Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka | Yoga & Buddhist Meditation | 2024

There are so many superb Meditation Retreats in Sri Lanka taking place whether you are a beginner looking for the best retreat that speaks to you, or you are looking for a more specific yoga retreat emphasizing wellness and Buddhist sound healing. 

Cleanse and transform your mind on a meditation retreat in Sri Lanka amidst the wilderness by granting yourself the time and opportunity to pause, unwind and unplug from the stressors and distractions of a fast-paced society. Un-cloud your mind and let your true essence shine through as you learn to let go of ingrained patterns: fears, insecurities, attachments, desires, and illusions, which may be driving your behaviour without you even releasing it. During your meditation retreat, you will have the space to become more introspective, develop more self-love and self-compassion, enabling you to observe your behavioural patterns with curiosity and compassion, rather than reaction and judgement. Your cleansed subconscious will consequently create space for you to connect with your higher wisdom so that you may experience things as they are, as well as step into your truest, most loving essence. 

So, how should you choose a meditation retreat?

Meditation Retreat Sri Lanka
Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge

Table of Contents

5 tips when choosing a Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka

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In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth

  1. Firstly, ask yourself what your utmost priority in this retreat is. Are you in need of a spa-like retreat to simply unwind and detox or in need of a more spiritual retreat where your body is kept moving? It is essential that you consider your truest motivation to embark on this journey so that you may best support your decision in your choice of retreat. It would be disappointing to fly across the world in the hope of participating in an intensive yoga retreat, only to find you have unknowingly enrolled in a gentle yin yoga course. 
  2. Consider the location and season you wish to go to. Which country? If you are looking for Ayurvedic healing, then Sri Lanka is the place for you. Do you find the tropical monsoon rain calming or do you prefer boundless sunshine? It is important to feel comfortable in your environment when going through such depths of emotional exploration and transformation. 
  3. Budget is inevitably a necessary factor to consider early on. You do not need to spend thousands to have a wonderful retreat experience. It all depends on the location and type of retreat you choose. Tips to make a retreat cheaper: 
  • Buy flights early 
  • Travel during the low season 
  • Consider sharing accommodation with a friend 
  • Surf the web and explore all the affordable destinations 
  1. Ask yourself whether you wish to embark on this journey alone or with a friend/partner as mentioned, going with someone can make accommodation cheaper. A retreat can also be a beautiful, memorable experience worth sharing with a loved one. However, drawbacks may arise such as the potential need to compromise to find a retreat suited to you both. It may also be harder for you to make friends with the other people on the retreat since you may feel tied to your companion. The possibility for you and your companion to bond can also be a positive aspect of the retreat. 
  2. Know your retreat leaders. Find out who your retreat leaders could be and whether their areas of focus match the aspects you wish to flourish or grow in. Reach out to the teachers on social media and get a feel of who they are through your conversations. Follow your intuition from then on about whether they would be the right teacher for you. Expectations for a meditation retreat It is wisest to let go of expectations so that you are not disappointed. Open your heart to new experiences. Some days, you may feel more vulnerable than others. Be understanding of your emotions and expect less from yourself. Be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself. You are going to experience difficult days. It is important to be kind to yourself during the retreat. Acceptance of all emotions is an element of peace. 

Expectations of a Sri Lankan Meditation retreat

As with everything, it is always best to go in with no expectations, but it is of course natural to be curious about what lies ahead during your Meditation retreat.

Meditation is a habitual, daily process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts in a positive way. The practise of meditation is gaining wider popularity and awareness due to our busy, stressful world as many people discover the massive health benefits of meditation. This practice can be used to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings, reduce stress and develop concentration. It can also be used to develop other beneficial habits, positive mindsets, feelings, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and increased pain tolerance. 

When we meditate, we come to understand our mind and its habitual thoughts, feelings, and reactions. We can often find that there are ingrained patterns, fears, insecurities, attachments, and desires all of which are illusions that can drive our behaviour unconsciously. The more we recognize and observe these patterns with curiosity and compassion the more they fade, creating space for us to connect with a higher place of wisdom rather than negative or unhelpful reactions.  This practice cuts through a lifetime build-up of deep subconscious fears, resistances and separation that can often trick the mind – here we can begin to shine through and perceive things for what they truly are.

