Top 4 Meditation Retreats in Australia
No matter how many soothing candles you burn or relaxing salt baths you take, sometimes you need more from your downtime. More relaxation, more time away from the world, and more understanding of how to cope better in this overwhelming world.
If this is you, you might benefit from a meditation retreat. A meditation retreat can help you to wind down, away from the world and offers you a coached experience where you can learn about meditation, mindfulness, and mental wellness techniques. A meditation retreat can offer a spiritual and contemplative journey, helping you to feel refreshed and relaxed.
This experience will teach you the art of meditation which can help you to cope better with the world around you, help you to relax, and help you to deal better with negativity and overthinking. If you're looking to book a meditation retreat, you may have a few questions so we've done some research.
In this blog post, we're going to be looking at what you can expect from a meditation retreat, what kind of retreats you can book, how you should choose a retreat, and a list of our favourite meditation retreats in Australia.
To find out more, keep reading now!
What can you expect at a meditation retreat?
For the most part, a meditation retreat is a taught experience. The idea is that you learn to meditate, or deepen your knowledge, and expand the ways you use meditation.
Most retreats include teachings that will take place in between other activities. Along with teaching, there will be multiple meditation sessions throughout the day or week, depending on the length of time you intend to retreat. These meditation sessions may be guided, or you may conduct them independently.
In addition to the meditation and teaching, you may also find there are scheduled yoga sessions to help move the body and focus on the breath. There could also be breathwork sessions where you learn to control the breath for relaxation, and you could have some talks on mindfulness, mental wellbeing, and techniques, like aromatherapy and Ayurveda.
The activities will, obviously, come with meals and sleep time. Meals tend to be vegan or vegetarian and are usually eaten with the group. Most meditation retreats are conducted in silence and as such, meal times will also be silent.
If you're embarking on a silent meditation retreat, you're also likely to be asked to hand over any technology at the beginning of the retreat. These will be kept by the retreat centre throughout your stay and returned at the end. This is done to allow you to truly concentrate on your meditation course and take full advantage of the silent retreat, along with helping to banish the busyness of everyday life.
While not all meditation retreats will have all of these features, most will focus on meditation techniques and will create a course schedule focussed on contemplation, self-care and looking at the inner self.
Silent meditation retreat, walking meditation: what are the different kinds of retreats?
We've looked over what you can expect from a meditation retreat, but now we're going to look a little deeper at the different kinds of retreats that are on offer.
To begin with, we'll look at silent retreats.
A silent meditation retreat is, obviously, conducted in silence. This is to ensure full focus is given to the meditation techniques taught and the guided meditation sessions. On this kind of retreat, you are likely to be asked to hand over any technology.
SIlent retreats tend to have taught elements and may also include yoga sessions and other meditation activities, like walking meditation, to break up the time spent sitting and meditating.
Spa and meditation retreats
Slightly more relaxed than a silent meditation retreat, a retreat that is combined with a spa may allow for a freer schedule. It may be that the retreat creates a schedule catered to you, or that you have more free time. You will likely be allowed to enjoy the spa facilities too.
These kinds of retreats still offer taught sessions, meditation sessions, and yoga sessions, and they may also be conducted in silence, but you will likely be offered the use of the spa facilities too. This kind of retreat may feel more like a relaxing weekend retreat or holiday, rather than a spiritual journey.
Other retreat notes
Depending on the kind of retreat you attend depends on the kind of activities you will engage with. Some retreats expect guests to get involved in the facilities schedule, which could include helping to cook healthy vegetarian meals for guests to eat, or just helping out around the centre.
All of these different attributes may help to make up your mind about the kind of retreat you will embark on. As such, we've created a list of things to consider when choosing a retreat in the next section. Take a look now.
How should I choose a retreat?
Choosing a retreat depends on a few different things and will differ from person to person. We've created a list of these considerations below, check them out now:
- Activities. This is important as it can help you to pick the retreat suited to you. You should check out the activities offered and ensure you can carry them out easily. If you are not able to do some activities, then this retreat may not be for you. (You could check for any modifications the retreat can make if you've found a retreat you love!)
- Location. If you're after rolling hills and relaxing long weekends in picturesque locations, you should ensure the retreat you choose can offer you this. Don't pick a city retreat if you want beautiful vistas!
- Your expectations. Like with the activities and the location, this retreat is about you and so you should decide upon what exactly you want from the retreat. If you want relaxing spa experiences then don't choose a course which can't offer them!
- Food. Though most food will be vegan or vegetarian, you should also ensure that the centre can accommodate your food needs, such as gluten-free or dairy-free diets.
- Experience level. This is essential. If you're a beginner in meditation, ensure your course is catered to beginners so that you can follow it!
Top 4 meditation retreats in Australia
Now we've taken a look at the kind of meditation retreats you can attend and how to choose them, let's take a look at the best meditation retreats in Australia. We've gathered a list below. Check it out.
Billabong Retreat, Sydney
Located about an hour outside of Sydney, this meditation retreat is a family-run, eco-retreat and offers programmes in meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. Different length options are available and you can utilise the spa facilities while there too!
Gaia Retreat and Spa
An award-winning spa, this retreat is located in Sydney and can offer an experience tailored to guests. Activities include meditation, yoga, and teaching sessions in mindfulness and mental wellbeing.
Located in Melbourne, Aruna Giri offers everything from half-day to full week retreats. These retreats are conducted in silence and include meditation, mindfulness, walking meditation, and optional yoga.
Kadampa Meditation Centre
About an hour outside of Melbourne, this centre offers different courses for different experience levels in meditative practice. Each course is designed with teaching and meditation sessions to help you to expand and deepen your knowledge of meditation.
A meditation retreat may be the perfect option if you're feeling overwhelmed and looking for a way to retreat from everyday life and calm your mind. You can deepen your knowledge of meditative practice while taking time for self-contemplation and reflection.
We've covered a few of our favourite Australian meditation retreats, but there are plenty more out there to take a look at. Why not check them out and embark on your spiritual journey today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do meditation retreats cost?
Meditation retreats vary in cost depending on the kind of retreat and the length of your stay. This means that they can cost anywhere from $60 for a short day course in meditation, and up to $1000+ for week-long retreats. Adding additional spa sessions to your retreat may also increase the cost.
What is a meditation retreat called?
A meditation retreat may come under different names. It may be referred to as a mindfulness retreat, a spa weekend, a weekend retreat, or a silent retreat. These can all include meditation sessions and mindfulness teaching. To find a meditation retreat that suits you, search these terms and find activities you would like to join in.
Should I go on a meditation retreat?
A meditation retreat can be great for you if you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and in need of relaxation. You can find different kinds of mediation retreat centres offering anything from silent retreats full of mindfulness meditation sessions to spa retreats where you can add in meditation sessions and taught lessons on mindfulness.