Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka - Tips, Advice & Benefits

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?

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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

Eckhart Tolle
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

Mahatma Gandhi
  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.

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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
meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka, Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka – All Inclusive
Ayurveda Treatments
Everything at the highest level.A unique, authentic place at the highest level.Atmosphere, ambience, food, treatments, doctors, yoga, accommodation - ideal place for retreat for body, soul and mind.5 nights there is an absolute minimum:)Thank you Sen Wellness Sanctuary and see you soon
Dominika M
18:02 20 Jun 22
Sam and the team and SEN Wellness have done a fantastic job of creating a space for healing, rejuvenation and connecting to natureI spent 10 days at the sanctuary in April and to this day I am still struggling to put the experience in to words that could do it justice..!The whole experience there was truly magical - from the location and immersion in nature, the daily structure, community with other guests, the food, yoga and cacao ceremony. Not only was there opportunities to experience and heal during the stay but I also felt there was so much I was able to learn and take away / take back in to 'normal' life to continue the process.Litsa - the yoga teacher during our stay - was incredible at holding space and taking the group where they needed to go as a collective and really opened my eyes to another depth of yoga that I didn't know existed.I'd recommend SEN Wellness Sanctuary in a heartbeat and felt privileged to witness and be a small part of the the transformations I saw in people through their stay. Thank you!
Grant M.
00:09 19 Jun 22
Sen Wellness Sanctuary was exactly what I needed to start my healing journey with myself. I did the 7 day package (and honestly kind of wish I had done the 10 day instead.) I came to Sen feeling the stress and trauma of the last 3 years of the pandemic and working long hours at a remote job for an international NGO. I came with the intention to focus on my health issues, recommit to a yoga and meditation practice, and explore with ayurvedic practitioners some of my health issues that had developed due to stress. I am happy to say I got what I came for.The staff of the sanctuary - from the front desk coordinators and managers to the ayurvedic doctor to the ayurvedic practitioners, and service staff and cooks were so kind and helpful, attending to any issue that might arise. In particular I'd like to thank Dr. Harnika (the doctor), Madhu & Neeranjana (front desk coordinators), Prema (who served tea every morning), Rupika (my ayurvedic practitioner), and all the other ayurvedic practitioners and wait staff boys who helped serve food, clean rooms, etc.I also had consultations with Sam Kankanamge, the founder, at my request ahead of booking to discuss some of my needs, as well as with Davia, an international coordinator. I found everyone to be very responsive, which I appreciated.The yoga instructor, Litsa, who led the morning and evening yoga classes and meditation during my stay was incredible and I learnt a lot from her practice and really appreciated my one-on-one with her. The use of sound meditation/healing via the use of a gong was really amazing as well. Litsa really helped to focus those of us at the retreat on our healing journey. She was a real rock. Her yoga practice is really spiritual, nurturing, and also high intensity, which I really enjoyed. (Note that the yoga practitioners rotate, so I'm speaking towards the person who was there during my stay.)The ayurvedic treatments and acupuncture were divine and a lot of care was taken to do them well. I felt relaxed and refreshed after all of them.As someone of Sri Lankan descent who now lives in the United States, it was really healing for me to get the kind of care I wanted in my mother country. I felt really taken care of and respected, and I'm glad I invested in myself by coming to this retreat.I also appreciated the international nature of the retreat - and made many lovely friendships through the experience with other guests who were there at the same time. There's a special kind of bonding and relationship building that happens from eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together with all the guests at one long table, which I appreciated.The food served at the retreat is super healthy - a lot of typical Sri Lankan dishes, primarily vegan. I enjoyed the variety in the menus. I even enjoyed the juice cleanses I