Hidden gems revealed: The best meditation retreats in the world according to experts

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Most of us don’t notice how much stress we’re holding onto, but even a quiet moment of meditation can help us feel more grounded and relaxed.

However, if the stress of modern life makes you feel burned out, you might need something a little more impactful.

We’ve rounded up the best meditation retreats around the world, according to experts, to help you find a peaceful place to find your zen and melt away stress.

Thailand: Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage

Continuously ranked as one of the leading meditation retreats in the world, Wat Suan Mokkh is a Theravada Buddhist Temple founded by Ajahn Buddhadasa in 1932. The center now runs monthly retreats catering to both professionals and beginners alike.

Each session focuses on helping you live a more compassionate life, fostering emotional well-being. The retreat lasts ten days, and you’ll be silent for the duration, which can be much more challenging than it sounds.

Don’t forget to check the regulations – there are rules around wake-up times, meals, and other requirements to help you get the most out of your trip.

“The retreat at Wayt Suan Mokkh is truly life-changing, but they do have a full library of books, audios, poems, and guides to help you learn the teachings of the temple from anywhere in the world.” – Justin Gasparovic from The Enemy of Average

Maui, Hawaii: Ala Kukui

Best meditation retreats - Hawaii

“Ala Kukui” means “the pathway of illumination”, and it’s the perfect meditation retreat for healing your inner spirit and ensuring harmony. Set on the beautiful land of Hana, the center is world-renowned for its Vipassana meditation program.

“You can’t pick a more tranquil, beautiful place for a meditation retreat than Hawaii. Surrounded by nature, you can sink into the peaceful sounds of the ocean, trees, and birds singing as you meditate.” – Michelle Justice from Nature Sound Retreat

For yoga lovers, this retreat is perfect. There are a range of yoga sessions on offer for beginners and experienced yogis, as well as a range of meditative activities like writing, gardening, and wellness programs.

Portugal: Shamballah Yoga Retreat

Best meditation retreats - Portugal

Imagine sitting in a stunning villa just off Sintra’s National Park coastline, eating a delicious breakfast ready for your forest therapy walk.

If it sounds incredible, it’s because this place truly is. The Shamballah Yoga Retreat in Sintra, Portugal, has everything you need to enhance your emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being.

“You get everything at the Shamballah retreat, from yoga classes and surf lessons to guided nature walks, sound journeys, and guided meditations. If you need to work on building a positive mindset to deal with the stress of everyday life, this is a fantastic place to be.” – Michael Laauwe from Positive Thinking Mind

The center has a few different retreat packages available, each giving you different tools to grow and find inner peace. But it really doesn’t matter which one you choose – they all offer incredible benefits in a stunning setting.

Scotland: Holy Isle

Best meditation retreats - Scotland

It’s easy to picture the sun, sea, and crashing waves when you think about a meditation retreat, but Scotland has a reputation for outstanding retreats and course programs stretching back to the sixth century.

The winter retreat is a three-week program that focuses on self-reflection, meditation, and group work. The retreat is run by Karma Zangpo, an experienced leader who spent over six years in Nepal studying under Drupon Rinpoche.

“Scotland is a lesser-known hub of spiritual practice but a wonderful place to relax and recharge. If you’re a Sagittarius, you’ll especially love the alone time you get to practice and explore in the peace and quiet of the beautiful Scottish countryside.” – Liz Roby from Astrologify

The courses at Holy Isle incorporate walks, meditation, Tai chi, and yoga, encompassing its slogan: The Center for World Peace and Health. The winter retreats are popular, but the center runs a range of courses throughout the year.

Italy: Simple Peace

Best meditation retreats - Italy

Assisi is the sacred home and pilgrimage site of Saint Francis and his sister in devotion, Saint Clare. The beautiful medieval hillside town evokes inner peace with views of rolling hills and olive groves that stretch for miles.

The unique retreats at Simple Peace aim to give you practical tools to achieve inner peace. Led by renowned meditation teachers, you’ll take part in daily meditation, mindful walks to holy sites, sacred silence, and other meditative practices.

“Italy has the perfect combination of stunning scenery, world-class meditation leaders, and delicious healthy food to help you find balance.” – Adnaan Ayoub from Max Health Living

Although this retreat does have a religious element with dedicated walks to holy sites, the leaders warmly welcome people of all religions and beliefs, fostering a strong community feel.

Try Meditation From Home

Spending weeks in a world-class meditation retreat is a life-changing experience. Whether you’re on a forest walk in Portugal or taking a yoga class in Hawaii, the stress just melts away, and you feel a strong connection to yourself and the world.

But you don’t need to travel across the world to get the benefits of meditation. Start with a simple, five-minute meditation practice at home and see if you notice the stress begin to ease.

This article originally appeared on TheRoamWild and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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