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.

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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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One of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. The 10-day retreat is the ultimate in relaxation. They feed you all your meals (delicious homegrown/homemade food), schedule yoga and daily spa treatments and hold special ceremonies throughout the week. The staff go above and beyond to make your experience deep, meaningful and heartfelt. The sanctuary is located in a jungle so be prepared to be immersed in wildlife! Monkeys, reptiles of all kinds, turtles on the beach, eagles/birds and more! I stumbled across this place researching Sri Lanka and it was truly meant to be. The faculties are stunning, comfortable and reasonably priced. Don’t miss an opportunity to come here!
Melanie Farfel
Melanie Farfel
1711609773
A wonderful stay! The staff was so incredible and thoughtful throughout. I left feeling very rejuvenated. Thank you !
M UW
M UW
1710650939
I had really nice experience at Sen Wellness for 8 nights. Here is in the middle of nature, we can feel that we are a part of nature and it is very natural to live with all kinds of animals and plants. I am now mentally and physically fit.What I really appreciated is food - healthy, everyday different menu, some vegetables that I have never seen… I felt that my feeling of taste transformed through my stay and skin condition and body condition became better.All people here is really kind and peaceful.Yoga teacher, Stefania, is a wonderful teacher, she is really knowledgeable and so kind to care all participants. I had enjoyed conversations with her at breakfast, lunch and dinner.Doctors, therapists are nice, I could ask questions and request whatever I feel comfortable.There are different types of rooms, I experienced the most luxury cabana and eco-cabana with Air Conditioning, too. Luxury cabana was awesome but I liked eco-cabana as well. It was an old facility but authentic, compact and I felt cozy. I was alone in the room so the space was enough for single use. If you wish to have luxury stay, I would recommend you to go for Luxury cabana.Everyone has different purpose and expectations. My purpose was feel nature, have simple life and feel appreciation of life. And it was fulfilled. Thank you so much for all Sen wellness team.
sunil damodar
sunil damodar
1710516667
Went to Sen Wellness with family for a retreat, it was a nice spiritual and healthy experience. Fantastic team who were friendly and did everything possible to make it us feel special, great doctors and therapists and of course the daily yoga and one on one interaction with Sam was icing on the cake. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a great mix of spirituality, yoga, treatment and healthy eating. Look forward to my next one at Sen Wellness.
Jessica Crozier
Jessica Crozier
1709904229
Sen Wellness is the perfect place to go to when you are exhausted by life and need a rest to get back to yourself and work through any difficulties you may be experiencing.There’s lovely yoga and meditation classes every day plus a set schedule which is a great way to structure your day of rest alongside tailored Ayurvedic treatments and healthy food.The place is for me perfect but it’s not like a 5 star hotel so if that’s what you are looking for it may be the wrong place for you.If you are lucky you’ll see some turtles as well.Samath and Francis are great managers and will make sure everything goes well.
Kumail Syedain
Kumail Syedain
1709739998
Beautiful experience, beyond my wildest expectations. Would recommend to anyone interested in Ayurveda and healing
Neil Wadhawan
Neil Wadhawan
1709656423
I was fortunate to lead a yoga retreat in early February of 2024. Everything was absolutely spectacular. Sen is a very special place with a beautiful energy that is perfect for retreat and healing.What really makes Sen so special are the people. Every single one of the staff members as well as the ayurveda doctors and all the managers were so kind and always trying to make each experience special. The entire team was led by Sanath and Frances and they were both absolutely wonderful. I can't possibly find enough kind words for both of them. Their leadership and warmth really allowed me to lead the retreat in the best way I could and they were always there for me whenever I needed. Thank you!
helen wright
helen wright
1709279369
Sen wellness is a perfect sanctuary. The Ayurvedic retreat was insane - I loved every minute of it . Thank you
Elly G
Elly G
1708444914
Came here for a yoga retreat with our teacher. This is the place to unwind, do yoga, relax and get Ayurvedic treatment. Ayurvedic drs and therapists are so helpful and friendly. Staff are so warm and helpful. Frances is the manager at Sen, a person with a beautiful soul who is very sensitive to our needs and intentions when visiting the sanctuary. Saneth (pardon my spelling) is a very dedicated and hardworking gentleman who made sure that our stay was a pleasant one. Highly recommend Sen Wellness Sanctuary 🙏🏽
Heike Mucha
Heike Mucha
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.
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