Dipabhavan” essentially means “a private place to learn the teachings of the Buddha,” which is what locals and tourists have been doing here since it opened in 2005. The center is based on Vipassana, an ancient form of meditation that involves a minimum of ten days of silent, self-observing mental training. You come here with two goals: to free your consciousness of misery, and to strengthen your mind-body connection. The practice is rigorous, daunting, and sometimes uncomfortable, but it’s worth the mindfulness and peace you gain. The retreat is completely free of charge (they welcome donations at the end) and pared back (you won’t get a full-service spa here), but the team looks after your every need.

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