Disease: Monkey mind.
Symptoms: Stress and angst terrorizing brain. like. spastic. chimp.
Cure: Learn to meditate. (Finally.)
There are as many ways to meditate as there are leaves on a lotus blossom. (Er, something like that.) A trip into mist-shrouded mountains is one way to go, but if, like everyone else, you’re totes broke, you can have a rousing inward journey at home. Pick a destination and prepare to zone.
By the Sea
Learn to stop hating (self and others) at the new Meditation of the Heart program at Caneel Bay’s Self Centre in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Across the continent in Hana, Maui, the Ala Kukui retreat center teaches indigenous Hawaiian meditation techniques combined with Eastern traditions for powerful monkey-taming medicine.
In the Mountains
Head to the renowned Kripalu Center in the Berkshires the weekend of January 30 for a one-two punch: Meditation in a New York Minute, a cure to multitasking madness led by investment banker-turned-guru Mark Thornton, and Navigating Your Infinite Center, yoga guru Rodney Yee’s meditation seminar. Prefer ponderosa pines? They blend meditation, kyudo (Zen archery), and Qigong at Colorado’s Shambhala Mountain Center, where upcoming programs include Turning the Mind into an Ally (February 13-15) and The Art of Being Human (March 20-22).
In a Forest
It’s all good vibrations at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest. No patchouli-scented hippies here: just punk-Buddhist badass Noah Levine leading the Finding Freedom meditation seminar (January 23-25).
Across the Globe
At the amazing Ananda in the Himalayas, you get chanting, inner visualization, and candle gazing in macked-out style. Clear your mind, then bliss out with Ayurvedic massage. (Not a bad day.) The Middle Way Meditation Retreat in Loei, Thailand, will break free your psychic shackles in just a week at its beginners retreat (February 11-17).
For a (cheap, easy) magic carpet ride into inner awareness, get Jon Kabat-Zinn’s bullshit-free Guided Mindfulness Meditation CDs. Zencast podcasts, available on iTunes, offer guided meditation sessions and lectures on a bevy of Buddhist topics. Pick your podcast, pop on your headphones, and off you go.
You’ll stick to the program better if you work the buddy system. Send this e-mail to another monkey-minded friend.