World's Most Blissful Meditation Spaces
If you want to book a vacation that revolves around relaxation, here are the destinations to consider
Sitting atop Buchensteinwand Mountain in Tyrol, Austria, the St. James Summit Cross features breathtaking panoramic vistas from its five viewing platforms, as well as ample meditation space. Known locally as Jakobskreuz, the summit cross was built in 2014 along the Camino de Santiago, one of the many pilgrimage routes to the shrine of apostle St. James the Great in northwestern Spain.
Checking in at the Barai at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin in Thailand will grant access to this sanctuary featuring a reflecting pool surrounded by a sand-and-rock garden and enclosed by wine-color walls. The space is specially designed for meditation and yoga, and is located along a stretch of beachfront property on the Gulf of Thailand.
Designed with a sublime symmetry, the Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel at Portland, Oregon's the Grotto was a gift of movie-theater magnate Tom Moyer and named after his late wife. It offers tranquil views of the Columbia River and Mount St. Helens. The structure was completed in 1991 by Thompson Vaivoda & Associates, commissioned by the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, whose Grotto is a shrine to St. Mary.
Known as the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun in Thailand is a Buddhist temple designed by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat as a functional art exhibit that replaced the site’s original temple. Completed in 1997, the ornate structure includes a meditation hall and is considered by the artist to be a gift to Buddha.
This warm-tone, boatlike structure is the Kamppi Chapel of Silence, a space in Helsinki, Finland, designed specifically for silence, reflection, and meditation. Though it’s owned by the city’s Social Services Department and local parishes, the chapel isn’t used for any official ceremonies. The windowless design and softly curving shape are meant to cradle visitors within.
This gently undulating building by Pritzker Prize–winning Toyo Ito & Assoc. is called Meiso No Mori, meaning Forest of Meditation. It serves as a municipal funeral hall, a crematorium, and a tranquil place for quiet reflection. The white concrete roof was inspired by a blanket of snow, while the glass walls provide views of the placid lake.
The Vipassana International Academy in India is dedicated to teaching its students the namesake method of meditation through self-observation. The ornate temple is located on a lush 80-acre site and features design influences from traditional Indian and Burmese architecture.