Find Stillness with Meditation

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What is meditation?

 

To meditate, to ponder.

This ancient practice, traditionally revered as a path towards spiritual enlightenment, encompasses a variety of tools to calm the mind and connect with the present moment. By focusing on the breath, repeating a mantra, or cultivating feelings of loving-kindness, meditation allows ingrained thoughts to naturally unfold.

As you develop your practice, you will notice the reoccurring patterns of thought – fear, insecurities, or attachments – that reside in the recesses of your subconscious mind. The more you learn to observe these patterns with curiosity and compassion, rather than judgement, the more they dissolve. As the morning mist clears, this creates a space for you to connect with your inner wisdom.

Rooted in Eastern traditions, the earliest written account of meditation techniques can be traced back to the Verdic Sanskrit texts from around 1500BC, which make reference to ‘dhyana’, the training of the mind. Across cultures, meditation has been pivotal in the contemplative practices of many religions, with similar references found in the Tao Te Ching of Ancient China, as well as the Pali Canon and the Mahayana Sutra Buddhist texts of India. In recent years, meditation has gained popularity in the secular world as a therapeutic modality for improving wellbeing and finding stillness.

What are the benefits of meditation?

 

In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, most of us find ourselves home in a constant fight-or-flight state, which takes a toll on our physical and mental health. By staying present in the moment, regulating the breath, and activating the parasympathetic state, meditation can manage our stress response and offer a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Enhancing pain tolerance
  • Improving immune function
  • Enhancing focus and attention
  • Improving cognition and age-related memory loss
  • Improving sleep and helping with insomnia
  • Decreasing blood pressure and heart disease

As well as the reported psychological benefits,  neuroimaging studies have shed light onto the corresponding neurological benefits, with notable changes in the functioning and structure in certain brain regions. Practiced meditators show decreased activity of the default mode network (the culprit of mind-wandering and ruminating thoughts) and reduced aged-related brain atrophy. Even novice meditators, after participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation training programme showed notable changes in grey matter density in regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation and self-referential processing.

Importantly, meditation is accessible to anyone willing to set aside 30 minutes of their day to close their eyes and find stillness. For those seeking to cultivate or deepen their meditation practice, attending a meditation retreat can be a transformative experience. Whether you are new to meditation or have practiced for a couple of years, such retreats provide the time and space to disconnect from the outside world and create a supportive environment for deeper immersion into the mind.

Find Stillness with Meditation

Why choose the Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka?

 

As a land steeped in Buddhism, mindfulness is deeply engrained in the Sri Lankan way of life and can be felt in the air as you wander through markets or visit local temples. Beyond the city, you are immersed in vast landscapes, lush greenery, and untamed wildlife, that take you to a transitional realm. Home to many meditation and yoga retreats, Sri Lanka offers a unique opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of Buddhism, while delving deeper into your practice.

The Sen Wellness Sanctuary stands out as an eco-conscious, authentic retreat centre, nestled between the secluded beach along the southern Sri Lankan coastline and a tranquil lagoon within the Rekawa Nature Reserve. This area is home to a rich, tropical mangrove ecosystem, teeming with unique and diverse flora and fauna. From the moment you set foot on the Sanctuary grounds, your body, mind and soul are in sync with the rhythm of nature. The singing of birds, the chorus of waves from the Indian Ocean, and the gentle hum from the lagoon lull you into a state of meditation. Your body naturally falls into the parasympathetic state, and you are reminded of your inner tranquillity.

Voted as one of the top 20 yoga retreats in the world by The Times, and featured in the Taschen and Conde Nast, we are a peaceful haven for those seeking to immerse themselves in the restorative benefits of nature and experience the ancient healing of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditation and other healing modalities. For those seeking to cultivate their meditation practice, we offer pranayama, mindfulness walking, forest bathing and mantra meditation, led by either a visiting Buddhist monk or one of the centre’s highly experienced teachers.