partook in.If you're looking for a typical "holiday" that's not what you're going to get here. This felt like a very spiritual and intentional sanctuary, particularly for people who are trying to heal themselves and take care of themselves. Having done the research before heading to Sen, I got exactly what I was hoping for and more -- be prepared to put in work and to be committed to the journey.In addition, Rekawa Beach, which is a few minutes walk from the Sanctuary is one of the most stunning and tranquil beaches I have ever seen. While it isn't necessarily safe to swim, it was really healing to go there early morning and evening to watch sunrises and sunsets. This is a turtle nesting beach and it was truly a joy to watch massive turtles lay their eggs on the beach, a once in a lifetime opportunity.I also really enjoyed a boat ride through Rekawa Lagoon, the sounds of the mangroves, and the sweet monkeys who watch you from the trees when you do yoga in the shalet.While it's a difficult time for Sri Lanka, I highly encourage people to support the economy, invest in your own well-being and healing, and experience this very intentional and caring retreat.
Thanu Y.
16:48 18 May 22
I’ve never felt so alive for such a long time! All thanks to my decision to visit Sen Wellness Sanctuary. I have been on autopilot with my daily life, work & even breathing for the longest time I could remember!Sen Wellness had helped me appreciate having a healthy routine, learn to love Yoga and understand the importance of breathing.The sanctuary is a real epitome of inner peace! All the staff both from London office & in Sri Lanka were oh so lovely! And the guests I was with during my stay were all so awesome! The country itself is gorgeous! All these helped make my stay all worth the while..Because of my experience, I can say that I will definitely do this again! I highly recommend that you try this out 🙂
Zulkatro D.
09:16 12 May 22
Ich war im März dort und habe das 10 Tages Spring Awakening Retreat mitgemacht. Alles in allem war es großartig. Ich habe einen sehr stressigen Alltag und das Retreat hat mir sehr geholfen mich wieder auf mich zu besinnen, abzuschalten und vor allem auch nachhaltig neue Routinen mit in meinen Alltag zu nehmen. Das Team ist großartig - super kompetent, super freundlich und super hilfsbereit. Es gibt nichts, das nicht möglich gemacht wird. Die Ausstattung ist hell und freundlich, Betten super gemütlich, das Essen ist phantastisch, die Ayurveda Ärztinnen super kompetent und ich hatte noch nie bessere Massagen als dort. Ich bin wirklich rund um begeistert und werde definitiv noch einmal wiederkommen. Die Lage ist abseits vom Trubel an einem naturbelassenen und geschützten, kilometerlangen Strand (an den sich kaum Menschen verirren). Morgens sieht man sogar Schildkröten ins Meer wandern. Also, top!
Tatjana W.
07:35 26 Apr 22
Most special and magical place !!The sanctuary is totally immersed in Nature in between a stunning wild beach hosting sea turtles and a large lagoon.The entire team is really amazing, extremely kind and super talented. The food is healthy, delicious and all meals are prepared with local products.The cabanas are super confortable, peaceful and perfectly neat.Had the most amazing experience I highly recommend ✨
Zine J.
16:49 23 Apr 22
I am a Holistic Health Practitioner, and I also work in the HR department of a not-for-profit institution. I found out about Sen Wellness Center through AFAR. I decided to fly to Sri Lanka from Washington D C to visit this Sanctuary. Upon my arrival at 11:30 p.m. I was received with a warm and kind smile from Maduro. From the moment you step into this Sanctuary you are treated with compassion and kindness. The manager and his entire staff are always attentive and caring, making sure all of our need were met. The food is nutritious and wholesome made by a chef who is always smiling. The Ayurveda Doctor, and the healing hands of the staff during the Ayurveda treatments, and last but not least the kind voice of an elderly lady who would wake us up at 5:30 with a warm cup of tea.All of the three yoga teachers were good. In particular, Flame! She is extraordinary, knowledgeable, and inspiring... During a meditation around a fire, she was able to open the hearts of nine strangers so that they were able to see the beauty and strength within each other and complement each other. This was an amazing attribute to everyone who came to this Sanctuary to get closer to their inner Self.My experience from this visit is that this is truly a Sanctuary, and I am grateful to everyone from the staff in the office in London, UK, to everyone in Sri Lanka.I was fare welled at 4:30 a.m., again, with a kind and warm smile from Maduro.Thank you!
Hoori J.
12:52 07 Apr 22
