I’m guessing I’m not the only person who at this particular moment is dreaming of an escape to somewhere warm and tropical to rest and unwind. Sadly, for all of us, this is definitely not happening this winter. However, if we focus on the blessing of technology (especially Zoom), we can give ourselves the gift of the next best thing- an online meditation retreat!
I know both personally and professionally that meditation is one of the greatest tools we have to get us through tough times. Since COVID hit, I’ve doubled my daily meditations in order to mitigate the extra stresses. In a previous article, I shared my favourite free meditation app which I use twice daily. I recommend it to my clients all the time and receive wonderful feedback about how it’s helped them unwind, become more centred and increased their capacity to face difficult situations with equanimity and grace.
Pros of Doing an Online Meditation Retreat
- No travel costs
- Not having to deal with the stress of travelling to a retreat centre
- Not having to share a room and bathroom with a complete stranger
- The assurance of being able to sleep in a comfortable bed
- Not having to suffer through tasteless and unsatisfying vegan meals
- Not having to smell the aftereffects of such meals in the meditation room after they have been consumed
- Being able to control the temperature of the room you meditate in
If you try it for a bit and absolutely can’t stand it, no need to rearrange flights/ferries, etc. to leave early- just turn off the computer and you’re out of there!
Online Meditation Retreat Options
I am a HUGE fan of Buddhist psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach and incorporate her wonderful RAIN meditation practise into therapy sessions. She suggests creating a home retreat which includes a FREE half-day retreat. Check it out by clicking here.
Equally, I really enjoy the teachings of Buddhist psychologist and meditation teacher, Jack Kornfield. He is the founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in West Marin County, California. It looks like a fabulous place to do a meditation retreat but is only doing online offerings at the moment. To check out what you can access from the comfort of your own home, click here.
You can also check out the online options offered by Insight Meditation Society. They have both “on-demand” and “livestream” courses to choose from. These include: mini retreats, daily home practise and special events. Check them all out by clicking here.
I also found a fabulous Canadian resource based in Ottawa called True North Insight which offers online meditation retreats and online sitting groups. Some of these are in French as well if that is your preferred language.