12-Day Meditation and Buddhist Pilgrimage Retreat in Sri Lanka

  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Aug 27 - Sep 7, 2025 (12 days)

Event Highlights

  • Authentic Buddhist Meditation Study
  • Our enlightening journey would not be complete without a profound immersion into the study and practice of Buddhist meditation in Sri Lanka. Our 3 insightful days will be spent in a fulfilling silence with a living Sri Lankan master teaching an authentic tradition of Vipassana meditation. Rigorous study of meditation requires an inner commitment to humble comforts and community-oriented accommodations as a way of encountering the nature within. This incredible learning experience presents itself as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of growth through compassion which is at the heart of the Buddhist philosophy of loving kindness. This is an authentic Buddhist meditation retreat following in the lineage of lay masters who have preserved the essence of insightful cultivation of awareness.
  • Binara Full Moon Festival & Elephant Procession
  • During our Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka, we will have the exciting opportunity to attend an annual September “Binara” Full Moon “Poya” Festival in Mahiyangana. According to an ancient legend, the main temple in Mahiyangana is said to have been visited by Lord Buddha himself to settle a dispute among the ruling tribes of that time. The Buddha delivered a powerful sermon and settled the dispute. As a gesture of veneration he offered a bunch of his hairs to be preserved here in the form of relics. To this day, the temple remains an important pilgrimage site for Sri Lankan Buddhists and is equally regarded as a spiritual focal point by the local indigenous community of the Veddhas. The temple celebrates the September Full Moon with a colorful “Perahera” Elephant Procession, exciting cultural dances and acrobatic performances, as well as an offering from the regional tribal community.
  • Indigenous Ayurveda
  • Sri Lanka has inherited the age-old traditions of Ayurveda practiced for millennia in many regions of the Indian subcontinent. But, Sri Lanka also has many indigenous forms of holistic wellness that predate Ayurveda and are based in knowledge formed by the early forest dwelling communities. Much like the native tribes of many other nations, the Veddha of Sri Lanka are the gatekeepers to ancient wisdoms and forgotten spiritual practices. They are skilled cultivators of wild bee honey and source their naturopathy from the wide ranging varieties of endemic medicinal plants available only in the dense jungles of Sri Lanka. Thus, the Ayurveda in Sri Lanka has been deeply influenced by primal forms of wellness, as well as the Buddhist mindfulness psychology of holistic healing.

Schedule

DAY-BY-DAY PREVIEW

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.

About This Event

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.

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.

"Just want to thank you for everything you have done for us during our wonderful pilgrimage! You are so amazing!!! I hope to see you soon and share more journeys with you!" - Viktoriya, USA

What's Included

  • 11 nights / 12 blissful days of responsible wellness travel with a team of local experts
  • Unique Stays: select single and community-style accommodations, among them an authentic meditation center with simple monastic facilities
  • Meals: breakfast and dinners including special welcome and farewell celebrations
  • Transfers: ground transportation with an English-speaking local guide, including 1 group arrival/departure airport transfer
  • Fees: entrance fees and guided excursions to important sites
  • Sriseeker Exclusives: pre-departure and post-retreat consultations with our founding Sriseeker wellness expert
  • Wellness Expert: founding Sriseeker wellness teacher & guide throughout the trip
  • Meditation Retreat: 3 insightful days with an authentic Vipassana center and daily practice thereafter
  • Indigenous Ayurveda: visit to a local tribal community and traditional Ayurveda treatments
  • Karmic Activity: donations and service opportunities to benefit the local community of seekers
  • Rituals: local customs & ancient initiations

What's Not Included

International Airfare: flights to and from Sri Lanka
Medical Insurance: recommend purchase of your own coverage
Travel Insurance: recommend purchase of your own coverage
Visa to Sri Lanka: must be obtained prior to arrival
Passport Validity: must be valid for 6-months post trip departure date
Upgrades & Extras: room upgrades, private transfers, early arrivals or departure extensions. request additional cost
Not Mentioned: services and inclusions not mentioned in the itinerary (meals, beverages, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, other services booked onsite)

