22 March, 2019
Health & Wellness

Hong Kong Meditation Centres: Studios For Every Technique

22 March, 2019

Looking for the best meditation studios around Hong Kong?

Most of us have heard about the incredible benefits of meditation – from becoming more focused and calm, to sleeping better and not letting stress affect us as much. Some people even report having brilliant ideas pop into their heads during or after meditation. What’s more, you can practice some form of meditation while sitting, walking, lying down or even eating! If you want to start reaping the rewards of this simple yet powerful practice, look no further. Here is our guide to some of the main meditation studios and techniques around town.

Meditation studios

meditation and mindfulness hong kong-enhale

Enhale

Who is it for? Enhale is for anyone who wants to explore different kinds of meditation – from gong baths to mindfulness to reiki meditation to yoga nidra and even tea ceremonies. It caters to beginners and experienced practitioners alike. 

What is it? Enhale is a new meditation studio that opened in October 2018. In the heart of Central, it offers a wide variety of meditation styles, so students can try out different techniques and find out what resonates with them. Classes can be deeply relaxing (try singing bowls, gong baths or the yoga nidra classes), healing (try the reiki meditation) or even creative (like the mindful calligraphy class). There are many different classes on offer – check out the website for a full list.

What can I expect? As soon as you step out of the lift, you start to relax in this little oasis of calm. The studio is beautifully decorated and has been soundproofed so LFK is a distant memory! Cosy blankets and eye pillows are provided and you’ll either sit on a meditation cushion or lie down a mat, depending on your class. Whatever class you choose, expect to walk away feeling lighter, happier and a bit more chill. 

Where can I practice? There are classes throughout the day, 7 days a week.

How much does it cost? A single class costs $230 and a monthly pass $2,888.

Sassy tip: Get to class a bit earlier and enjoy a cup of tea. Enhale also offers courses including 8-week mindfulness training and corporate wellness classes.

Enhale, 14th Floor, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, www.enhalems.com

meditation and mindfulness hong kong- kadampa meditation centre

Kadampa Meditation Centre

Who is it for? This is for anyone who wants to learn the essential skills of meditation and practical ways of incorporating Buddhist teachings into their everyday lives.

What is it? Based on Modern Buddhism, meditations here focus on a “virtuous object” such as love, compassion or patience. But much more than just theory, students here learn how to incorporate the ancient wisdom of Buddha into their daily lives. The teachings are very practical, accessible and easy to understand.

What can I expect? An oasis of calm in busy Causeway Bay, Kadampa Meditation Centre offers drop-in classes in English on Tuesdays. They include a breathing meditation and a teaching on a Buddhist topic. The teacher then guides a meditation, focusing on what he or she just taught. The centre also runs half-day Learn to Meditate courses, weekend retreats and workshops.

Where can I practice? Drop-in classes take place every Tuesday in English from 7:30pm to 9pm at the main centre in Causeway Bay.

How much does it cost? Drop-in classes are by donations (suggested donation $50 to $100). Learn to Mediate courses cost $200.

Sassy tip: You can download a free e-Book “How to Transform Your Life,” by the renowned Buddhism teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche here: www.howtotyl.com. He has founded over 1200 Kadampa centres and groups around the world.

Kadampa Meditation Centre, 1st floor, Causeway Tower, 16-22 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2507 2237, www.meditation.hk/en

Red Doors Studio

Who is it for? This is for anyone seeking a deeply relaxing experience that leaves you feeling rejuvenated, energised and refreshed. Gong meditation gives your body the time and space to heal itself.

What is it? The sound of the gongs quickly induces a state of meditation and relaxation that facilitates the movement of chi or prana throughout the body. In effect, the gongs put your body in a state where it can heal itself. The sounds affect every cell in your body on a molecular level. The vibrations eliminate tension and stimulate the circulation and glandular systems. 

What can I expect? Gong bath sessions at Red Doors Studio start with chanting and a few gentle seated exercises. You also set an intention for the session, which will help guide the sound. You then lie down, and make yourself comfortable with bolsters, eye pillows and blankets. Then all that is left to do is relax and allow the sounds to wash over you and through you. The worst case scenario is that it’s a nice nap, the best case scenario is that it’s life changing! Many people can feel the effect of the gong for a few days after a session. The session ends with yogi tea and brownies.

Where can I practice? Red Doors Studio offers regular gong bath sessions at the studio in Wong Chuk Hang Road. The founder, Martha Collard also regularly plays at large events and corporates.

How much does it cost? A gong bath costs $350 and a package of 6 sessions is $1,800.

Sassy tip: This may be one of HK’s best kept secrets! Keep an open mind and check out the full moon gong baths and all-night pujas that last 10 hours (which Martha describes as an adult pyjama party!). Sessions are limited to 32 people so book early!

