6 Unique Meditation Retreats You Need to Try

By Krista

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Last Updated: January 12, 2023

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” — Dalai Lama

It’s no secret: The modern world isn’t getting any less stressful. In fact, most of us could probably use a serious break from it.

Whether you’re an avid meditator or just starting to explore meditation as a stress-relief tactic, a meditation retreat offers you the perfect opportunity to step back from your daily life, re-examine it, and create space.

Through all of this, you can come back at life with a newfound perspective and a renewed sense of vigor. 

But what meditation retreats should you consider? Here are our top 6 meditation retreats where you can clear your mind and reset.

 

 

6 Meditation Retreats You Should Check Out

1. Esalen Institute

Cost: $530- $8000 (depending on what type of accommodation you select)

Location: Big Sur, California

Length: 2-7 days 

Google Rating: 3.8/5

The California scenery offers the perfect setting and backdrop for you to relax and unwind. The Esalen Institute was established in 1962. Located on 120 acres perched upon a seaside cliff with mountain and ocean views (and access to hot mineral springs!), Esalen doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to providing the ideal environment for relaxation and clearing one’s mind. 

This institute is also not restricted to just meditation. They also offer mindfulness workshops, forest bathing, yoga, and other classes, helping you dive deeper into your inner consciousness. 

Inevitably, the longer retreats offer a more in-depth approach to meditation. Reviewers have even called this spot one of the “most magical places worldwide.” However, most reviewers seem to agree that it can be a hit or miss, depending on the crowd during your weekend or week of stay. 

 

2. Spirit Rock Meditation Centre 

Cost: $780- $4000

Location: Woodacre, California

Length: 3-7 days 

Google Rating: 4.7/5

Famous for Buddha teachings, mindfulness practices, and meditation programs, Spirit Rock offers online and in-person options, meaning it’s entirely up to you if you want to do your meditation retreat in the comfort of your own home or not. 

Situated on a 411-acre property, their meditation retreats are appropriate for beginners and advanced meditators. Spirit Rock also offers mindfulness in relation to managing and avoiding burnout. 

For those on a tight budget, Spirit Rock further offers financial aid options, including volunteer opportunities and scholarships. 

The cool part about this place is also that they intend to make meditation a part of everyday activities, like eating or sitting. You’ll learn how to incorporate meditation on every level, ensuring you walk away from your retreat (whether that’s a day retreat or a multi-day retreat) with useful and practical tools you can apply in your daily life.

Related Article: How To Do a Sleep Meditation to Fall Asleep Easier, Faster & Better

 

3. Rolling Meadows

Cost: $1000-$1700

Location: Brooks, Maine (and abroad)

Length: 3-5 days 

Google Rating: 5/5 (with only one review for the Maine location)

Rolling Meadows opened its doors over 22 years ago. Interestingly, Maine isn’t the only spot this retreat takes place in. You can also choose to do your meditation retreat in India, Guatemala, Italy, or Mexico, depending on the dates and availability. 

There are also meditation retreats, silent retreats, and breathwork retreats available at these locations.

With the meditation retreats, there is often a morning and evening meditation session, with activities, such as swimming, yoga, and breathwork (which may vary based on location), during the day.

Similar to other spots, there are also many trails to walk and enjoy while you take in the experience.

 

4. The Buddhist Retreat Centre

Cost: $300-$1000

Location: South Africa

Length: 1-10 days 

Google Rating: 4.8/5 

For those in the UK or Europe, South Africa might offer a closer location, plus the incredible views this country has to offer never fall short.

The Buddhist Retreat Centre overlooks valleys, rolling hills, and forests in the heart of South Africa. In fact, this centre has even been featured on CNN as one of the top 10 meditation centers in the world.

With 300 acres, it’s hard not to feel connected to nature and Mother Earth during this escape. The centre has further been open for over 40 years, offering both structured and self-retreats. There are also options for day visits. Yet, accommodations are also available, including cottages and lodges.

The best way to really see if this is the place for you is to get in touch with the organizers and explore their website, determining the retreats and dates that may interest you.

 

5. Drala Mountain Center

Cost: $300-$2500

Location: Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Length: 2-7 days 

Google Rating: 4.8/5 

New to meditation? Drala Mountain Center might be the place for you. This retreat facility offers introductory meditation courses, allowing you time to ease into your practice. 

Tucked away in the Colorado Rockies, activities outside of meditation practices include outdoor walking/hiking, yoga, and other creative outlets.

With over 50 years of experience, there are so many retreats to choose from. If a week sounds daunting, there are also weekend experiences to help shape your meditative journey.

 

6. Alaska Stillpoint Lodge

Cost: $7260+ per person

Location: Halibut Cove, Alaska

Length: 3-5 days 

Google Rating: 4.6/5 

Meditation retreats are offered here from May to September. And if you’re looking for wilderness and a picturesque backdrop, Alaska Stillpoint Lodge definitely meets those criteria. In many ways, you can combine your meditation retreat with the adventure of the great outdoors. 

You can also choose to forego technology during your visit by requesting no access to phone, TV, and Wifi in your cabin. This can help you truly immerse yourself in a once-in-a-lifetime experience and put all your effort into your mindfulness practices. The choice is entirely yours!

Related Article: How You Can Master Meditation: The Calming Art of Mindfulness

 

 

Which One Should You Choose?

This all depends on what you want to get from your meditation retreat, as well as your budget.

Inevitably, some of the retreats on the above list cost a bit more than others. Yet, all of them are undeniably going to offer a meditative journey that you won’t soon forget. 

Read Next: Think a Meditation Retreat Can’t Help You? 5 Benefits You May Not Know About

Photo by MART PRODUCTION

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