Retreat - from the English word retreat, which means seclusion, withdrawal from society, a refuge - a term that has become a new trend among enthusiasts of a healthy lifestyle, practitioners of yoga, and mindfulness. This concept signifies a secluded, information-free break in nature with spiritual practices.
In the modern world, information streams literally pour in from everywhere, not always useful and necessary for people: advertisements, informational banners, messengers, social networks. Furthermore, to stay informed, we constantly learn news that doesn't directly affect our lives and is sometimes unnecessary. We reach for new information because it's trendy to be educated, but using all that knowledge in practice is difficult, and the information overload plays a devaluing role in this whole process. In this race, we attract a lot of informational junk, which becomes a kind of background noise. Therefore, to get rid of this noise, seekers of silence go to special places in search of tranquility and serenity.
You can find solitude in the lap of nature without leaving your country, even if it doesn't have azure waters and palm-fringed beaches. But it's not just about a peaceful vacation. Practices like Vipassana, meditation, women's circles, asceticism, and cocoa ceremonies have ceased to be solely religious and have become integrated into the lives of ordinary people. And the main part of retreats implies precisely spiritual practices, while staying in nature is more of a complement than a primary condition.
Among the options for relaxing the soul and body, Vipassana practices - a retreat into silence - dominate. For a certain number of days, silence, asceticism, and daily meditations are practiced. The second most popular format is yoga retreats. It's a less ascetic pastime, including daily yoga sessions, breathing practices, various workshops, and ceremonies.
Where can you do Vipassana and yoga retreats in Bali?
Dhamma Geha Retreat Center
Dhamma Center Bali is located in the village of Shirangan, about a 30-minute drive north of Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. Its location away from the urban hustle and bustle helps guests enjoy nature and the surrounding environment in a peaceful setting.
Vipassana as per Goenka is a relatively strict course, and they accept payment in the form of donations.
Many guests appreciate the beautiful and well-maintained center grounds, as well as the staff's care for the comfort and well-being of guests. The atmosphere in the center is calm and spiritual, which helps participants concentrate and derive maximum benefit from the practice.
The center is simple, without unnecessary details and high comfort conditions but not as ascetic as ashrams.
Spaces are filled up 1-2 months before the start of Vipassana, so keep an eye on the schedule. There are three-day courses for old students and ten-day courses for newcomers.
A Buddhist temple in Singaraja, a town on the northern coast of the island. A true renunciation of excess comforts and immersion in oneself.
For participants, sleeping accommodations are provided in shared rooms. The temple's grounds are quite large, with a garden and many concrete pathways, providing opportunities for solitude. Separate buildings serve as places for lectures, group meditations, and a dining area.
Bali Silence Retreat
If you want to be alone with your thoughts amidst rice terraces without sacrificing comfort, then this retreat center is suitable. You can sign up for the retreat and choose your accommodation option through their website. Individual bungalows are available for rent here.
If you're interested in workshops and yoga without staying overnight, you can find such activities here as well. Reviews of this place are pleasant. Conditions appear to be of moderate strictness: very delicious food and a more relaxed schedule.
The cost of accommodation for one person starts at $75 per day.
Sanak Retreat Bali
You can experience a retreat without sacrificing comfort in a luxury-class setting amidst the greenery and jungle sounds at Sanak.
To learn about schedules and prices for silent retreats, you can only do so by messaging directly on WhatsApp.
If you can't adjust to a set schedule and your goal is to practice yoga, meditate, and alternate spiritual practices with active relaxation, you can simply book accommodation and choose the desired activities for your dates.
The cost of accommodation in a one-bedroom bungalow starts from 2,205,000 IDR.
This health and tranquility center organizes retreats ranging from one day to extended 12-day retreats. Depending on the type and duration, the location is chosen. Usually, it's Tabanan or Gianyar - both areas are far from the tourist coast and surrounded by lush greenery and close to natural power places like waterfalls. The facilities are modern. Programs are conducted in either English or Indonesian, so be sure to carefully review the schedule to avoid accidentally attending events conducted solely in Indonesian.
You can find the schedule of upcoming events and all related information on their website, where you can also apply to participate. It's advisable to do this about a month before your vacation.
A complex with beautiful gardens and well-maintained grounds right on the ocean's edge. The location is not far from Canggu, and a scenic winding road through rice terraces leads to it.
There are several program options to choose from: detox, retreat, or yoga training with a certificate upon completion.
The detox program involves a gentle cleansing of the body through fresh juice fasting and a strict vegetarian diet. You can decide how many days you want to spend on detox, with programs starting from just one day.
The retreat offers comfortable accommodation at the complex and daily activities such as yoga, meditation, kirtan, and various ceremonies a couple of times a week.
All guests have access to spa programs and additional workshops, which come at an extra cost and are held at the center.
The cost starts from $235 per night for single occupancy in a separate bungalow.
Ubud Aura Retreat
Ubud Aura, located in the Ubud area, offers comprehensive programs for the rejuvenation of the body, mind, and spirit. The premises have everything for a complete relaxation and a high-quality reset: a spa salon, a swimming pool, a yoga shala, and a library.
In addition to options for private relaxation, the center offers retreat programs for groups of up to 24 people. Retreats include organic food, the consumption of cleansing juices, and daily yoga and meditation practices.
You can find information and sign up by contacting them via WhatsApp.
The Istana Bali
This luxury complex offers flexible conditions for a 10-day silent retreat.
Firstly, you have the option to join Vipassana online here. If you live nearby, you can participate in group meditation for free. For those who don't want to stay at the complex but plan to rejuvenate both their mind and body, the package for $555 includes not only meditations and yoga classes but also two cryo-capsule sessions and one hyperbaric oxygen session.
You can find information about the dates of upcoming retreats and sign up on the website.
The participation cost with shared accommodation, three meals a day, and biohacking procedures is $1,555.
Three days in complete darkness and silence. This is an option for those who want to confront their fears head-on and explore their deep emotions and experiences.
Participants are placed in a special small building with a single, windowless room that has ventilation, a sleeping area, and a restroom. Meals are provided three times a day through a special opening that doesn't let in light.
Reviews vary among individuals: some slept well and appreciated the tranquility, while others found it challenging due to the inability to perceive space with their usual senses. However, most people note that the experience is worth it.
The price per day starts from 720,000 IDR.