You can journey within with these top 10 online meditation experiences

With physical travel ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, avid globetrotters are pining for new ways to explore new destinations and discover underrated places. Well, why not “get away from it all” by taking an inner journey?

Mindfulness and meditation are hot topics these days and being housebound is a good excuse to give inner travel a try. Best of all, you don’t have to go on a personal retreat to discover how to meditate or tap into some much-needed rest. Through an online – and distinctly domestic – journey, you can learn to navigate your inner landscape from home and also find comfort in a like-minded contemplative community coming together to confront the coronavirus. Here are some of North America’s best virtual meditation experiences.

Ten percent happier live

Every weekday at 3 p.m. EST, host Dan Harris (ABC News correspondent and co-founder of the popular 10 Percent Happier App) virtually connects with some of the world’s top meditation experts to create a live meditation experience. offer. These free “healthy breaks” are designed for all levels – beginners to mindfulness masters – and truly embrace the philosophy that we’re all in this together. The sessions are a much-needed way to put our pandemic panic on hold, if only for a little while, and learn to better manage our anxiety and fear. These mini-meditations contain about five minutes of meditation, followed by an interactive question and answer period. The live meetings are also an excellent opportunity to discover meditation mentors, many of whom may also offer online programs.

Live broadcast of the Do Nothing project

Canadian author and meditation teacher, Jeff Warren (who also co-wrote Meditation for restless skeptics with Dan Harris and Carlye Adler) offers an incredibly engaging and accessible group meditation experience with its aptly named Do Nothing Project. Every Sunday night at 8 PM and Wednesday at 12 AM EST, Warren live streams a free meditation session where participants of all abilities and inclinations are invited to meditate — or just sit and stare into space. Everyone is welcome to Warren’s playful and relaxed approach to inner exploration.

Insight Meditation Association

One of North America’s most acclaimed non-profit meditation centers, the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has put many of its retreats and courses online. Upcoming programs (with registration coming soon) include a retreat with IMS co-founders and renowned meditation teachers Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. There will also be an introduction to a meditation retreat with Pascal Auclair and a loving kindness retreat with Sharon Salzberg. Numerous other retreats featuring a variety of distinguished teachers will soon be offered, as will the organization’s popular annual people of color and teen programs.

Starting May 15, IMS will be offering Bhikkhu Analayo’s The Foundations of Mindfulness, a twelve-session series featuring respected guest lecturers such as Judson Brewer, Jon-Kabat Zinn, and more. It is an incomparably comprehensive mindfulness training experience, grounded in academia, monastic life, and science. The IMS website also offers plenty of must-have home exercise resources, such as guided meditations, videos, and lectures.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Ordinarily, you would have to travel to Woodacre, California to experience a meditation retreat at this highly regarded non-profit retreat. However, due to the pandemic, the center has moved many of its events online. Virtual offerings include connection, compassion and courage in the midst of the global pandemic, an equanimity retreat and a day retreat for anyone who identifies as LGBTQI.

The organization also has virtual weekly sitting groups (such as Monday Nights with Jack Kornfield and Friends), classes, daytime programs, and more. Drop-ins are by donation, and many programs have a base rate and are on a sliding scale, with scholarship rates available for many offerings. Joining an online class or retreat is also a meaningful way to support non-profit organizations that are often especially vulnerable to financial hardship during an economic downturn. Spirit Rock also has a hand-picked Digital Dharma Resource page with insightful audio, video, and written resources.

Cambridge Insight Meditation Centre

Located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, this acclaimed non-profit center has an impressive array of online retreats and drop-in programs for all levels of meditation practitioners. Upcoming online programs include a 5-day retreat with Narayan Helen Liebenson and Matthew Hepburn, a weekly class with Larry Rosenberg (Founder), a beginners walk-in session every Tuesday night, and an LGBTIQ Sangha on April 17.

Pioneer Valley Insight Meditation Center

Pioneer Valley’s respected Insight Meditation Center, which relies entirely on donations to operate, has put many of its walk-in meetings, courses, and retreats online. The aim of the center is to make meditation and the teachings of the Buddha accessible to everyone and therefore all its programs are available through donations and no one will be turned away even if they are unable to make a donation .

Garrison Institute

This non-profit, non-sectarian organization currently has an amazing variety of free virtual sanctuary programs, featuring informative webinars from a wide variety of teachers. The institute also has afternoon meditation and discussion sessions during the week with a rotating schedule of experienced teachers.

True Northern insight

This renowned Canadian organization consists of a network of teachers, board members, advisors and volunteers. It has free (although you can make a donation) daily meditation sessions online via YouTube in both English and French.

Meditation Apps

Meditation apps are also a great resource for those looking for an inner journey. Many offer some free courses and/or offer the app for free to healthcare professionals and/or people without the financial means to pay. Some excellent apps are 10 percent happier waking up with Sam Harris, Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace.

Meditation teachers live

Numerous individual teachers also offer live meditation experiences, such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Oren Jay Sofer, and Anushka Fernandopulle.


You can journey within with these top 10 online meditation experiences

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