Below is a list of the best 11 spiritual retreats around the world to practice meditation:
#1 Temenos Retreat Center in McGregor, South Africa
Situated in the picturesque village of McGregor, Temenos Retreat Center is a unique spiritual retreat that is quite unlike any place you will have visited before.
What once began as a small contemplative garden has now flourished into a renowned retreat, which is visited over and over again by overseas and local visitors.
The retreat was named after an ancient Greek temple of healing and it lives up to its name in so many different ways.
For instance, there are Wellness Weeks which include a range of meditation sessions, reflexology, deep tissue Kathara massage (for the neck, back, and shoulders), alternative therapies, walks in the gorgeous surroundings, Reiki, aromatherapy, yoga sessions for both residents and non-residents, Emotional Transformation therapies to help patients release negative emotions.
#2 Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
This retreat was founded by Tibetan master Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1971 at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.
Rinpoche arrived in 1971 with a number of students from Tail of the Tiger in Barnet, Vermont, now known as Karme Choling. Following the death of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1987, his followers began a 14-year process of building a stupa at the Shambhala Mountain Center.
Completed in August 2001, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya reaches 33 m and is open to visitors daily. With access to 15 miles of wooded trails and top spiritual teachers like Lama Tsultrim Allione, one of the first Western Buddhism teachers, guests can choose from more than 100 classes, including Shambhala’s signature 3-day program, Waking Up to the Wild: Mindful Hiking.
#3 Spirit Rock, Woodacre, California
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, also known as Spirit Rock, is a meditation retreat center in Woodacre, California. This center focuses on the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha as presented in the vipassana, or Insight Meditation tradition.
Spirit Rock was founded in 1987 and is visited by an estimated 40,000 people a year. The San Francisco Chronicle has called it one of “the Bay Area’s best- known centers for Buddhist meditation.”
In addition to vipassana meditation, Spirit Rock hosts teachers from Tibetan, Zen, and nondual traditions as guest teachers throughout the year. Visiting teachers have included the 14th Dalai Lama, Preah Maha Ghosananda, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Ba Khin, Kalu Rinpoche, Anagarika Munindra, Pema Chodron, Ram Dass, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Alice Walker, Huston Smith, Adyashanti, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Tara Brach, and others.
#4 Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health – Berkshires, Massachusetts
If you are looking for a place of refuge, for peace, for quiet reflection, for meditation – visit Kripalu. You will not be disappointed. Kripalu setting is gorgeous and evokes a desire to soak in every moment. Here, you decide how to spend your days so that you can create exactly the right experience for you. You can choose from a variety of outdoor activities, workshops, and yoga and movement classes.
#5 The Omega Institute – Rhinebeck, NY
The Omega Institute offers more than 350 workshops, meditation retreats, and conferences every year. Each workshop is designed to educate, inspire, and connect you to new people and ideas. This center has a seasonal staff of more than 250 and a core staff of 85. The institute’s stated mission is to “provide hope and healing for individuals and society through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit.”
#6 Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
This meditation center is also known as Soryu-ji (translated as Green Dragon Temple) and is an amazing Soto Zen practice center located near Muir Beach, California, that practices in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. Moreover, the center manages organic gardens and farms. Founded in 1972 by the San Francisco Zen Center and Zentatsu Richard Baker, the zen center is located on 115 acres in a valley 17 miles north of San Francisco and offers classes and workshops throughout the year. In the present day, this center continues to attract new generations, from veteran Buddhists to young individuals trying to find a way to live.
#7 Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat – Oregon
Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat, simply called Breitenbush (or even “The Bush”), is a worker-owned resort community featuring spiritual and holistic retreats. Throughout the year “The Bush” features over 150 conferences, celebrations, and workshops.
#8 The Buddhist Retreat Centre, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
This Buddhist retreat is open to all like-minded spiritual people in search of tranquility, peace, and enlightenment. It’s open to wannabe-Buddhists, practicing Buddhists, and anyone with a need to get away from it all and take the time and space to contemplate life. In addition, regular workshops are on offer for those who are seeking inner quietude and a feeling of expanded well-being.
#9 Kalyana Centre for Mindfulness, Dingle, Ireland
Kalyana Centre for Mindfulness is a residential Meditation Centre located in the town of Dingle, in the southwest of Ireland. The practice and teaching of Mindfulness Meditation are open to anyone interested in exploring themselves and the deeper meaning of life, to anyone who wants to transform suffering and develop peace of mind.
#10 The Abode of the Message, New York
The Abode of the Message is a Universal Sufi community founded in 1975 by Vilayat Inayat Khan. This retreat arranges individual, spiritual meditative retreats of 3 to 40 days, either in a private retreat hut or cabin, or a room in the Meditation Hall. Furthermore, a certified retreat guide meets at least once daily with the retreatant to suggest the day’s program of practices and to offer feedback on the retreatant’s experience.
#11 Freely Given Retreats, Devon, UK
Freely Given Retreats is a charity run by a small group of trustees who are all committed and experienced retreatants. This meditation retreat has been established to make insight meditation (vipassana) retreats available to everyone regardless of their financial situation.