Meditation retreat washington

Top Washington Meditation Retreats // Head + Heart

Your guide to upcoming Washington meditation retreats

Here we’re sharing a list of Washington’s most revered places to go on a meditation retreat. This list includes options for both self-guided and guided experiences, and all levels of meditation.

Send us a note if you’d recommend others for our list or feel free to add them here.

The Northwest Vipassana Center is arguably one of the world’s most established silent meditation retreat organizations, offering 10-day retreats in the Vipassana style. You can find a Vipassana Center in most states and provinces around the world. They welcome meditators with all levels of experience; however, you must apply to attend and be ready to commit to their daily schedule, which includes absolute silence and meditating several times per day, starting in the early hours. We love their commitment to providing an accessible experience: these retreats are typically by-donation.

Trout Lake Abbey is a Zen Buddhist Center, an organic farm, and a bed & breakfast, offering retreat-goers a peaceful and nourishing setting for quiet refuge, whether you opt to stay for a personal meditation retreat or to join one of the group retreats that visit the Abbey.  Open to all faiths, the Abbey encourages guests to do their own spiritual practice and to explore the nearby Mt. Adams recreation area. To book a self guided meditation retreat learn more here.

The Labyrinth at Trout Lake Abbey

Ananda Washington, located in Bothen Washington, “provides a refuge to help people achieve Self-realization, a state of consciousness that comes through shedding all outward self-definitions.” Based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, but open to people from all faiths and religions, you’ll find many meditation and spiritually-focused yoga workshops and community gatherings on offer at Ananda. They offer several silent retreats annually, like this upcoming silent retreat offered at Islandwood Retreat Center.

Located deep in the forests of Southwest Washington, between Seattle and Oregon, Cloud Mountain is a Buddhist retreat center open to spiritual seekers of any (or no) particular faith background. Cloud Mountain describes their retreats as “an extraordinary opportunity to disengage from the rhythms and habits of our daily lives and bring ourselves wholeheartedly to meditative practice”. By engaging in periods of sitting and walking meditation, daily meals and Dharma instruction, retreat-goers have an opportunity to deeply observe and explore their own inner landscapes. Their upcoming retreat schedule can be explored here.

Tushita Kadampa Meditation Center in Olympia, Washington, offers meditation classes and courses that are meant to be very accessible and easy to integrate into modern life. Tushita is a great place to discover community and join others in weekly meditation practice. They offer one-day retreats as well as the occasional weekend retreat which are referred to as courses on their website. Check their calendar to see what’s coming up.

Kadampa Meditation Center Washington in Seattle offers a range of meditation retreats with beloved teachers, on practical topics like transforming conflict, fostering more imagination in your life, discovering your pure potential, and finding peace during difficult times. Discover a range of retreat options including one-day retreats and weekend experiences.

Harmony Hill located in Union Washington, part way between Seattle and Oregon along the Pacific Coast, became known for offering a healing refuge for those facing cancer, but today this facility has expanded to offer many wellness and meditation retreats, like this upcoming retreat with one of our fav teachers, Mark Nepo. While meditation is definitely built into their retreats, the focus is on overall wellness and personal exploration. Retreat goers can choose from a pretty large variety of lodging options – from private rooms to tenting platforms – located near a beautiful network of hiking trails.

Holman Health Connections, run by husband and wife, Liz and Roy Holman, offers a variety of meditation retreats around the Washington area, like this upcoming Meditation Hiking Retreat. Meditation is a central element of their retreats but you can expect personal growth, movement, and community in each of these experiences. Roy Holman employs a mindfulness based meditation style with a focus on Pranayama breathing. You can expect compassionate, humourous, non dogmatic teachings. These retreats tend to popular with the 40+ crowd, though all ages and levels of experience are welcome.