We honour the Sanskrit term for daily routine, ‘dinacharya’, which means to be close to the day and in touch with the rhythm of nature

Daily programme

 

At Sen Wellness, we place great emphasis on supporting and empowering all our guests to reconnect with their authentic selves. On your day of arrival, our experienced Ayurvedic doctor with conduct a thorough consultation and develop a tailored healthcare programme that includes daily doses of herbal medicines, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga and meditation classes.

As dawn begins to break, a delicious cup of herbal tea is delivered to your door just before the early morning meditation and yoga session at 6:00 am. It is the easiest time to drop into a meditative state, as the mind is still clear from deep sleep over night. The session starts with pranayama and mantras to quieten the mind and continues with a yoga practice to energise and revitalise the body.

After a post-yoga swim and nourishing breakfast, you will begin your bespoke Ayurvedic treatment programme, to cleanse and detoxify the body, calm unwanted inflammation, and strengthen the body-mind connection.

Throughout the day, guests will have time to rest and recalibrate and explore the state of just ‘being’.  Whether you are forest bathing or walking on the beach, you can listen to the soundscape of nature and focus on the breath. Watch the waves as they come towards the shore and ebb away to where they came from. If lucky, you might witness a turtle emerging from the ocean. We invite you to journal to let your thoughts unwind, our find guidance in or collection of mindful reading.

In the evening, guests can participate in a gentle yoga practice, followed by deeper meditation or mantra chanting, often accompanied by the healing vibrations of the gong. The day ends with a wholesome dinner around a communal table, where guests can connect and share their experiences. As dusk falls over the yoga shala, fireflies mimic the stars in the night sky, signalling another beautiful day drawing to a close.

Whether you are new to meditation or have practiced for a couple of years, join us for your next retreat and discover the power of stillness.

With love,

The Sen Wellness Team

Davia

Davia is our Retreat Specialist and manages enquiries and bookings for those interested in visiting us at the Sanctuary. Her in-depth knowledge of the wellness programmes we offer means she will be able to answer any questions you may have, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Davia is also Clinic Manager at Sen Wellness London, ensuring the smooth running of our holistic hub in the medical district of Harley Street, where we offer osteopathy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation and community events as well as retreats in the UK and Europe.

