BUDDHIST MEDITATION & INDIGENOUS WELLNESS IN SRI LANKA
An authentic Buddhist meditation retreat in Sri Lanka is the ultimate self-care experience that offers deep contemplation by way of cultivating awareness. On this exceptional pilgrimage to our inner self, we will have the rare opportunity to study and practice insight meditation with a living Sri Lankan master. We will continue with a cleansing stay in a traditional Ayurvedic eco-village and will meet a local tribal community practicing indigenous forms of wellness. Our mindfulness journey will take us to incredible places of power and spiritual transformation granting us unprecedented "stargate" access to higher realms of consciousness. If you are searching for the ultimate « Shangri-La » you will find it on this Buddhist exploration of the only living philosophy of loving kindness.
MEDITATION RETREAT AND 12-DAY BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE IN SRI LANKA
Cultivate your wellbeing on this traveling Buddhist meditation retreat and find refuge in Sri Lanka’s indigenous wellness and sacred pilgrimage to the island’s most alluring places of power. Encounter yourself on a 12-day Buddhist tour in Sri Lanka taking you to the origins of Theravada traditions and rituals. Ignite your imagination during a colorful Binara Festival & Elephant Procession at one of the most important temples first hallowed by Gautama Buddha himself. Experience the simplicity of monastic dwelling with community-style accommodations during meditation study stay. Climb the giant boulders in the cultural triangle for a unparalleled sunrise view of Sigiriya Rock and meditate into the sunset at the picturesque Dambulla caves. Practice walking meditation among the ruins of a mystical forest monastery and complete a sacred 16-site « Solosmasthana » pilgrimage in an ancient city built by an enlightened civilization. Complete your journey with a thrilling jeep expedition into Sri Lankan wilderness and learn to kitesurf during a stay on the untouched beaches of the Northwestern coast.
DAY 9 : Friday, September 4 I HABARANA
We head out into the lush environment of the ancient Ritigala forest monastery. This dense jungle was once the spiritually charged abode of hundreds of Buddhist monks who meditated in natural caves hidden deep in the forest. The leisurely walk represents a meditation in practice along the remnants of ancient structures and pathways used by the monks on their way to Enlightenment. We then proceed with a refreshing picnic by the “black waters” of Kaludiya Pokuna pond. To complete the day we meditate into the sunset at Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The legend states that Venerable Thero Mahinda, Buddha’s disciple, delivered the Dharma to the island and was given protection and a monastic complex at the site of this high-rising boulder rock. The views from the top of Mihintale rock mesmerize with their far-reaching vistas and breathtaking 360-degree views of the Sri Lankan countryside.
DAY 10 : Saturday, September 5 I ANURADHAPURA
Today we continue our exceptional Buddhist pilgrimage circuit by visiting Anuradhapura, the first ancient capital of Sri Lanka. The “solosmasthana” sacred itinerary is given its name for the sixteen sacred locations in Sri Lanka that are venerated by all devout pilgrims. In Anuradhapura, we will visit many of the primary sites such as the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree that was delivered to Sri Lanka as a sapling of the original holy “ficus religiosa” in Bodhgaya, where Buddha gained Enlightenment and the ultimate insight into the nature of reality. We will offer alms at Ruwanweliseya, the astounding white dagoba containing the largest number of Buddha’s relics and a powerful place of spiritual expansion for many Buddhists today. Among many such important sites, we will visit monastic caves and hidden ruins providing incredible mystical experiences and multidimensional portals into the beyond.
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Our petite group retreats are designed to awaken a deeper connection with our surroundings. We limit space to those who seek awareness and self-cultivation within a community of like-hearted individuals. The small size of our groups allows us to maintain outmost care in meeting each participants’ needs for self-reflection. Although no prior retreat experience is required, we encourage you to approach this journey with an open mind.
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WHAT IS SRISEEKER WELLNESS TRAVEL IN SRI LANKA?
Sri Lanka is a well-rounded destination deeply steeped in age-old traditions of holistic living. From culinary traditions taking their root in the indigenous science of Ayurveda to the well preserved Buddhist philosophy based in loving kindness, the island possesses an abundance of natural resources making it an ideal tropical oasis for the biodiversity to thrive.
On a Sriseeker wellness retreat, you will be taken to places of power where you can tap into the easily accessible spiritual and natural “Shangri-La” of the island. Our wellness travel itineraries are paced in such a way as to allow you to experience the deeper aspects of each location while making sure that you get to visit some of the important highlights of Sri Lanka. With Sriseeker you get the “whole” experience of all the « must-see’s » and « must-do’s » while on a holiday that elevates your well-being.
Our expert knowledge and constant exploration of the far hidden corners of the island ensures that your experience goes well beyond the typical tourist route. We have vetted each location, each accommodation and we have curated each experience to create the unique fabric of a well-travelled itinerary.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COME TO SRI LANKA FOR A WELLNESS RETREAT?
Sri Lanka is an all-year destination, with peak seasons falling on the months of December through April and July through August. However, the high season months can be quite crowded with hundreds of tourists visiting the main sites and national parks. This can lead to the feeling of rushing through a visit or having to stand on long lines to access a site, something that we try to avoid on our meditation retreat and Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka.
The ideal months to visit Sri Lanka on a slower-paced spiritual itinerary are the lower season months such as May through June and September through November. These also happen to be important months in the cultural calendar of the island, with Vesak Festival in May and Binara Perahera in September. Both of these cultural and religious events are the highlight of Sriseeker retreat itineraries.
The lower season months can present occasional monsoon showers, however all of our wellness travel itineraries are structured in such a way as to optimize on locations that tend to be dryer during this time. This also means that we get to experience the serenity of the island firsthand, with smaller numbers of tourists at the main sites and an authentic experience closer to the local population.
HOW DO I REACH SRI LANKA AND WHERE WILL I BE PICKED UP?
Sri Lanka can be easily reached via a number of connecting destinations in Europe, Middle East and Asia. If you are visiting Sri Lanka for the first time, it is good to acquaint yourself with the basics of our SRI LANKA GUIDE.
Sri Lanka has one international airport named Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), located 1h30 drive to the economic capital of Colombo, and 30min drive to the nearby coastal town of Negombo. If you are coming for a Sriseeker retreat, you will be picked up by our driver at the time of your arrival time at the airport. On arrival, additional accommodations can be arranged by Sriseeker for pre-retreat arrivals and some downtime to recover from the long flights. Inquire about the additional arrangements by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All international travelers to Sri Lanka are required to obtain a tourist visa prior to entry into the country. The tourist visa allows multiple entry into Sri Lanka for a duration of 30 days, but can be extended for another 30 days while in Sri Lanka at the Immigration Authority. The E-Visa Application should be submitted on the official government site for a nominal fee of US$40 via a credit card payment and confirmation will be sent to your e-mail within 24 hours. Visa on arrival facilities are also available at the airport for an additional fee, however it is highly advisable to obtain the e-Visa prior to arrival, which is an easy and straight forward online registration process. For assistance with the e-visa application please send us an email.
WHAT TO BRING ON A WELLNESS TRIP TO SRI LANKA?
Your wellness journey will depend greatly on how well you have prepared for it. For Sriseeker wellness travelers we recommend to travel light, packing only the essentials that will go well with the itinerary at hand. Sri Lanka is a malaria-free destination, so you will not be needing to take any medical or vaccination precautions. Still, some practical items should be considered for all travel itineraries to Sri Lanka.