Mindfulness Northwest offers many workshops, community gatherings, and great resources. This organization focuses on providing mindfulness-based stress reduction training throughout the pacific northwest, defining mindfulness as ‘the simple yet powerful ability of the mind to attend more fully to the present moment’s experience’. If you’re seeking to learn greater mindfulness and self compassion, be sure to explore their retreat schedule here.

Interested in retreating to other places?

  • This page lists all of the upcoming Meditation Retreats in North America.
  • Here’s a list of the top Meditation Retreats in BC.
  • California calling you? Discover the best Yoga Retreats in California.

Where to Go for a Meditation Retreat in Washington State – Soap Lake Natural Spa & Resort

With all the hustle and bustle of daily life, everyone needs some relaxation every once in a while. Meditation is one of the best ways to relax because it clears the mind and is known to relieve stress.

Whether you are a spiritual person or merely looking for a wellness getaway, there’s a Washington destination for everyone. If you want a meditation retreat in Washington state, be sure to check out our list of the best places to visit!

Plan a Trip to One of These Meditation Retreats in Washington State!

1. Soap Lake Resort

Soap Lake Resort is the number one wellness destination and meditation retreat in Washington State! This luxury resort is nestled right on the bank of the beautiful Soap Lake, which is known for its healing, rejuvenating properties. The lake has one of the highest mineral counts in the world—23 natural minerals all with healing benefits.

To elaborate, magnesium in the lake gives skin a healthy glow, can improve the immune system and improves sleep. Likewise, carbonate aids skin and nail infections and helps with conditions like psoriasis and eczema and improves indigestion. These, among 21 other minerals, all rejuvenate and relax.

There is no better place to meditate and relax than an epicenter of healing in the heart of Washington. Book your stay at Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort today!

2. Sacred Groves

Sacred Groves is an eco-retreat that focuses on connecting visitors with mother earth. Travel to a small wilderness park and appreciate the peaceful tranquility of natural wildlife and appreciate the sacredness of the earth. While Sacred Groves is not affiliated with any religion, the events are centered around earth-based spiritual traditions of Native America, Africa, and pre-Christian Europe.

3. Mindfulness Northwest

Mindfulness Northwest offers classes, workshops, and retreats that focus on well-researched stress-relief, self-compassion, and compassion cultivation. Their heartfelt, caring, and insightful instruction to communities and organizations. Check out their multi-day or single-day retreats to learn more about how you can create a stronger connection to the present and improve your mental and physical health!

4. Yoga Lodge

Yoga Lodge rests on ten beautiful acres on the island of Whidbey. The lodge is a natural sanctuary away from the stress of everyday life. There, you can take time to reflect, get a personal project done, focus on healing, connect with nature, meditate, and do yoga. Moreover, Yoga Lodge is founded on the principles of compassion, generosity, and humanitarian services. You will never feel more relaxed than you will at Yoga Lodge!

5. Northwest Vipassana Center

Northwest Vipassana Center teaches one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. Vipassana meditation is used to remedy for illnesses and the Art of Living for more than 2,500 years. To learn this type of meditation, you can take a 10-day course situated on 50 rural acres situated near the town of Onalaska.

Book Your Stay Today!

It’s time to relax! Book your stay at one of these meditation retreats in Washington state today.

Pilgrimage to the USA to the places from the book "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda: kriya_kazan — LiveJournal

The instruction will be useful for those who would like to independently visit places in America associated with Paramahansa Yogananda. I share my personal travel experience in 2019.

Short list of significant places:

- Encinitas - a city near Los Angeles, where Yogananda wrote the Autobiography of a Yogi and other books.

- Lake Shrine in Los Angeles - a beautiful lake, park, temple and retreat center. nine0003

- Mount Washington (Mother center) - SRF headquarters, after Encinitas, the main place where Yogananda lived.

- Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles - seat of Mahasamadi Yogananda.

- Hollywood Church (Hollywood Temple) in Los Angeles.

- Forest Lawn, Los Angeles - the crypt where the body of Paramahansa Yogananda rests.

