Top 3 Places for Meditation Worldwide
Updated: Jan 11
If you’re an avid believer in meditation, you know that it can lead to incredible strides in the mind and spirit. Like many ancient philosophers and holy documents decree, meditation can lead to transcendence. While meditation in your everyday life is good and important, there is something incredibly special about meditating in sacred locations. Are you curious about the best places to meditate? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here we will discuss the top 3 places for meditation worldwide.
Find Places for Meditation with a Deep History and Culture
Before we begin, it’s important to note that there are hundreds of spiritual locations and meditation retreats around the world. While the list below reflects what we believe to be the top 3, don’t let that keep you from exploring other locations.
When looking for ideal destinations for meditation, you don’t have to dig too deeply. You’re looking for places that have a deep, rich history; a connection to the spiritual past and culture. You’ll find meditation retreats along the beach in Florida, for example. However, it’s just not the same experience as meditating in the Himalayas in India. Or even on sacred Native American grounds in California. Find places that are within your means to travel to but also provide a deep spiritual connection and fulfillment.
Top 3 Destinations for Meditation Worldwide
(in no particular order)
1. The Buddhist Retreat Centre in South Africa
The Buddhist Retreat Centre is located among gorgeous valleys, hills, and forests in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. After flying into Durban, South Africa, it is only a short 90-minute drive to this remote location. Perched right along the valley of the Umkomaas river system, the views of the indigenous land spill out like waves along the horizon. For over two decades now, people of all religions and walks of life have come here to experience inner peace and tranquility. It offers a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend time getting in touch with yourself.
The retreat sits on over 300-acres of land and features numerous paths to follow to find your own experiences and revelations. You can walk past ancient cycads to the tracks of early Voortrekker wagons. There is even a path that leads to a rocky outcrop overlooking a gorgeous valley below. It provides the perfect spot for deep, transcending meditation.
Why Choose This Location?
Situated among vast, indigenous land, this retreat center has a rich history. With such biodiversity in the area and over 160 species of protected birds, this site was declared a Natural Heritage Site by former President Nelson Mandela.
If nature is not your thing, don’t worry! There are still plenty of other things to explore. Integrated into the stunning landscape are buildings for lodging, dining, reading, and more. You’ll find a library, lecture hall, art studio, meditation hall, Zen garden, and much more. Whatever type of inner peace and tranquility you seek, you’re liking to find it here.
Learn more here: The Buddhist Retreat Centre.
2. Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California
The Spirit Rock Meditation Center is located on the picturesque lands of Woodacre, California. It was once used by Native Americans for spiritual ceremonies and passages. A flight into San Francisco and then a scenic drive about an hour north will get you to this stunning retreat set among the serene oak woodlands.
The freedom and enjoyment of life can often get lost in modern times. The Spirit Rock Meditation Center has created a space where time stands still. The spacious land and supportive environment lend themselves to letting go of the burdens weighing on you. The staff and teachers at Spirit Rock play an important part as well. They help you along your journey and offer the teachings of the Buddha and the practices of Insight Meditation and loving-kindness meditation. These programs can bring you insight, mindfulness, and compassion for ourselves and others. Many who leave Spirit Rock report feeling increased contentment with life and the self as well as peace of mind.
Why Choose This Location?
Besides the secluded and serene location, The Spirit Rock Meditation Center offers flexible schedules. For example, you can sign up for a two-hour class, full-day events, or even residential retreats lasting anywhere from three days to two months. They also offer advanced practitioner courses that span a year or more. These courses allow you to explore the teachings of the Buddha through practice, study, inquiry, and interactive exercises.
If you’re not interested in the teaching of the Buddha, there is still plenty to learn. Spirit Rock offers many programs on meditation including sitting, walking, and eating meditation.
Learn more here: The Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
3. Ananda in the Himalayas in India
Ananda in the Himalayas is located in Uttaranchal, India; known by many as the ultimate meditation retreat. This gorgeous 100-acre estate is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. The location is the former home of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, part of the Garhwal Kingdom established in 823 AD. The former Maharaja’s palace now houses an elegant tea lounge.
At Ananda in the Himalayas, you are treated to stunning views of the Ganges River and can explore the nearby temple villages of Rishikesh and Haridwar. You’ll also find an impressive spa and many meditation areas set amongst beautiful gardens. While the surrounding Sal forests bring a sense of peace and striking views, you’ll find more here than just picturesque surroundings.
Why Choose This Location?
Ananda in the Himalayas offers one-on-one sessions for meditation and yoga that are personalized for each person’s needs. You can choose whether your sessions are indoors or outdoors. You can also decide if you want to incorporate the teachings of the Buddha or learn yogic breathing techniques.
Once you’re done for the day with your meditation or yoga, you can be treated at the spa with ancient cleansing and rebalancing techniques. Offered at the spa is the ancient practice of Ayurvedic Panchakarma. It is said to be the most natural and complete cleanse. Reported as the ideal method for detoxifying and rejuvenating the body and mind, Ayurvedic Panchakarma promotes healing from within.
Learn more here: Ananda in the Himalayas.