Meditation is the simple act of guiding your mind back to the present moment. This technique can be especially useful while traveling when we don’t want to miss a single second of the experience. It is surprisingly easy to get distracted by planning your next trip, reliving memories or getting lost in abstract thoughts. When this happens, we risk losing the wonder of the moment. Meditation can keep us grounded. One great way to learn exactly how is by joining a meditation retreat.
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Why go on a meditation retreat?
A meditation retreat is a perfect way to stabilize any travel experience. These getaways give time to reflect and relax – an opportunity not often found in everyday life.
There are so many available – you have the flexibility to choose what suits you best. You can revolve your trip around a longer, more intense retreat. Or, while traveling, partake in a shorter, simpler one for a refreshing break from constant movement. You can also choose the level of intensity best for you. Some base themselves on eastern philosophies that stem from Buddhist or Hindu principles – perhaps better described as a spiritual retreat.
There are retreats involving yoga and Pilates, as well as meditation. They often provide a diet of detoxing and wholesome eating – more of a health kick than a spiritual experience. There are ones for experts and beginners, those in mountains or by lakes, in India or America. Indeed, meditation retreats are found all over the world.
This website, for example, offers a range of retreats and helps you choose one suitable for you.
Not sure where to start? A shorter meditation retreat might be best. Ease yourself into this world of inward reflection and deeper awareness – start small. The Mountain Meditation Retreat in the heart of Spain offers a range of opportunities. Planning a trip to Europe? You can easily incorporate this into your plans. Mix up the classic route, throw yourself into the culture and join their unique ‘Secret Gardens’ retreat.
Secret Garden Meditation Retreat
This particular meditation retreat offers a short, refreshing break from the daily routine. It provides the opportunity to focus on yourself – your goals and wishes. You can create a fresh start – establish new directions and develop creative ideas. More than this, it is a place to relax. Purely and simply unwind – meditate, refresh your worried mind and watch stress and anxiety dissipate.
The facilities available are there to guide you. Group practices of yoga and meditation are structured and led by experienced leaders, teaching techniques that you can take home with you. The important part is taking the time to be with yourself. The retreat encourages this by giving you enough time to appreciate the beauty of the experience, and the nature around you independently. This meditation retreat is in the warm climate and impressive natural scenery of Andalucía. Outside activities such as hiking and river swimming are available. Guests are free to explore outside; read in the hammock, sit on the terrace or wander in the garden.
The Secret Garden Retreat is a cheap, easier option for those who are first exploring meditation. It is also perfect for anyone looking for a break from any stresses of everyday life. It is an escape – a haven available to all. Read more and sign up by clicking the link below!
Don’t have time or money for a full meditation retreat? Keep reading for some simple meditations any traveler can practice – anywhere, anytime.
One of the best things about traveling? Food. The range of flavors offered by different cultures is endless. There are entire new tastes and recipes to be remembered, and you want to ensure the experience of eating is fully appreciated and memorable. There is a meditation commonly known as the chocolate meditation. Often taught as a fun activity at spiritual retreats, it inspires gratitude and gratification for a piece of chocolate. In time, it can aid a deeper appreciation for all food, supporting more mindful eating. So, grab some chocolate, find a quiet place to sit and relax to start the meditation:
Bring attention to your breath and feel grounded by the earth beneath you. Notice the sounds around you – be still and present. Move your awareness to the chocolate in your hand. Question its weight – light or heavy? Look closely, notice the texture, the way it feels – its color, softness, and shape.
Focus on the sense of smell. Slowly raise the chocolate and notice when its scent reaches your nose. Appreciate the aroma, it probably seems a more chocolatey scent than usual.
Now turn your mind to taste. Take a tiny bite of the chocolate and acknowledge your immediate reaction. How does it taste? Notice any flavors you have not recognized before. Then place the whole chocolate in your mouth. Hold it there and let it melt – document the sensations of taste as they dissolve.
Do everything slowly and allow your focus to widen. Let these experiences merge into a whole and complete way. When it is gone, slowly return to your breath and appreciate the combination of senses. Consider how you feel following this meditation. When ready, open your eyes.
This breath meditation is very basic meditation that simply gives you back control. Any meditation retreat will begin by teaching this basic technique. In stressful moments of traveling, this is very useful. For when things go wrong – when you feel frustrated, anxious or tense, this meditation gently guides you back to the present moment. It is a meditation for the worried mind. On the wrong train? Missed a flight? Lost? Scared? Focusing on the simplicity of the reality around you returns your sense of perspective. Now, you can deal with any potential problem calmly and mindfully. Here it is:
Wherever you are, try to be still and straight. Close your eyes or focus them on a single spot. Breathe naturally and do not change or control your breath, just move your attention to it. Notice the distinct sensation of breathing in and out, in and out. Let yourself fall into the rhythmic pattern.
You will realize how busy your mind is. That is ok, just try not to indulge your thoughts. View them as passing clouds in your head and resist the urge to reach out and grab them. Be sure to breathe through your abdomen rather than your chest. Feel your diaphragm expand as you breathe in and fill with air, then lower as you breathe out.
The aim is to hold one single and straightforward focus – the breath. Fully concentrate on it and ignore distractions around you. Do not force yourself or judge your wandering mind. Only recognize the disturbance – a sound, smell or sight – acknowledge it, and let it go.
When ready, open your eyes. Allow your calm and renewed perspective to provide control over the situation. You will find any stressful travel moment a lot easier to handle.
It can be an incredibly productive thing to say: right now, I am here, doing this. The essential thing that meditation reinforces is the here and now. And once you get into the habit, you will realize how impressive your immediate experience is. Right now, I am walking through Rome. Right now, I am on a train to Berlin. Right now, I am watching the sunset off the coast of Croatia. This constant return to reality greatly enhances any travel experience. Whether done through a retreat or practiced independently, be sure to embrace the beneficial habit of meditation.
If you are looking for meditation retreats, you should check this website. They offer hundreds of holidays in different categories.