- Hidden Valley Ashram - Monastery of Kriya Yogis. You can come to live for a week (month, year), to try the monastic life. nine0003

Now a little more about each place.


Navigator Address: 215 W K St, Encinitas

Encinitas Retreat

Followers of Yogananda come here from all over the world, for example, I met guys from Singapore, Switzerland and Poland. As far as I understand, there are restrictions on the length of stay, I stayed for 3 days (2 nights).

Encinitas is unique in that the retreat room where you sleep is located 30 meters from Hermitage, where Yogananda lived and wrote his works for 10 years! Feelings are incredible. nine0003

Not only yogis walk in the Meditation Gardens, by the way. Residents of neighboring cities come to relax, like in a park - it is very beautiful there and offers a magnificent view of the ocean. The SRF buildings (two temples, gift shop, and other buildings) are within one block. Scheme:

How to book your stay:

Write an email to [email protected] (Encinitas Retreat) and [email protected] (Lake Shrine Retreat)

The next day I received a response from Lake Shrine Retreat asking me to call 310-459-4740 Tuesday through Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time and discuss accommodation by voice.

When I called, they explained the rules of residence to me (I wrote about them below) and asked if I agreed. They also immediately switched to Encinitas Retreat (they have an internal PBX) so that I booked the dates of my stay there. After talking on the phone for several hours, I received a first Confirmation email from Lake Shrine Retreat with access codes for the gates and front doors, and a second Confirmation email from Encinitas Retreat with instructions on how to get there and accommodation information. nine0003

Rules for Retreat Residents:

Silence is required on site, breakfast, lunch and dinner are also served in silence. People come here for solitude, to take a break from the noise of the city and society. In silence, it is better to tune in with the Guru, deeper meditation, contact with God.

The retreat schedule is as follows:

7:15 - 8:15 Energizing exercises (led by a monk or nun) and meditation (in the chapel on the retreat grounds).

8:30 Breakfast

12:00 - 12:30 Meditation (on your own)

12:30 Lunch

17:00 -18:00 Energizing exercises and meditation (guided by a monk or nun):

19:30 - 20:30 Class (listening to audio, discussing a topic) with a monk or nun. Some days Kirtan.

Yogananda sometimes meditated on the ocean shore, the locals saw swami in orange clothes, that's why they called this beach Swami beach (Swami's beach). From the retreat to the beach 5-7 minutes on foot. nine0003

Cost of living:

The official name is not the cost, but Donation. The recommended amount of accommodation (a private room for one person) plus breakfast, lunch, dinner, joint meditations and classes is $ 100 per day.

Are everyone allowed?

Yes, everyone. Just on the phone you have to say that you are familiar with the teachings of Yogananda, read the Autobiography of a Yogi.

During a telephone conversation with the administrator of Encinitas, I was directly asked: "Are you from Ananda?" When I, a little embarrassed, answered in the affirmative, they told me: "We are glad to see you, Ananda and SRF are on the same path." nine0003

Lake Shrine

Another iconic place for Yogananda's students. In Los Angeles, in the Santa Monica area, Yogananda built a temple on the shore of a lake. The master supervised the construction, often spent the night in a small boat on the lake.

Lake Shrine, Los Angeles

The Lake Shrine Retreat rules and schedule are the same as Encinitas Retreat.

I also stayed here for 3 days (2 nights)

The ship house is open for meditation on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. nine0003 Houseboat

There were noticeably fewer guests at the Lake Shrine Retreat than at Encinitas. If you have time to live in only one retreat and you choose, I recommend Encinitas.

Mt Washington (Mother center)

The main center of the Self-Realization Fellowship, an organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1925.

