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What Happens at a Meditation Camp?

B. Miller
B. Miller

Meditation camp, also frequently known as a meditation retreat, is a way for people to take a break from everyday life for a few days, weeks, or even months to practice meditation techniques and ideally change the way they perceive themselves and their lives for the better. There are different types of meditation camps available for people of different interests and meditation skill levels; some provide courses in different meditation techniques and spirituality, while others simply provide a quiet space for individuals to go and meditate throughout a very structured day. The price of a meditation camp will vary widely depending on these factors and others, such as the length of the retreat and any amenities provided.

Because there are many different types of meditation and ways to meditate, it is unlikely that any meditation camp will be just like another one. Some are more focused on the more spiritual aspects of meditation; for instance, a meditation camp may be led by a Buddhist guru. Other meditation camps are not focused on any type of spiritual beliefs, and are instead focused on teaching different meditation techniques, of which there are many. It is important to do research ahead of time and understand the purpose and goals of the retreat before signing up.

Individuals may learn meditation techniques at a meditation camp.
Individuals may learn meditation techniques at a meditation camp.

A meditation camp can be as short as a weekend or as long as a few months; some people will stay at the center for an even longer period of time. It depends on the individual's goals for the meditation retreat. Some people simply want to learn techniques and tools for meditation that they can take back home with them, while others are looking for more of a complete spiritual overhaul of their lives. Generally, meditation camps are structured fairly similarly, even if they teach different approaches.

Generally, a meditation camp is located in a natural setting, and offers a fairly structured day for participants. Often, individuals will be expected to get up quite early in the morning, before the sunrise, and will spend much of the day -- often up to 12 hours -- sitting in meditation. The amount of time actually spent meditating will vary depending on whether or not the camp is also providing classes. Small, often vegetarian, meals are frequently served to participants, and distractions are minimized. Cell phones, televisions, or other electronics are often not allowed at meditation centers because they are very distracting, which defeats the whole purpose of the retreat.

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    • Individuals may learn meditation techniques at a meditation camp.
      By: Sanjay Deva
      Individuals may learn meditation techniques at a meditation camp.