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Gong Bath with Buddhist Monks

4 Things you can Expect on a Meditation Retreat at Sen Wellness

A Day of Silence

Silent Meditation, otherwise known as Vipassana descended from the teachings of Buddhist meditation. It is known to teach mindfulness to your inner thoughts, feelings, actions and breathing. This practice requires total silence, thus allowing you to experience and observe a fully self-exploratory journey and gain a deeper understanding, insight and meaning into the true nature of reality by experiencing the world as it really is rather than constantly seeing things how you want to see them. In a hectic, busy, fast society where silence is a luxury, it is important to recognize the value of silence on our nervous system and allow us to really listen to our feelings and thoughts whilst taking in the delicate natural sounds that surround you at The Sanctuary. At Sen Wellness, we invite you to join in with this practice alongside our Buddhist Monk who regularly comes to lead silent walks along the beach and includes full silent days for total rest and restoration. Silent meditation for extended periods of time can be a challenging and boundary-pushing practice that requires a persistent attitude and expansive mind. However, commitment to it is worth everything once you begin to experience how beneficial it is to your mind, your overall perspective, and your nervous system. By removing yourself from the familiar conversation in your mind and connecting with yourself on an interpersonal level, you can begin to see a truly life-changing experience.

Sound Healing

Whilst on retreat at Sen Wellness, you can relax into weekly Sound Healings with our Buddhist Monk in our beautiful Yoga Shala. Sound Meditation has been scientifically proven to help you relax, meditate, and promote self-inquiry and discovery. Whilst being supported by different sounds created by certain instruments like the Gong, research has shown that the vibrational effects of the binaural beats affect the natural brain waves of Theta, Delta and Alpha. Each brain wave variation had a differing degree of activity, alertness, and consciousness in the brain. Sound Healing, therefore, is an immensely powerful way for guests to drop into a meditative state or altered state of consciousness with the hold and support of the sound, knowing that the vibrations are doing good to their body and brain. Sound meditation helps with reducing tension, anxiety, stress and can promote spiritual well-being.

Nature Immersion

Whilst on retreat, your days are completely immersed in the beauty of the Sri Lankan natural surroundings at Sen Wellness. This nature immersion allows your mind to tune in to the awe-inspiring gifts that Gaia has to offer. By allowing yourself to be completely free with the natural elements, you can permit yourself to meditate on the abundance of life, natural beauty, and gifts of life. This is the ultimate form of gratitude for life and existence, letting nature remind you of what really matters and how to invite total, unconditional love and acceptance into our lives.

Pranayama (Breathwork) Techniques

Our international team of yoga teachers are highly experienced in incorporating yoga breathwork meditation known as Pranayama into your daily yoga routine at The Sanctuary. This form of breathwork includes methods such a Ujjayi Breath, also known as Victorious Breath, a yoga breathwork meditation used to promote relaxation. It is a popular technique often used to calm anxiety and racing thoughts. Humming bee breath, also known as bhramari, is an exercise that makes use of humming. Like many others, this technique is great for promoting relaxation, especially in those who are anxious or need help falling asleep. It can also be effective at improving mood and helping soothe physical ailments. These are just two examples of effective Pranayama techniques promoted in yoga and the benefits of how breathwork can be a valuable tool for your life and your meditation practice.

Top 3 Benefits of a Meditation Retreat

1.  Step outside of your comfort zone as you face the challenges we often neglect in our everyday lives: fears, insecurities, and unhealed scars. This is the time to let them go and set yourself free.

2. Experience an ultimate sense of peace, silence, and tranquillity. One that you will learn to carry on with you in your daily routine after the retreat.

3. Feel liberated from the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, or planning. All of which are taken care of by us. You are granted the space to focus on yourself – mind, body, and soul.

Meditation Retreat Sri Lanka

Sen Wellness Sanctuary - Award-Winning Meditation Retreat Centre in Sri Lanka

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Sen Wellness Sanctuary

Sen Wellness Sanctuary is an Award-Winning Meditation Retreat Centre in Sri Lanka all year round. The benefits of your stay are that we incorporate all modalities of holistic health care into your retreat. During your stay, you can enjoy experienced yoga teachers who teach all forms of yoga including yin yoga, meditation, sound healing, Ayurvedic treatments, massage, and weight-loss detox.

Signature Retreats
During our quarter-annual Signature retreats held by our founder Sam Kankanamge, we give emphasis to Meditation by giving space for silence, breathing techniques and guided meditation throughout the retreat program.

Bespoke Retreats 
Whether you are new to meditation or not, our Bespoke Retreats run all year round and hold space for your emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental needs. We invite you to a weekly meditation and Sound Healing session with our Buddhist Monk, who can also assist you with your personal growth and help you discover ways in which you can integrate Buddhist meditation into your everyday life.