Mother Center, of Self-Realization Fellowship

Inside the building, only accompanied by a monk, you can visit the third floor - see Yogananda's bedroom, his study and the hall where the Master received guests. By the time no more than 5-10 minutes, it is allowed to meditate in the chapel on the ground floor, or in the garden of the Temple of leaves:

The Temple of leaves at Mount Washington

The monk who led the tour said that Paramahansa Yogananda was in a state of nirvikalpa samadhi for the last three years from 1949 to 1952 - he walked, communicated, and at the same time was in constant contact with God. Until 1949, Yogananda retired for meditation.

There is no retreat center for guests. Many pilgrims, myself included, stop by Hilda, a devotee of Yogananda, whose big house is literally 5 minutes away. If you need contacts, please write a letter to [email protected]. nine0003

Biltmore Hotel

On March 7, 1952, a banquet was held in honor of the Ambassador of India at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where Paramhansa Yogananda gave a short speech. Having uttered the last words, he left the body and entered mahasamadhi.

Last smile

The hotel is located in the heart of Los Angeles. Address: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

Hollywood Church (Hollywood Temple)

Paramahansa Yogananda held Sunday services at the Hollywood Church for many years (alternating with the San Diego Temple). The description on the church website reads as follows: “The sacred vibrations of the Master are present in this place, and all visitors feel a special uplift and blessing. Paramahansaji said, "When you visit this place, don't speak evil, don't hear evil, drop all negativity and you will feel the sacred vibrations that are always there." nine0003

Paramahansa Yogananda's Forest Lawn Crypt

The resting place of Paramahansa Yogananda's body is in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California. The crypt is located in the Sanctuary of Golden Slumber in the Great Mausoleum. Directions to the mausoleum can be found at the information kiosk located at the main entrance to the park. The park's opening hours are daily from 8:00 to 17:00. Please note that the mausoleum closes at 16:00.

For directions, you can use Google Maps to type "Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale". nine0003

Mausoleum building:

The entrance to the Mausoleum is on the left side:

You need to ring the intercom and say "Paramahansa Yogananda", the guard will open the door for you.

Then you need to enter, turn right and walk 30 meters. This will be the second or third room on the right, as in the photo:

Find the plate inside:

There is a bench nearby where you can meditate.


Are you interested in Kriya yoga, do you live in Kazan? The group meets regularly on Sundays. For information, please write to [email protected]

11 Best Meditation Retreats in the USA in 2021

If you have been into meditation, you might be curious about attending a meditation retreat and find out what it is like, what is expected, and what are the benefits.

It is important to note that not all meditations are the same and retreats are not available. This means it's worth exploring the options and figuring out if a particular retreat is right for you.

We have reviewed some of the best retreats available in the United States so you can find the right one to deepen your practice. nine0003

Brief review of the best meditation retreats of 2021

  • is best for beginners: Retriete Center "Art of Life"
  • The best for serious practitioners: Introduction to the meditation of
  • Best ecaline option: Institute of Esalene
  • Best for Loving Kindness Meditation: Spirit Rock
  • Best for R&R: Kripalu Yoga and Health Center
  • The best combination of yoga and meditation: Mount Madonna Center
  • The best for public consciousness: Efforts of the Institute and Zen Center
  • Best Cadampa Meditation Center
  • Best Zen-Rertritis: Dzen Dzen
  • Best Online Retreat: Insight Meditation Society
  • Honorable Mention: Shambhala Mountain Center

What is a meditation retreat? nine0147

A meditation retreat is an opportunity to delve into your meditation practice or learn techniques to get started.

For those new to meditation, a meditation retreat is an opportunity to spend time immersing yourself in the practice, learning from others in the meditation community, and having the opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about meditation in general.

For those who are dedicated to the practice, a meditation retreat is a way to strengthen their practice, connect with the community, and go deeper into making practice a part of their lives. nine0003

Meditation retreats can last from 1 day to 2 weeks, a month or more. There are many options to choose from and it all depends on you, your time and what you would like to get out of your visit.