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Mithi Thaya
Mithi Thaya
1694508202
Heaven on earth. A must-visit if you wish to disconnect and self-connect.
Elaine Lynskey
Elaine Lynskey
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 Long
Jill Long
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 Sherlock
Di Sherlock
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.
Emma Chadwick
Emma Chadwick
1692720436
I came to the sanctuary at a difficult time for me personally. I came home feeling mentally and physically restored. It was just the tonic for me.The sanctuary is set in a beautiful and peaceful location, a stone’s throw from the sea and never-ending empty beaches.I loved the daily yoga sessions - I had a brilliant teacher the week I was there - which has an open front so we often saw monkeys swinging by.But it were the Ayurvedic treatments and meals, made with fresh local produce, that were out of this world.The communal dining is such a great idea, particularly if you come on your own like I did. And the sanctuary is run by a fantastic and caring team who went out of their way to make my experience truly unforgettable.I really do hope to return again one day.
Sen Wellness is really a Sanctuary where you can really connect back to you, your body and nature. The 10 days Spring Retreat was so fantastic, the breathing, moving and the food was always great. The location is far off from everything and you pretty much have the beach to yourself. All the animals like baby turtles, monkeys, squirrels, peacocks combined with nature was just magical. Also all the staff took great care of everyone induvidually. I will definitly be back!!
Lara Y
Lara Y
1692369607
My husband and I stayed at Sen Wellness Retreat for 11 days in February 2023. We highly recommend Sen Wellness. It is not a resort, it’s a true retreat. Our stay was an absolute dream come true. From the moment we passed through the gate, took our shoes off, and set our feet on the grounds, we found ourselves in a serene atmosphere that washed away all the stress and worries of everyday life. It was an absolute peaceful heaven with calming sounds of the ocean and nature. We stayed in eco-cabana. The blend of natural materials and elements with simple but modern amenities created a perfect balance between rustic charm and contemporary luxury. The room was daily cleaned and had everything we needed for our stay. After meeting with doctor on the first day, our Ayurvedic treatments were tailored to our individual needs, and they were the best part of the experience. Our yoga teacher Thilini was local and made our yoga sessions very meaningful, connecting our body and mind. We still do yoga with her over Zoom ever since we returned home. In a week, we had a new teacher Megan coming. She wasn’t local but she had an extensive knowledge about Ayurveda, local culture and she was great too. The people we had a pleasure of meeting during stay were from all over the world and truly exceptional. The best part was having all meals together around the table and having conversations. Every meal was a delightful journey of flavors and nourishment. The food had many varieties and left us both satisfied and intrigued to try more. Thilini explained to us each food ingredients and shared many stories and information about the local culture. She even took us to the beach late at night for stars gazing and listening to the sounds of the ocean. The staff was very caring, attentive, and tried to provide the best service. By the time we had to leave, we felt so much genuine care and felt like a part of a close-knit community. After returning home, I had a question about medicine for the doctor. Davia sent my question to Dr. Harnika and she replied to me. We left retreat feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, deeply relaxed, and with determination to change our lifestyle.
Rahela Rajh
Rahela Rajh
1691383170
My time at SEN Wellness Sanctuary for the Ayurvedic retreat was an incredibly relaxing experience. The immersion in pure nature, the sights and sounds of flora and fauna wildlife, and the rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments made it a standout wellness sanctuary worldwide. Daily yoga and meditation sessions, as well as a meeting with a monk, added a spiritual dimension. The wholesome meals were a delight, and the romantic boat ride they arranged for our wedding anniversary was unforgettable. The staff's warmth and dedication created a peaceful, welcoming atmosphere that truly fostered a deep connection with nature. The private beach felt like a personal paradise, offering an exclusive bond with the ocean and sand. My stay at SEN Wellness Sanctuary was truly transformative.
Ghurair Shaikh
Ghurair Shaikh
1691373696
Our time at SEN Wellness Sanctuary was like discovering a whole new world during the Ayurvedic retreat. Every second felt like a soothing melody of relaxation and refreshment for both of us. Being surrounded by untouched nature was like a dream, with all sorts of plants and animals creating a calming atmosphere. The Ayurvedic treatments were like magic, making this place stand out as one of the best wellness spots globally.Each day, we got to do calming yoga and meditation. We even met a monk, which was pretty cool and added a special vibe to our days. The food was delicious and healthy, giving us energy and making us smile. The cherry on top was a romantic boat ride on our anniversary, showing how much they cared about our happiness.The staff was incredibly friendly and worked hard to make the place feel like a peaceful escape. It was like they understood how much we needed to connect with nature. The private beach felt like our own little paradise, where the waves and sand seemed to give us their full attention.And guess what? We're already planning our next visit to SEN Wellness Sanctuary. Our stay changed us in a big way. It felt like we were woven into a beautiful story that mixed nature's beauty, calming activities, and friendly vibes. This experience is something we'll always remember and it inspires us to bring more harmony and renewal into our lives.
I was looking to fill my cup with good energy and that’s exactly what I got from Sen Wellness. Highlights for me were the delicious healthy food, the setting surrounded by nature and a protected nesting-turtle beach, the soothing Ayurvedic treatments and the daily yoga/ meditation sessions in peaceful settings or gentle dips in the seaside pool. The staff are superb, treating you like family in their lovely home. The cabanas were super comfortable and had everything I needed. Bring lots of insect repellent, camera storage for all the baby turtles you might witness, and a positive attitude and you’re golden. Worth the three-hour trip from Colombo!
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