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Yoga and Meditation Classes
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Ayurveda Treatments
Excellent4.8Based on 177 reviews from Heike M.Heike M.1708017780 ★★★★★ I stayed at Sen Wellness Sancutary for the festive retreat 23/24 - for me a 10 days commitment to complete immersion. I enjoyed every bit of it already at the Sanctuary! Now, back home and 40 days later, I am still profiting from the treatments, the experiences I made and my 40-days-practise that I started, as soon as I arrived home.Here is my deepest gratitude for the gifts I received during this retreat: a wonderful place, a kind, supportive, attentive and friendly team, support and grounding in my personal difficult moments, fantastic and soothing Ayurveda treatments (thanks to the doctors & massage therapists - always there with a smile and advice), delicious food, fascinating ceremonies (an unforgettable experience!), a lot of fun & laughter with other group members...Just to name a fiew.The biggest gift is, that I still have all this in my heart, that I can feel the connection to it. And that the practice of pranayama and meditation starts to become a routine! I hope, I can return to this unique place one day.Sally E.Sally E.1707933557 ★★★★★ My stay at Sen Wellness was exhilarating, from the dramatic colours of the sunsets to the naughty monkeys bouncing on the roof of our yoga room then leaping into the jungle. Best of all was watching, after a sunset walk over the wide empty white beach, newly hatched turtles hurtling over the sand to the ocean beyond. Good food, kind smiling staff, excellent and varied company from all over the world at the communal meals, massages, swimming pool, meditation, yoga, it was all pretty faultless and very inspiring.The serene and mesmerising Tseyang from Tibet provided me with a yoga programme I am actually keeping to.Jennifer M.Jennifer M.1707576319 ★★★★★ One of the most relaxing and intriguing stays I’ve ever had. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, the hosts and staff anticipate and provide for your every need.The creative Vegan meals, yoga, meditation and daily treatments make this retreat a must-do for anyone who wants to experience an absolute gem.Melbin A.Melbin A.1707565341 ★★★★★ I recently attended a 14-day Ayurveda and Yoga retreat at Sen Wellness Sanctuary, and I can confidently say it was the best decision I made in 2024!The sanctuary is nestled in a truly enchanting environment, providing a perfect blend of calmness and nature. Being located next to Turtle Beach added a unique touch to the overall experience, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking serenity and relaxation.The staff at Sen Wellness Sanctuary is exceptional. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with warm smiles, and their hospitality throughout my stay was beyond compare. Special shout-out to Sudheera, Sanath, the Manager, whose dedication to ensuring a seamless experience stood out. Frances,The wellness Manager with her beautiful soul, Tsayang, my Yoga guru, Gopi, my transporter, and the entire team, including Kavindu, Dr. Tarushi, Dr. Udari, Mahil, Madhu, and many more, contributed to making my stay truly memorable.The food was another highlight of my experience. Traditional Sri Lankan dishes, rich in veggies and fruits, were served daily, creating a culinary journey that added to the overall wellness experience.One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Sen was the opportunity to make new friends from around the world. Connecting with like-minded individuals enhanced the entire retreat experience, and I left with a profound sense of personal evolution.In conclusion, Sen Wellness Sanctuary is more than just a retreat; it's a haven for personal growth and well-being. I completed the program with a genuine feeling of having evolved into a new person. I highly recommend Sen to anyone seeking a transformative and rejuvenating experience.Thank you, Sen Wellness Sanctuary, for the exceptional hospitality. I look forward to returning in the future!Linda D.Linda D.1707311735 ★★★★★ I have spent time in very austere ashrams through to very high end spa retreats but, Sen Sanctuary is in a league of its own, it is the only place I have ever been where I haven’t for one moment thought, what am I doing here? It is unique in its ability to blend wellness, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, diet and joy in a relaxed, unpretentious and thoughtful environment. Every member of staff is there to guide you on your way ,all you have to do is turn up with an open heart and mind!I first went there in March 2023 having met the amazing Dr Sam in London and I returned again in January 2024, both times unique, both times wonderful. I have no doubt I will go back again and again.Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a place built with love and integrity straight from Dr Sam’s heart to every one who has the great good fortune of staying there.Anne S.Anne S.1705512394 ★★★★☆ Wir haben fünf Tage im Sen Wellness verbracht und die Zeit sehr genossen. Die Anlage befindet sich direkt zwischen Meer und Lagune (Achtung - die nächstgelegene Badestelle ist etwa 35 Minuten zu Fuss entfernt!), einige der Zimmer direkt neben einem Mangrovenwäldchen. Ein grosses Kompliment geht an die Therapeutinnen, die mit viel Engagement und Erfahrung die Ayurveda-Behandlungen durchgeführt haben. Das Essen ist gut - allerdings nicht streng ayurvedisch (also auch nicht auf die individuellen Bedürfnisse angepasst), das sollte man vielleicht wissen. Die allgemeinen Aufenthaltsräume sind neu renoviert und mit viel Liebe zum Detail hergerichtet. Die - verhältnismässig eher teureren - Apartements sind mittlerweile etwas in die Jahre gekommen (sollen wohl aber in diesem Jahr renoviert werden). Alles in allem eine sehr schöne Erfahrung, die ich wirklich gut weiter empfehlen kann!Ryan S.Ryan S.1702232215 ★★★★★ First of all, I’d like to thank everyone working at this place for making it so magical. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and found it so incredibly rejuvenating - from the organic food, top notch Ayurvedic massages, health advice, breathwork, yoga, community.. the retreat is truly unique and unmatched.. it’s really a place that welcomes everyone and caters to each and every person’s needs. I loved connecting with others on the retreat too. I stayed for 3 short nights, but will remember the experience for a lifetime.Elisa B.Elisa B.1701430042 ★★★★★ I just came back after spending a week at Sen Wellness, and the experience was above my expectations.The location is beautiful, immerse in nature and with an amazing beach available.Yoga and meditation classes vary every day, and I can say I learnt so much.The main feedback I’d like to leave is about the team: all of them did everything in their power to make us guests happy, they personally cared about our wellbeing.I can say I came back relaxed, but also changed and nourished internally, I’m looking at problems with a different perspective.I am already planning to be back!Pia S.Pia S.1697801887 ★★★★★ All I could have asked for in an Ayurveda retreat. Beautiful place and nature, with lovely people and a lot of thought and intention in the programs.Richard SRichard S1697016861 ★★★★★ hat an incredible place and lovely team and special stay. Situated between the beach and the lagoon you are surrounded by wildlife and feel completely isolated from the outside world. The treatments, food and yoga/meditation work together to ensure an incredibly restorative and nourishing stay. Ten days seemed a good length of time to stay to maximise the benefits.Thank you to all the team at Sen for a magical stayMithi T.Mithi T.1694508202 ★★★★★ Heaven on earth. A must-visit if you wish to disconnect and self-connect.Irene Boñal B.Irene Boñal B.1693817075 ★★★★★ I came for the second time to this place and it can never disappoint… a truly healing place where you can connect with yourself and with others. I have met some amazing people here both times I have come. The staff really care and worry about you. Thank you ♥️ the first time’s review (last year’s) is just below which still applies.Mind-blowing experience. I am so happy I came to this place - I was planning for 5 days and stayed 10! All the team made me feel like home since I arrived. The kitchen staff are super nice and the food is amazing and healthy! The doctor and masseurs listened to me and gave me a therapy adapted to my needs from the very first day. The doctor, managers and reception were also always there for everything I needed. The yoga teachers are amazing healers that guided me through my journey in the sanctuary and for my home. I know I’ll apply their yoga and spiritual teachings in mind for my daily life. On top of that, a monk comes every week to have a 1-to-1 session with you. Personally, this was a very productive session for me!Moreover, the mini pool in the beach has an amazing sunshine - I’d recommend everyone to go one morning when in here!Amazing place to reconnect with myself which is what I was looking for. I’ll definitely come back😊Elaine L.Elaine L.1693770775 ★★★★★ The most nourishing, relaxing and healing week I have ever experienced in the most beautiful setting!! 7-day Ayurvedic and Yoga retreat left me feeling like a new person. I will definitely be returning.Jill L.Jill L.1693328040 ★★★★★ My two trips to the Sanctuary were equally special. Both were in January, one in 2016 and then again in 2020. It was a perfect way to start the year. The sheer beauty of this part of Sri Lanka is restorative in itself, but when coupled with the luxury and care of the Sanctuary, it becomes a deeply healing experience. I will go back again as soon as I can.Di S.Di S.1693132092 ★★★★★ I arrived exhausted and frazzled from a flight that had lost my bag in transit with the clothes I left London in and raging sinuses from the plane's insanely fierce aircon. Within days the sinus infection was healed with Ayurveda. This was the start of a 10 day healing journey that was pure magic. I stayed in an eco cabana - bed super comfy! - waking up to amazing birdsong. The nature here is lush (bring your mozzie spray!) , the complex open and airy, the food delicious (mainly veggie). Everyone on the team - from the Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners, the amazing manager, the chef and his crew, the yoga teachers to the boys who do the cleaning know what they're doing and radiate positive energy. Days are structured but the vibe is relaxed, open and easy. The Cacao ceremony was amazing. The Fire ceremony also. I'd go back in a heartbeat.js_loader

The Final Word

Our holistic approach to meditation at Sen Wellness is intended to replenish and nourish every aspect of your soul existence and help you break down your internal boundaries to find inner acceptance, peace, and connection. We have taken great consideration in creating a safe, held space for you to explore a deeper part of yourself alongside a team of specialists who can guide you through these Meditation practices softly and intuitively. 

With so many powerful ways to enhance your connection to meditation, our approach allows you to decide which one works best for you, whether its Silent Meditation, Sound Healing, Breathwork or Nature Immersion, The Sanctuary can provide you with everything you can expect to find at a Meditation retreat in Sri Lanka.