Whether the pursuit of wellness, both physical and mental is just a fad that will soon go away yet remains to be seen. However, an increasing number of people is jumping on the bandwagon, and while their reasons may vary, it’s safe to assume that they have at least a few things in common. One of them is the preservation of health; in a world in which the numbers of both physical and mental illnesses, particularly depression, when speaking of the latter are on the rise, people are finally becoming significantly aware of the importance of restoring or keeping each aspect of themselves – physical and emotional. A noted increase in the number of people who have taken up different kinds of exercise is also highly encouraging, as well as the fact that the awareness on healthy nutrition and superfoods is on the rise as well.
Now, in that pursuit of wellness, many have turned to yoga and meditation, as the two go hand in hand, and ever since the benefits of meditation on overall health have been given the science stamp of approval, people have been installing apps, meditating in groups or alone, using different forms of meditation and now the meditation retreat trend is booming. So, if you’re a yogi who’s hooked on meditation as well, you most certainly want to know about these places.
Learn from the best
In case the name Thich Nhat Hanh doesn’t sound familiar, let us give you a short crash-course. He is a world-famous Vietnamese monk and peace activist, who has recently become significantly more popular thanks to his teachings on the art of mindful living. Now he, along with about 200 nuns welcome people of all ages to a monastery in southern France where meditation sessions take place daily, but without a strict schedule. The indoors are fairly modest, as it is a convent, but there is majestic nature on the premises. However, luxury is not the point here, luxury isn’t the point of meditation for that matter. This retreat represents the meditation heaven of those who wish to be on the right path, not only in their practices but in life as well, because who better to teach you both meditation, but also mindful living and peace, than the man who Martin Luther King Jr. nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
All spirituality, no lap of luxury
In order to truly get in touch with your emotions and become the best, most serene version of yourself, you have to disconnect from the rest of the world, especially the digital one. This is at least how things are done in one of the most rugged, modest and solely meditation-oriented retreat Wat Suan Mokkh, Chaiya, Thailand. You will spend ten days without your phone, the distractor which you will hand over at registration. You will sleep on straw mattresses and wooden pillows, following the philosophy of the founder of the retreat “live plainly, aim high’. You will wake up at 4 am. Here you will be taught how to truly retreat and withdraw into yourself, and you will devote all your time to meditation and contemplation. Aside from learning how to meditate, meditate, you will also gain insight into some other aspects of the Buddha’s teaching, including the Four Noble Truths, including the Noble Eightfold Path.
Peace in an unexpected place
You wouldn’t think that peace and quiet could be found in the city as busy, crowded and hectic as Hong Kong, but there most certainly is. One of the best things about this retreat is that it is completely flexible – you are welcome to meditate, learn and practice Buddha’s teachings, but not following a strict schedule. The Kadampa Meditation Centre, Hong Kong offers a full range of drop-in meditation classes as well as weekend courses and full meditation retreats. In today’s digital age, everything is just a few clicks of a button away, and this trend of booking everything related to wellness, yoga and even beauty online came from Asia in the first place. Now, when it comes to booking yoga and spa treatment in Hong Kong, the MindBeauty app is already a cult favorite as it’s easy to use and gives the user everything they need.
Meditation and more
If you want to combine your love of meditation with your love of yoga, and even perhaps beach runs and other training sessions, Zest Life, which has venues in both Wales and Lake District is probably your cup of tea. Here, you will wake up to restorative yoga and meditation sessions, but it doesn’t stop there. You can also practice Pilates, and take guided countryside walks. The food is amazing and healthy and hearty, and the retreat even offers additional treatments such as reiki and reflexology. Those who are truly outdoorsy and adventurous will absolutely adore these retreats as aside from the aforementioned activities, there are also wild swimming, standup paddle boarding and foraging. The resort itself is, albeit secluded, more luxurious than all the previously mentioned, so if you want to combine a certain amount of luxury and spirituality, this place will be right up your alley.
Meditation and God
For those who are on a both cultural and spiritual quest, but also those who are religious, especially for those who are Catholic, (although you don’t have to be) the lovely Italian town of Assisi is not just a wonderful but a deeply meaningful town, as this is St Francis, once lived, prayed and meditated in silence. As said, you can be religious, but there is more than religious spirituality to this place. Namely, the Assisi Retreat Home & Hermitage is surrounded by twenty-five acres of farmland, thus bringing nature bringing nature to the spotlights. The resort itself is so gorgeous and historic that it will give you peace of mind on its own as you rest in the centuries-old farmhouse with only four guest rooms, which makes this retreat perfect for those who crave seclusion and privacy. However, not all is luxurious as you will be preparing your own meals – a humbling moment and finally, the entire program offers six days five-night meditation retreats and you can choose to stay anywhere from one to three weeks.