Practicing mindfulness and meditation at home as part of your overall wellness routine is critical for staying present and productive.
But sometimes, you need a little guidance or an intensive “reset” to make the most of your meditation time. Attending a retreat away from the distractions of daily life can deepen your understanding of meditation practices and help you more deeply connect with your goals. If the prospect of a dedicated time and space for mindfulness and reflection is intriguing, read on for the best places to go in the U.S. for a memorable and meaningful retreat experience.
Located about three hours from San Francisco near Big Sur, Esalen is a retreat and workshop space that allows guests to commune with nature while deepening their understanding of several key areas of study, including psychology and self-awareness, massage, yoga, nature, and sustainability. Various accommodation levels to suit different budgets and needs are available for three- or five-day stays ranging from about $500 to $8,000. Three meals a day and open access to most workshops during your stay are included.
Zen Mountain Monastery
If you’re looking for a retreat focused on a central practice or teaching (rather than the variety offered at some locations), head to Zen Mountain Monastery outside New York City to embrace the path of Western Zen Buddhism. With many retreat and lodging options available, you can find something to fit your schedule and budget. Interested newcomers to the field can attend a weekend intensive, while seasoned practitioners can stay for months, deepening their knowledge. Financial assistance is available to share this space with a diverse community.
Nestled in the countryside in Maine is Rolling Meadows, a small retreat center that focuses on silent retreat experiences for groups of 10 people. Each five-day retreat combines yoga, breathwork, guided meditation, and free time to spend communing with your inner self and nature. The cost varies but is about $1,300 per session and includes meals sourced from the on-grounds organic farm.
Insight Meditation Society
Less than two hours from Boston is a retreat center and forest refuge that offers guests a chance to foster awareness and compassion. Insight Meditation Society has silent retreat sessions that cater to diverse groups seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their role in the world through Buddhist meditations. More experienced meditators can apply for Forest Retreats and complete a more extended stay. Scholarships and sliding fee scales ensure everyone has an opportunity for personal growth at IMS.
Art of Living Retreat Center
The Blue Mountains of North Carolina host this Ayurvedic retreat center that offers workshops in yoga, happiness, silent reflection, and even pottery! The Art of Living Retreat Center pairs mental wellness with physical wellness by incorporating Ayurvedic practices throughout the sessions. Participants learn to eat, exercise, and function based on the needs of their bodies. All-inclusive wellness retreats with higher-end services are also available for weekend getaways.
Sedona, Arizona is the perfect backdrop for a transformative retreat experience that combines luxurious accommodations with nature’s beauty and rejuvenating powers. Retreats at this oasis range from a weekend to week-long events and typically cost about $1,200. Chef-prepared meals, high desert air, relaxing pools, and mind and body wellness sessions will help participants re-center and move forward with purpose.
Drala Mountain Center
Two hours north of Denver in the beautiful Colorado mountains is Drala Mountain Center. This retreat and education sanctuary caters to beginners, families, and those who love outdoor activities and offers various programs throughout the year. Accommodations include meals and start as low as $90 per day. Take advantage of their courses on a wide range of topics, including creative endeavors and yoga.
Attending a meditation retreat can be truly transformative, so head out and enjoy the tranquility that these spaces offer!