Payment Terms & Conditions
All deposits are non-refundable.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due 60 days prior to arrival.
The remaining balance is non-refundable once paid.
Itinerary route and activities subject to changes and modifications.
Copyright Sriseeker 2020

Venue Highlights

MEDITATION CENTER, KANDY - 03 NIGHTS
Our 3 insightful days will be spent in a fulfilling silence with a living Sri Lankan master teaching an authentic tradition of Vipassana meditation. Rigorous study of meditation requires an inner commitment to humble comforts and community-oriented accommodations as a way of encountering the nature within. This incredible learning experience presents itself as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of growth through compassion which is at the heart of the Buddhist philosophy of loving kindness.

AYURVEDA ASHRAM, HABARANA - 02 NIGHTS
During our stay in the Cultural Triangle, we will have the therapeutic opportunity to benefit from one-full day of Ayurvedic treatments according to the authentic indigenous medicine traditions of Sri Lanka. The eco-friendly cabanas of our ashram allow us to experience the true essence of Ayurvedic healing which is rooted in earthly remedies and medicinal plants.

Accommodations

We will visit 6 distinct locations on this retreat journey across Sri Lanka: Negombo, Kandy, Mahiyangana, Habarana, Anuradhapura, Kalpitiya.

All of our accommodations feature natural surroundings and a space for yoga/meditation for daily practice. Rigorous study of meditation requires an inner commitment to humble comforts and community-oriented accommodations as a way of encountering the nature within.

Each destination features possibility for a shared room (double/twin) or single room (limited to 2 rooms only, on first come first serve).

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • Ceremony Space
  • Ayurvedic

Menu Types

  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Organic

Menu/Cuisine

The Buddhist meditation journey is a health-conscious retreat for those who wish to detox their minds & bodies. We will have an opportunity to taste locally sourced ingredients, as well as personalize delicious "Ayurvedic" meals after doctor consultations. The retreat is also an opportunity to learn about the basic principles of Ayurvedic cuisine & healthy eating. We take an integrational approach to healthy eating that we hope to serve you long after your return from the retreat. During our outings, the organizers have selected a line up of restaurants with curated healthy options.

Directions

A group pick-up and drop at the airport will be provided on Day 1 & Day 12 of the retreat. Participants arriving early or departing later can inquire about arrangements for additional cost. This is a traveling retreat journey and ground group transportation is provided throughout the duration of the retreat.

DAY 1 : Thu, Aug 27
Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) - Negombo / welcome dinner
Ayubowan ! One group transfer to Negombo city will be organized by our tour leaders based on the majority of grouped arrivals. For private arrivals, please request additional services from us.
Please organize morning or early afternoon flights so you can check into your first hotel by 4PM at the latest. Standard hotel check-in time is 2PM; check-out is 12PM.
If you wish to organize an early arrival to Sri Lanka please ask us how.
At 5PM, we open with our first restorative sunset meditation practice on the beach.

DAY 12 : Mon, Sep 7
Kitesurf - BIA Airport / breakfast
After breakfast, we conclude our retreat with a morning group kitesurf lesson at the Kalpitiya lagoon. Some beach leisure and an optional lunch can be organized with our beach cabanas.
Please be ready for check-out by 1PM.
Road to the airport, which will be a 4hrs' journey. We'll have a snack at leisure and will make a bathroom break before the drop at the airport. Please organize late-night flights departing after 8PM from Sri Lanka.
If you wish to organize an extension stay in Sri Lanka please ask us how.

Itinerary route and activities subject to changes and modifications.
Copyright Sriseeker 2020

Cancellation Policy

All deposits are non-refundable.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
The remaining balance is non-refundable once paid.
Get full details...

Meditation pilgrimage Wellness yoga

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We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

After having just completed my RYT 200 I have been inspired to further my yoga journey and my own personal journey inward. I have fallen in love with yoga and how it has changed my life and I just want to continue to explore so I can share this beautiful gift with as many as possible. Jessica
 

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We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.