If unplugging from social media and hopping a plane to a far off spot to clear your head for a while sounds appealing, read on. We’ve scoured the globe to find these five spiritual retreat spots that will make sure you leave refreshed and ready to approach your life with renewed perspective and vigor.

Moulin de Chaves (Cubjac, France)

A Dharmic retreat in the Pyrenees? Where do I sign up?! Indeed, you can awaken your inner knowledge and access a state of peace amidst the stunning natural backdrop of southern France. The teachings at Moulin de Chaves are grounded in the Buddhist tradition of Insight Meditation, (also called Mindfulness Meditation, or Vipassana). Organic vegetarian meals are provided to promote health and a synthesis of mind and body.

Bodhi Zendo (Tamil Nadu, India)

"Tamil Nadu" by Thangaraj Kumaravel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Located in South India’s Perumal Hills, Bodhi Zendo is a Zen training center that welcomes visitors from all corners of the globe. Retreat participants spend days or weeks in silence, meditating in the relaxing Zen garden and enjoying views of breathtaking mountains and valleys. For scholarly types, there is a library full of literature on Zen, Buddhism, Christianity and other religions. Indian vegetarian meals will sustain you on your spiritual journey. The retreat center only has room for 38 guests at a time, so it’s best to reserve in advance.

Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Vipassana Retreat Centre (New South Wales, Australia)

VRIFounded in 2006 by an Australian monk, Pannyavaro, the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery and Vipassana Retreat Centre is the perfect place to learn more about the teachings of Buddha in a serene setting. Located close to the northern rivers of New South Wales, the center sits on ninety-five acres of land. Visitors have the chance to explore the natural surroundings while accessing inner peace.

Muktawan Meditation Retreat (Phuket, Thailand)

meditation in ThailandA world-famous retreat center, Muktawan Sanctuary is located on an island in southern Thailand (Phuket). With both forest and beach in view, visitors have the best of both worlds when it comes to natural beauty. The food prepared on site is non-vegetarian (although accommodations can be made for vegetarian guests), and is made from the highest quality local meats and vegetables. As is customary in the monastic lifestyle, participants do not eat dinner during meditation retreats. However, light refreshments are served throughout the evening to help sustain participants in their meditation.

Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes, Colorado)

"Shambhala Mountain Center" by Ed Ogle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tucked away in the scenic Colorado Rockies, Shambhala Mountain Center is a six-hundred-acre retreat surrounded by lush forests, peaceful meadows and mountain peaks. The center’s year-round offerings include retreats and seminars on indigenous wisdom traditions, body awareness practices, contemplative arts, mindful living or other paths of personal transformation. Participants can stay in rustic cabins, lodge rooms, or platform tents (weather permitting), according to their comfort level. Shambhala Mountain Center is also the home of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, a beautiful example of sacred architecture (stupas promote harmony, health, prosperity, peace and freedom).

Have you experienced a transformative spiritual getaway at one of these locations or somewhere else? Tell us about it in the comments section!







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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.