People from all over the world who are looking for peace and relaxation meet here, together with monkeys ;-), turtles, peacocks ..... and a fantastic, huge sea with a deserted beach.Everyone will find what they are looking for: a wonderfully designed retreat, dreamlike nature, soothing treatments, very well guided asanas and pranayamas, relaxation .... and fine food!We enjoyed it very much! Thank you!
Manuela
11:09 30 Mar 22
Must visit this amazing place, a great yoga 🧘🏾‍♀️ healing & spiritual also a delicious vegan food. Thank you Sen Wellness team 🤍🙏🤍
Silvana K.
08:02 23 Mar 22
A magical gem set amongst the Rekewa lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Sen Wellness has been an extraordinary experience that I will cherish.I reached out to Sen Wellness when I was going through a pit in my life and was in search of self-direction and self-love. I was beyond grateful for the opportunity and collaboration that Sam, Davia and Camilla had offered me in order for me to visit the sanctuary and make this trip possible. They didn’t have to do that but they did and they are incredibly generous for it ♥️I was looking forward to visiting the sanctuary for the weeks before and all that I had hoped for had exceeded all my expectations! From their very kind staff, the lovingly prepared meals, the in-depth Ayurvedic treatments, the relaxing nature and the luxury accommodation. This really is the place to be if you need reawaken yourself or find yourself.I felt welcomed right away and the team is very inclusive of the guests with it’s family-type of community. My first friend in the sanctuary was Fiametta who is an amazing yoga instructor and retreat host. She really made my stay exceptional and she picked me up even when I was mentally down at times and always gave me the reassurance to uplift me. What a star she is! ⭐️If you are in search of something, or if you feel lost or need a break from the stresses of reality. Sen Wellness Sanctuary is the place with all the tools to help you put yourself back together. You have the amazing staff to help you, the Ayurvedic treatments to heal you, the other like-minded guests to support you and the perfect location to build you.I’m ever so blessed to have come here. Every sunset was golden by sea. Every smile was beautiful to see. I left the Sanctuary feeling the best version of myself. Thank you for this great experience and I am very lucky to have come ♥️
Nadia M.
16:30 10 Mar 22
Thank you thank you thank you 🙏🏽 what a journey this has been. Life has a way of brining you just where you are meant to be, if you are able to open your heart to the magic that is all around. Sen wellness Sanctuary is a place of great healing and Ayurvedic discovery. Greeting the days every morning on the beach with the golden sunrise yoga and turtles walking back to shore after a night of hatching, the sunset yoga with monkeys greeting us from the yoga shala and gratitude sharing circles, the delicious and detoxifying Ayurvedic food, the beauty of the architecture, Venerable Nimale and his transcendental gong baths, the sounds of nature all around and tuning into the cycles of nature. I wish for everyone that decides to embark on their journey in Sen wellness to enjoy every moment and savour the tropical lifestyle. Another beautiful thing about Sen wellness is that is Sri Lankan owned and all the staff the cooks, doctors, receptionists and all the helpers are Sri Lankan and soooo lovely, they really made my experience so tender. A real plus to know you are supporting the local communities. And it mixes well with the 2 hosts and yoga teachers that are usually European to create a sustaining bridge between two cultures. The healing journey back home to myself! I will back 😘😘😘
Fiammetta V.
04:33 02 Mar 22
This place is so beautiful, near incredible pure beach and lake, far away from all the hustleAmazing programme, yoga, aurvedic treatments and foodMe and my friend have had rejuvenating time and very grateful for spiritual findings we’ve got there
Mariya G.
15:46 01 Mar 22
I’d describe my experience here as “peace & tranquility”. The atmosphere is so relaxing and quiet, everything was just great from food to practice.. Highly recommend the place to find a harmony in within and if you’re looking for an escape from city hustle & noise.
Anna
08:29 01 Mar 22
Incredible place. Nice individuell boutique Ayurveda-Hotel in the nature. I had a 10 days treatment- was really authentic and super organized!Thanks again for all!Andreas
Andreas W.
18:05 28 Feb 22
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! thankyou for introducing me to Ayurvedic Healing from your beautiful location. Healthy Body and Mind Balance.
John W.
12:51 28 Feb 22
meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka, Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka – All Inclusive

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.