Red Doors Studio, Flat A, Floor 21, Lee Fund Centre, 31 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, 2110 0152, www.red-doors.com

meditation and mindfulness hong kong- samadhi

Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul

Who is it for? This is for anyone looking to awaken as a soul, and live consciously according to their true, divine nature. The centre provides practical tools and teachings to achieve this.

What is it? Founded by Ocean WhiteHawk (known to her students as Mother Ocean), SAMADHI offers universal teachings in the science of consciousness. It’s a training centre that helps students identify conditioned beliefs and help shed unconscious programming and fears. In doing so, it will help the individual to make genuine connection with their God Self and reach their full spiritual potential.

What can I expect? Step inside this space in Sheung Wan and you’re transported to world of calm and serenity. The studio is laid out on two floors and is said to contain a light matrix that enables students to receive downloads of light frequencies. The crystal bowl meditation class includes a guided meditation, a practical teaching and a singing bowl session to help practitioners go even deeper in meditation. Expect to leave feeling calm and serene and with some practical tools to apply in your everyday life.

Where can I practice? Alchemy Crystal Bowl Sound Healing Meditation classes are every Saturday from 1pm to 2:30pm. There is also a meditation class on Wednesdays from 11:30am to 1pm.

How much does it cost? A drop-in class is $220.

Sassy tip: Bring a pen and paper as you may want to jot a few notes down! The centre is very welcoming and it also runs 4-week and 8-week meditation courses and meditation and wisdom classes for children from the age of 6.

SAMADHI Training Centre for the Soul, 2 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 9311 2915, www.oceanwhitehawk.com/the-samadhi-centre

Meditation techniques

Yoga Nidra

Who is it for? Yoga Nidra is for anyone who likes the idea of lying down and being guided into a deep state of relaxation. It’s a kind of internal yoga.

What is it? Known as “yogic sleep” yoga nidra is one of the deepest forms of meditation. This simple practice helps you deeply relax and completely switch off. But it can go much deeper than that… yoga nidra enables you to release things that no longer serve you and to reprogramme your subconscious mind. Practiced lying down, you’re flirting with that state in between being awake and asleep, known as the hypnagogic state.

What can I expect? Some sessions start with a few gentle exercises to open up the body and release tension. You then lie down and get into your most comfortable position, often using bolsters, blankets and eye pillows. You will form a “sankalpa” or affirmation and begin and end the session repeating this to yourself. A typical class includes rotating your consciousness through different parts of the body, a breathing exercise and a visualisation. Expect to feel deeply relaxed, focused and refreshed after a session. The hardest part is staying awake!

Where can I practice? Sessions are held at various studios in HK, including Enhale and Balance Health.

How much does it cost? From $230 a session, depending on the studio.

Sassy tip: Deep relaxation is just the beginning – yoga nidra is so much more than that. It can truly transform your life helping you reprogramme your subconscious mind.

Enhale, 14th Floor, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, www.enhalems.com

Balance Health, 27/F, Universal Trade Centre, 3-5 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2530 3315, www.balancehealth.com.hk

Hypno meditation

Who is it for? This is for anyone who wants a guided meditation that will help them go deeper into meditation more quickly. It’s great for people with busy minds who have a hard time switching off!

What is it? Hypno meditation combines hypnosis and meditation. It is guided by Aldo Privileggi who is a hypnotherapist with decades of meditation experience. He uses some hypnosis techniques to take you quickly into a place of calm and stillness. All you have to do is relax and listen to Aldo’s soothing voice.

What can I expect? In the beginner’s class, students sit in chairs (in the advanced class students sit however they feel comfortable). Once you’re comfortable, Aldo will take you through a process of relaxation and quickly bring you to place of stillness. You’ll stay there for a while, until Aldo counts you back. Each class is different as Aldo tunes in and adapts the session according to the collective energy of the class. Expect to leave feel calm, energised and recharged.

Where can I practice? Drop-in classes are held at Balance Health on Thursdays. The beginner’s session is from 6pm to 7pm and the advanced class is from 7pm to 8pm.

How much does it cost? Drop-in classes are $250.

Sassy tip: Go in with an open mind – I was amazed at how quickly I was able to enter a deep, meditative state.

Balance Health, 27/F, Universal Trade Center, 3 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2530 3315, www.balancehealth.com.hk/hypno-meditation-hypnotherapy

Vipassana Meditation

Who is it for? 10 days of silence, without a phone or any contact with the outside world is pretty hardcore so Vipassana is definitely for those seeking a total, immersive experience. 

