Could you spend an entire week without your smartphone, laptop, tv, or music? What about an entire week without uttering one word? Silent retreats are rising in popularity not just because they are serene escapes, but also because they offer the chance to delve deep inside yourself and tackle those inner demons to reach a state of peace and clarity. If you think you’re up for the challenge, these are some of the world’s best silent meditation retreats.
Bali Silent Retreat
Penatahan, Bali, Indonesia
Many silent retreats involve strict schedules and rules and focus on Buddhist practices of mantras and meditation, however, Bali Silent Retreat aims to be a little more easygoing and less focused on any one religion in particular. You can visit the retreat for the day only or book into one of the bungalows or dorm rooms for as many nights as you want and take part in optional activities including morning and afternoon yoga and meditation sessions, chakra cleansing sessions, labyrinth walking meditation, rice field and jungle walks and trips to the nearby hot springs. They only ask that you refrain from speaking during your time there and try to be mindful of each moment.
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Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre
Medlow Bath, Australia
Located in the picturesque Blue Mountains region just two hours by train from Sydney, the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre is a non-profit organisation founded for the study and practice of vipassana (insight) meditation in the tradition of Burmese monk MahÄÂsi SayÄÂdaw. They offer silent retreats ranging from two days up to 40 days for both beginner and experienced meditators, and each retreat includes guided instruction in sitting and walking meditation, one-on-one interviews with teachers (including visiting monks and nuns), two or three vegetarian meals daily, and accommodation in single rooms with shared bathrooms.
25 Rutland Road, Medlow Bath, NSW 2780
Tel: +02 4788 1024
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Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Get back to nature and yourself at PachaMama, a spiritual village located in a lush valley on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This alternative lifestyle haven offers a variety of yoga, cleansing, and meditation programmes including silent retreats a few times a year. During the silent retreat you will use Zen techniques as well as active and passive meditation to strip away preconceived notions and false beliefs in order to reconnect with your true self. The retreats are typically 7 to 10 days and include accommodation in casitas, cottages, bungalows, villas or tents, three healthy vegetarian meals a day, daily yoga sessions, and various guided meditations and koan talks.
Apartado #110, Boca de Nosara 5233,
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Tushita Meditation Centre
At Tushita Meditation Centre you can shut out distractions and quiet the mind with their silent retreats that include instruction in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, daily meditation sessions, three vegetarian meals a day, and accommodation in single rooms or dorms. The retreats run for a minimum of 10 days and although they are highly structured and involve quite a bit of discipline, there are teachers on hand at all times to talk to if difficulties arise. Students are also welcome to ask questions during the Buddhist lectures, and there are one-hour discussion sessions available in each of the first six days.
McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala,
Himachal Pradesh 176219
Tel: +91 8988 160988
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Wat Suan Mokkh
You couldn’t find a more authentic setting to do a silent meditation retreat than inside an actual Buddhist temple. Wat Suan Mokkh offers 10-day silent retreats in a quiet and secluded environment where you can contemplate and study the basics of meditation, mindfulness with breathing and the Buddha’s teaching. The courses start on the first day of every month, and you must register in person to ensure a spot. In order to get the most out of the retreat the monks ask that you remain completely silent throughout the ten days, follow the complete daily schedule that begins at 4am and ends at 9:30pm, and participate in daily chores.
68/1 à¹€à¸à¹€à¸Šà¸µà¸¢, Lamet, Chaiya District, Surat Thani 84110
Tel: +66 77 431 552
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