 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.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison