6 Off-the-Grid Meditation Retreats to Reboot Your Life
There’s no denying meditation works wonders on our mental and physical state — some even claim meditating regularly can make your skin glow! But for the overworked, always-on, ambitious boss ladies of today, turning our minds off isn’t always easy. There are plenty of apps, classes, guides, and articles promising to make it happen, and those are good places to start. Another choice? Fully commit to your practice at one of these six meditation retreats, which benefit from their natural surroundings and professional-led workshops to encourage frazzled newbies and seasoned zen-masters alike.
The Southwest’s rust-colored land feels charged with a deep-rooted healing energy, and Mii Amo takes advantage in its adobe resort surrounded by majestic Boynton Canyon. The staff’s focus on healing and Native American traditions makes this more than just a luxurious spa. Choose from several Journey Packages, which blend activities such as sound therapy, healthy eating classes, clay wraps, outdoor adventure, and guided meditation sessions in a Crystal Grotto. (Photo via Mii Amo)
Established in 1971 by a Buddhist meditation master, Shambhala offers a range of year-round retreats on 600 acres in the Rocky Mountains. There are weekend intro sessions for novices and specialty programs for artists and athletes who like to blend mindfulness with other activities, such as writing or hiking. (Photo via Shambhala Mountain Center)
A key element to being able to disconnect from your daily life is to get as far away from it as you can. The Breitenbush co-op, set on 154 acres of wildlife sanctuary in the Willamette National Forest, welcomes meditation enthusiasts for personal retreats, day visits, and workshops. Spend your days not thinking as you walk through stone labyrinths and ancient forests, soaking in the hot pools, and strolling along the river before retreating to your geothermal-heated cabin. (Photo via Breitenbush Hot Springs)
The Blue Ridge Mountains serve as the backdrop for this spiritual complex that combines a retreat center with a wellness-minded boutique inn, and a spa that specializes in ayurvedic holistic treatments. Inspired by the teachings of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the center offers multi-day courses that cover topics such as happiness, resilience, balance, and the art of silence. (Photo via The Art of Living Retreat Center)
This monastery in the rolling hills of central Kentucky is no glam getaway for the privileged. You don’t have to be religious to visit, but be conscious that the entire place revolves around the Trappist monk ideals of service and prayer. Speaking is only allowed in certain areas to encourage you to find stillness from the outside in, and the accommodations, though comfortable, are simple. You set your own schedule, so be sure to make time for one of the seven daily services (starting at 3am), where you can hear the monks perform traditional songs and chants. (Photo via The Abbey of Gethsemanie)
Steve Jobs famously meditated and fasted to keep his edge, so why not try his retreat of choice? Green Gulch, located in a valley north of San Francisco, serves as a residential community for serious students of the traditional Zen Buddhist style. Guests can sign up for short-term living arrangements, which include a full lineup of workshops, lectures, ceremonies, and physical labor for $25 a day. (Photo via Green Gulch Farm Zen Center)