How we chose the best meditation retreats

We independently researched and selected the retreats mentioned below based on:

  • reputation of the organization
  • suitability for beginners and advanced meditators
  • retreat offers
  • Options for accommodation
  • Cost
  • Reviews

Manual for pricing

  • = less than 200 dollars of USA 9,000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ $ $ $ $ $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9000 $ 9,0005 $ 9,000 $) $501-$1,000
  • $$$$ = over $1,000

Our Pick of the Best Meditation Retreats in the USA

Most meditation retreats focus on learning one type of meditation. Below are some of the most popular types of meditation retreats and the best retreats available in the United States. nine0003

Best for Beginners

Art of Living Retreat Center

  • Location: Boone, NC
  • Best for: Beginners who want to understand the basics of meditation and how to incorporate it into their daily lives 9015
  • Retreat Duration: Friday-Sunday offered monthly
  • Cost: $$ $

The Art of Living Retreat Center offers several short-term retreats that are good for beginners and experienced practitioners who are more focused on caring for yourself and relaxation than on intensive meditation. nine0003

The Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Retreat is a great option to immerse yourself in meditation under the guidance of an experienced specialist. This retreat is designed for calming, boosting immunity, and reducing stress. Sahaj Samadhi means "effortless meditation" and retreat participants can expect to master it in just a few hours.

The retreat begins with an in-depth study of Sahaj Samadhi and provides participants with the opportunity to receive individual guidance and ask questions. nine0003

Other retreat options include a specially designed R&R retreat, a silent meditation retreat, and a popular happiness retreat to help people with depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The center also offers Ayurvedic wellness retreats, culinary retreats and Panchakarma, or classic Ayurvedic cleansing.

Members can choose between a private hotel room with a large bed, refrigerator and TV, or a private retreat room without these extras. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, a private bath and access to the center's gym, steam room and extensive grounds. nine0003

Vegetarian options and free tea, coffee and fruit, as well as daily yoga and meditation classes are included in the price of the retreat.

Best for Serious Practitioners

Introduction to Vipassana Meditation

  • Location: throughout the United States and worldwide
  • Best for: serious, dedicated, interested in step outside your comfort zone and see reality for what it is. nine0152
  • Retreat duration: 10 days, retreats are usually booked 2-3 months in advance.
  • Cost: free

Vipassana means "seeing things as they really are." This is a traditional meditation technique that involves observing your thoughts and emotions as they arise, without judging them, dwelling on them, or pushing them away.

These meditation retreats offer full immersion in Vipassana meditation practice for 10 days free of charge for participants. The room, meals, and tuition are included thanks to donations from former and current practitioners. nine0003

Participants learn the fundamentals of the method and practice taught by S. N. Goenka, who is considered by some to be responsible for the spread of mindfulness to the West.

This 10-day retreat is a rigorous introduction to meditation and is done in complete silence. The day starts at 4 am and ends at 9 pm. There are several practice sessions throughout the day, which is about 10 hours of meditation per day.

Before signing up, read the FAQs and Code of Discipline pages to make sure this rather intense retreat is right for you. nine0003

Best Eclectic

Esalen Institute

  • Location: Big Sur, CA
  • Best for: beginners and experienced meditators and yogis interested in a wide range of topics of personal growth, mindfulness and transformation 9015 Retreat Duration: One Day Workshops or Weekly Retreats Available
  • Cost: $$–$$$$

The Esalen Institute is a beautiful 120-acre mountain and ocean view center on the California coast. It offers scenic views and rejuvenating hot springs. nine0003

According to the center's website, more than 750,000 visitors "come from all over the world for inspiration, intellectual freedom, and the opportunity to explore the deepest self as part of the seeker community."

The Esalen Institute played an important role in the Human Potential and counterculture movements of the 1960s, attracting such prominent figures as Alan Watts, Abraham Maslow, Ansel Adams, Timothy Leary, and B. F. Skinner.

