Meditation is a practice that has been carried out through thousands of years by people in different traditions as its full meaning varies between these traditions. Until recent years, meditation was strictly for religious purposes.
Meditation with it carries numerous benefits not only mentally but physical health as well. To fully meditate and get these benefits, one has to thoroughly learn the art of meditation as it is a skill that should be practiced over time. Many may practice meditation for different reasons and in seek of different results as meditation is known to reduce anxiety, stress levels, lower blood pressure, and even pain.
There are many meditation retreats in the world where people travel to and learn how to meditate from experts. The results of this practice make such vast and positive impacts on people’s lives and health that people are willing to travel to countries and cities where meditation is popular.
Going to meditation retreats is a great way to spend a vacation and go back home feeling like a new person mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
So, if you have already had this idea of taking a vacation to a well-known meditation country or city and you do not know where to go, here is a list of countries where meditation is popular that should make it easier to decide.
How can this list start without this country being its opener? India is practically where the practice first originated before spreading and becoming popular in other countries and religions. India is a country in South Asia with a large population of a little over 1.3 billion and is the 7th largest country in South Asia. Many people seeking spiritual nourishment will visit India looking for it. India is one of the most religious countries in the world, with its hundreds of holy sites and meditation retreats that it has. In India, yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Yoga has been misunderstood as a practice solely for physical gain. This is misconception could not be further from the truth. Yoga is a craft that has been around India for centuries and is used to prepare the body and mind for meditation. Many people travel to India to learn meditation and yoga. Many visit the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment, which is in Bodhgaya, India.
Japan is an island seating on the Pacific Ocean with a population of 126 million people. Japan is a country full of culture, traditions, and spirituality. It is one of the most spiritual countries as well, with its religious shrines and temples. The Japanese practice Buddhism and Shinto as religions. Zen meditation is practiced by people in the Buddhist faith in a meditation technique known as Zazen meditation. The zazen technique of meditation involves sitting in a quiet and clean place, sitting on your knees with your back spine straight, and chin up almost like trying to reach high and breathing in quietly and slowly without controlling it and letting thoughts flow. Zen meditation is to help achieve enlightenment and self-realization.
Indonesia is a South Asian country that homes multiple ethnic groups that speak different languages and a population of about 264 million people. In Indonesia, Buddhist practice mediation and Bali being the capital of where the meditation happens. Meditation practices carried out in Bali are called silent meditation or Vipassana, which usually goes for about ten days or longer in the silent retreats all over Bali. The process entails days of total silence in meditation, which is aimed at shutting out outside distractions and allowing you to listen to the things going on in our inner selves. All the activities, including eating vegetarian food, walking around the beautiful gardens of the retreats, listening to a teacher, or even reading, are done in total silence.
Tibet sits on the northern side of the Himalayan, although china claims that it’s an integral part of it, the Tibet government maintains that it’s an independent state with the unlawful occupation. Tibet has a population of 3.18 million, with its main religion being Buddhism, so you know there is a lot of meditation going on there. Meditation in Tibet is aimed at taming one’s mind to create a happy life and control one’s behaviors. Most of Tibet meditation imitates a lot of yoga poses while chanting words that help center the mind.
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its history through the ancient ruins and temples that display Buddha figures. Thailand holds a population of 69 million people, and religious practices are Buddhism. In Thailand, the meditation technique practiced or taught in temples is the Vipassana, which emphasizes the observation of internal vibrations and thoughts. There is another technique of mediation that is aimed at developing concentration, which is known as Samatha. During meditation, there is a separation of men and women, and they strictly enforce total silence.
China is a populous country of 1.03 billion people in East Asia. Buddhism is one of the major religions in this country, including Chinese folklore. Buddhism plays a huge role in the Chinese way of life and behaviors, including those that do not practice it as a religion. This easy adoption of Buddhist practices and philosophical behavior by the majority of Chinese people means that meditation is an integral part of their life and culture. The Chinese have been able to integrate meditation in their daily life that it has become a natural practice that be done anywhere. Chinese meditation is aimed at helping one face their true selves for only then will they be able to make changes to become better. Chinese meditation is advanced such that they can take breaks in between work and meditate.
Korea is a region that consists of Jeju Island, the Korean peninsula, and a few more islands. Korea has a population of 51.47 million people, and all the major religions in the world are equally represented. The Korean mediation style is the same as the Japanese Zen meditation, only that Koreans refer to it as Seon. Most Korean temples are located in the green mountains for the apparent reasons for the quiet nature that these mountains provide for people to meditate. The temples offer visitors learning opportunities on meditations and stay in the temples for the period of learning. Just like the Japanese Zen meditation, the Korean Seon aims at creating enlightenment and self-awareness.
A beautiful country of about 53 million in population and bordering India, China, Thailand, and Bangladesh in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is a Buddhist country that also practices meditation.
Myanmar also practices the Vipassana mediation for 10 days as they believe that this is the time it takes for new learners to understand the meditation technique. The country has a lot of meditation retreats that leaves tourists looking for the best retreats spoilt for choice. Meditation centers such as the Chanmyay Yeiktha also functions as a monastery welcoming even foreigners and has monks who are meditation teacher to foreigners.
Meditation should be a practice that we all adopt as it should not be restricted to Buddhists only, and we should make a point to learn from them. Traveling to these countries to learn meditation is life-changing. Those that have been able to have discovered worlds of peace beyond imagination. The world is a vast place full of knowledge that could unlock happiness and peace within each one of us. Meditation is the knowledge and key that will center us and open those happy emotions that will ultimately make the world a better and peaceful place.