Don’t you feel that there are times that you just want to get away from it all? Somewhere you can escape, in order to do some soul searching in this increasingly crazy world. Well look no more because here are some of the most Zen places in Asia to start your spiritual journey:
THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE, ZHENGZHOU CHINA
Famous not only for its kungfu, the Shaolin Temple is also a place where one can practice meditation and learn Buddhism. Foreigners from all around the world can actually come to the temple and spend some time to learn the basics of wushu, qigong and basically learn the ways of a Shaolin monk. The temple itself has existed since the year 495 AD. If you are looking for a meditation getaway but with a more “active lifestyle” then take some time off and head to the Shaolin, at the same time making all you martial arts dreams come true.
YOGABARN UBUD, BALI, INDONESIA
The Yogabarn is a wellness retreat located in Ubud, Bali, an island in Indonesia very well known for its unique Hindu practices familiar only to the Balinese itself. It is a popular destination among tourist seeking peace and tranquility as the center itself is located among green paddy fields. This place is great for travellers who are looking for a retreat but still within distance of a small town and other tourist destinations. Among the must see in Ubud is the Sacred Monkey Forest where 3 famous Hindu temples are situated that was believed to be built in the 1350’s.
OSHO INTERNATIONAL MEDITATION RESORT, PUNE, INDIA
A good balance of modern and Zen infrastructure, Osho Meditation Resort is great if you want to immerse yourself in courses over a certain period (14-30 days minimum). Osho, the founder, himself have made an impact in India and definitely one of the most prolific and influential people there at this day and age. With an extensive list of meditation classes combined with the modern facilities available, that will surely be jaw dropping, you will be spoilt for choice at Osho. Visitors flock here by the dozens so it would suit well for people who don’t mind being a more social environment in their journey towards the self.
SUAN MOKKH, GARDEN OF LIBERATION, SURAT THANI, THAILAND
The Suan Mokkh is located in Surat Thani Thailand and is one of the most established yet still somewhat under the radar sort of retreat. Surrounded by lush greeneries, it has a very minimalist, back-to-basic vibe. Don’t expect luxury accommodations but facilities here are adequate and yet comfortable. The very interesting meditation area for example is held on an area of sand topped with a burlap bag. A place that is not to be underestimated as the meditation courses and training here are reported to be very effective.
SHUNKOIN TEMPLE, KYOTO, JAPAN
It doesn’t get more Zen then this! The Shunkoin Temple, established in 1590 by Horio Yoshiharu, the lord of the place at the time. Nowadays, it has provided meditation classes that are conducted in English and accommodation for tourists all located in and around a Japanese garden. Imagine living in ancient Japan, inside the old buildings and sleeping on tatami mats. This will add certain nostalgia to the atmosphere. Meditation classes are focused on adaptation of Zen philosophy into your everyday life and are rumored to be very effective. Come here if you want to learn the Japanese Zen life!