Esalen remains an educational hub and focused community, offering workshops and retreats on a variety of topics including meditation, spirituality, psychology, permaculture, and environmental sustainability. nine0003

At the time of writing, Esalen's retreat program included workshops on grief, dance, music, tai chi, qigong, relationships, writing, and creativity.

Accommodation options range from sleeping bags to suites. Even if you opt for the sleeping bag option, a single retreat will likely cost a minimum of $400.

Best for loving-kindness meditation

Spirit Rock

  • Location: Woodacre, CA
  • Best for: people interested in metta or loving kindness, meditation, and other offerings
  • Retreat duration: 1 day to 2 months
  • Cost: $$–$$2

Spirit Rock Meditation Center offers many retreats based on the teachings of the Buddha, known as dharma.

Many retreats focus on the basic principle of metta, or loving kindness, meditation. This practice encourages present moment awareness and compassion for yourself and others, helping you fill your life with wisdom, kindness, and connection. nine0003

Spacious area of ​​411 acres of oak forests in the hills of West Marine County, away from the hustle and bustle of typical California life. Retreat offerings include workshops on loving kindness, awareness, mindfulness, forgiveness, vipassana, gratitude, and concentration.

Online retreats are run by a team of experienced teachers from the Spirit Rock teaching staff and include meditation instructions, Dharma talks, and regular practice meetings.

Best for R&R

Kripalu Yoga & Wellness Center

  • Location: Stockbridge, MA
  • Best for: for both beginners and experienced meditators and yogis, especially those who want to plan an excursion for rest and relaxation
  • Retreat duration: book by day and decide how long you want to stay
  • Price: $–$$$

Retreat and Renewal is a carefully curated retreat consisting of yoga, meditation and healing workshops to help you focus and dive deeper into self-care. nine0003

Led by a team of experienced practitioners and instructors, this is one of the most flexible retreats available. The center is open daily and you can sign up for a day pass or book for the night.

Retreat includes workshops such as yoga, dance, movement, cooking demonstrations, and guided hikes, as well as three vegetarian meals a day, and access to a private lakefront and 100 acres of hiking trails and walking paths.

Accommodation on site is available for a fee. Rooms are simple and minimalist, with a choice between shared and private bathrooms. nine0003

The Best Combination of Yoga and Meditation

Mount Madonna Center

  • Location: Watsonville, CA
  • Best for: practitioners interested in combining yoga and meditation9, especially those interested in the ashtanga yoga tradition25
  • Retreat Duration : 6 days
  • Cost: $$

Mount Madonna Center is a 335-acre community and retreat center inspired by the teachings of Baba Hari Dass, a silent monk who came to the United States from India in the 1971 years.

Surrounded by sequoias and meadows, the retreat center offers programs focused on yoga postures, breathing practice, yoga philosophy and Ayurveda.

The center houses a Hanuman temple for religious practice and contemplation, as well as yoga teacher training courses and online classes. Offers may be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best for Public Consciousness

Institute and Zen Center Efforts

  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
  • Best for: more experienced meditators who want to expand their practice
  • Retreat duration: 6 days
  • Cost: $–$$$ (scholarships available)

The Upaya Institute and Zen Center is a practice, service and learning center that focuses on the intersection of integrated meditation practice and social action.

Their mission is focused on social services in the areas of death and dying, prison work, environmental protection and women's rights. The center offers a daily schedule of Zen meditations and frequent dharma talks on topics related to Buddhist philosophy in action. nine0003

Their retreats include offerings such as socially active Buddhism, social and environmental justice, the cultivation of compassionate interactions, and suffering.

Many retreats and workshops are offered for donations. For those who are not, scholarships are available.

Best Mahayana Retreat

Kadampa Meditation Center

  • Location: Glen Spey, NY
  • Best for: more experienced meditators who wish to expand their practice
  • Retreat duration: 6 days
  • Cost: $–$$

Dedicated Buddhist monk Gen Samten Kelsang is a regular teacher of the Kadampa Meditation Center, practices in New York meditation and has been teaching it for many decades.

