Where to go to meditate

Over the past few years I have meditated in quite a few different places, sometimes travelling many weeks to get there. Below I have listed the places that my friends and I have found to have the most still, stunning and energetically held spaces.

I hope that you might have the good fortune of being able to visit some of these places yourselves.

1. Poulstone Court, Herefordshire, UK.

Poulstone Court provides one of the most energetically stable spaces of any Retreat Centre that I have ever known. It is set in the beautiful quiet of the Herefordshire countryside, astride a wide river and surrounded by wildlife and greenery. Life moves very slowly indeed at Poulstone Court. Peace is the only requirement.

This is a Retreat Venue that is used frequently by Burgs (a truly special meditation teacher) to hold four to ten day retreats in silence. It does, however, also offer many different kinds of retreats and is, I understand, open to bookings.

2. Beacon Bank Farm, Staffordshire, UK.

Beacon Bank Farm is another retreat centre that I visit frequently. It is very different to Poulstone Court: yurts are dotted around the grounds providing one of the standard types of accommodation. There are also rooms in the farmhouse itself. There is a beautiful Dhamma hall with a wonderful Buddha, and it has recently been home to a five-month laypersons retreat.

As well as Meditation retreats, Beacon also offer Chi Gun, Yoga and Detox retreats. They also allow for Yurt Holidays in one of the brilliant yurts, which are situated in both the nearby wood and the garden, depending on how adventurous you are feeling!

3. Til, The Limi Valley, Nepal.

The Limi Valley is, put simply, the most majestic place that I have ever been in my life. It is set deep in the heart of the Himalayas, and is one of the remotest places on earth. It also happens to be one of the last places on the planet where Tibetan Buddhist is practiced in its purest form, unchanged and untouched for over a thousand years.

The small stone village of Til is a time capsule to a time long lost to the rest of the world. It is a time when things moved at a much slower, much more peaceful rate. There is an ancient Buddhist Monastery in Til. It is one of the last of its kind and is still inhabited by Monks. Limi itself is home to Snow Leopards, Blue Sheep and some of the most inspiring scenery anywhere on earth.

It is a month’s walk from the nearest Nepalese road and is only practically accessible by taking a small plane to the Simikot field-airstrip and then hiking and climbing for the better part of a week.

Although my practice is mainly geared towards the Theravada meditation techniques, I still practice some more Tibetan meditations, which are prevalent in Til.

4. Gili Nanggu, Lombok, Indonesia.

Gili Nanggu is a near deserted Island off the coast of Lombok. It has seen its fair share of hermits in its time, who have ventured there in search of somewhere completely quiet and uninterrupted to sink deeply into their meditation practices.

It is a tropical Island paradise which has not yet been destroyed by the Tourism industry and provides the perfect energy and space for anyone serious about spending time Meditating. That said it is much more built up now than it was five years ago so, if you want to visit, do so soon.

5. Lawudo Gompa, Namche, Nepal.

Lawudo Gompa is a small Monastery set up around a sacred meditation cave at the foot of Mt Everest. It rests 3800 meters above sea level and is run by one of the kindest members of the Sangah that I have ever met: a nun called Ani Ngawang Samten, sister of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Lama Zopa’s previous incarnation, the Lawudo Lama, spent twenty years in deep meditation in the Lawudo cave. The monastery still exudes his energy and that of the many monks and nuns who come to this place as pilgrimage.

It is a three-day trek from Lukla airport, or a ten-day climb from Jiri.

 

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