The center offers a range of retreats based on the Buddhist tradition of the Mahayana, or "great vehicle", which emphasizes the path to Buddhahood. nine0003

You will be guided by your practice and bring it to the deeper realizations possible through meditation. This includes reflection and exploration of your mind to unlock your inner potential.

The teachings focus on the nature of the mind, impermanence and the nature of emptiness.

The center itself is simple and doesn't offer many amenities, and the cost of the retreat is lower than most other options.

Best Zen Retreat

Zen Mountain Monastery

  • Location: Mount Temper, NY
  • Best for: Beginners interested in Zen Buddhism and related meditation techniques
  • $$ (financial assistance available)

Zen Mountain Monastery is a true monastic community of Zen practitioners. The Intro to Zen training weekend is a good option for those interested in the tradition of Zen Buddhism and the meditation technique known as zazen, or sitting meditation. nine0003

You will learn the techniques of zazen and learn how to set up a home practice to make zazen a part of your daily life. In addition, you will get acquainted with the basics of the Buddhist teachings about wisdom and compassion. Topics covered also include Buddhist art, the practice of the movement, and the incorporation of the teachings into daily life.

This is a unique opportunity to learn in the context of a dedicated Zen monastery, with the opportunity to ask questions and immerse yourself in the Zen way of life.

You will also have the opportunity to establish a teacher-student relationship through personal conversations with teachers.

Best Online Retreat

Insight Meditation Society

  • Location: Online or Barre, MA
  • Best for: Wide range of offerings means there's something for everyone, whether you're a beginner or a beginner experienced practitioner
  • Retreat duration: different offers available
  • Cost: $

The Insight Meditation Society (IM), one of the most popular centers in the United States today, offers a comprehensive online program including online retreats.

Their half-day, full-day and mini-retreats are good for both beginners and experienced meditators. IM offers in-depth talks and teachings to expand your practice and understanding of meditation in general, and many of these can be taken comfortably at home.


Shambhala Mountain Center

  • Location: Red Feather Lakes, CO
  • Best for: Wide range of offerings means there is something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner
  • Retreat duration: various offers available
  • Cost: $–$$$

The list of the best meditation retreats would be incomplete without mentioning the mountain center of Shambhala. In fact, he gets an honorable mention, in part because he's hard to fit into one category. nine0003

The center is located in a breathtaking 600-acre valley surrounded by forests, rolling meadows and rocky mountain peaks. It was founded by the famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1971 and is a wonderful example of sacred architecture - the Great Dharmakaya Stupa.

Retreats cover a wide range of topics, including teaching traditional meditation, indigenous wisdom traditions, body awareness practices, contemplative arts, mindful living, and personal transformation. nine0003

Accommodation ranges from rustic cabins, common areas and seasonal platform tents to elegant lodges with modern amenities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Meditation Retreats

How do you feel after a meditation retreat?

After attending a meditation retreat, you may experience a new sense of enthusiasm for your practice, as well as a general sense of connection and presence. It can be a refreshing and even transformative experience if you focus in space with other people who are doing the same. nine0003

The ability to connect with yourself and the world without being distracted by everyday life can be profound.

However, it is important to remember that meditation is about getting closer to life, not running away from it.

What are the benefits of meditation retreats?

A meditation retreat can offer all the positive benefits of daily meditation practice in a short amount of time. This can act as a springboard to encourage consistency as you return to your normal daily routine. nine0003

Many people report feeling more energized, sleeping better, and having a more positive outlook on their daily lives in the days and weeks following a focused meditation retreat.

Along with community development and networking with like-minded people, the retreat gives you the opportunity to leave behind the distractions of everyday life and take the time to be present and participate in life itself.

How do you know which retreat is best for you?

It's worth spending a little time researching and testing different meditation techniques to find one that works for you before diving deeper into a meditation retreat.

Learn more