What is it? One of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation, Vipassana means insight or “to see things as they really are.” The technique, which is taught during a 10-day silent retreat, is said to eliminate the three causes of all unhappiness: craving, aversion and ignorance. With continued practice, Vipassana meditation enables students to tackle stress and problems in a calm and balanced way. Read our 10 day Vipassana guide here.

What can I expect? The day typically begins at 4am, with about 10 hours of meditation throughout the day, interspersed with regular breaks. For the duration of the 10 days, students must abide by a moral code of conduct and abstain from killing, stealing, all sexual activity, lying and using any intoxicants. They must also agree to be silent for the full 10 days, although speaking to the teachers is allowed. 

Where can I practice? There are two Vipasanna centres in Hong Kong offering 10-day courses, one on Lantau Island the other in Sheung Shui, New Territories. 

How much does it cost? The 10-day course is completely free. All expenses are met by donations from people who have completed a course and donated to give others the opportunity to experience Vipassana.

Sassy tip: There’s no easy way around it – Vipassana is hard, but it can also be life changing.

Vipassana Meditation Centre Hong Kong, G.P.O. Box 5185, Hong Kong, 2671 7031, www.mutta.dhamma.org/new/HKVMC_ENG/HKVMC_Home.htm

meditation and mindfulness hong kong- enhale

Mindfulness

Who is it for? Mindfulness is great for anyone who wants to reap the benefits of meditation without introducing any of the spiritual elements. 

What is it? Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present in a non-judgmental way. It can be practiced at any moment, whether you’re sitting, eating or walking. Try it right now – feel your feet on the ground, the sensation of your fingers on your phone or computer, the air around you. Practicing with mindful awareness awakens you to the present moment and stops you from living on autopilot. Studies show it can effectively help manage anxiety, low moods and stress.

What can I expect? Mindfulness and Enhale run eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses which include weekly meetings, a day retreat and daily home practice. Courses emphasise experiential learning through engagement in practices.

Where can I practice? Check out Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness, Hong Kong Mindfulness Teachers Network and Enhale for events and classes.

How much does it cost? The 8-week course at Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness is about $4,000 and $3,800 at Enhale.

Sassy tip: If you need any more incentive, research shows that eating mindfully can also help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness, Room 1701, 17/F, Far East Consortium Building, 121 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.mindfulness.hk/en

Enhale, 14th Floor, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, www.enhalems.com 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

Who is it for? TM is for anyone seeking a simple, easy-to-learn practice that is said to boost creativity and help you realise your full potential.

What is it? First brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1959, TM has had a string of celebrity supporters including Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry and Russell Brand. The simple technique is said to help settle your busy mind until you experience the deeper levels of the mind and eventually pure consciousness. At the same time, your body experiences a profound state of relaxation. Studies show that TM helps with stress and anxiety, brain function and cardiovascular health.

What can I expect? TM is taught one-to-one by an instructor. The first step is to join an introductory talk and then have a private chat with the instructor. If you’re interested, you’ll sign up for a four-day course where you’ll learn the TM technique. It’s meant to be practiced 20 minutes, twice a day.

Where can I practice? Hong Kong Transcendental Meditation Program runs regular classes and weekly group classes for those who have learned the technique.

How much does it cost? The introductory talk is free. Prices for sessions can vary.

Hong Kong Transcendental Meditation, Room 1101, 11th Floor Qualipak Tower, 122 Connaught Rd West, Sai Ying Pun, 3908 5999, www.hk.tm.org

meditate-mindfulness-hongkong

Diamond Way Meditation

Who is it for? This is for anyone seeking an authentic and traditional meditation based on Tibetan Buddhism. The meditation practiced at the drop-in session is called the 16th Karmapa Meditation.

What is it? In Buddhism, meditation means “effortlessly remaining in what is.” In the most effective methods one identifies with one’s own potential to be a Buddha, and the 16th Karmapa meditation is an example of this. It focuses on fully developing our potential and brings about lasting results for anyone who wants to have a direct experience of their minds.

What can I expect? The drop-in sessions at Diamond Way Buddhist Centre start with an introduction and the meditation is then read aloud by one of the members of the centre. You simply follow the text and try to keep your focus on the meditation. Everyone has different experiences during meditation and there is no “right” experience to have. The main benefit is finding happiness – the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on external circumstances but comes from within.

Where can I practice? Drop-in classes every Wednesday from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and Mondays at 12:30pm.

How much does it cost? It’s free.

Sassy tip: The centre is run on a very informal basis by a group of friends who meet and meditate together regularly. It usually ends with a cup of tea and a chat with the other participants.

Diamond Way Buddhist Centre Hong Kong, Unit 3 2/F, 3-5 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.buddhism.hk

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and updated on 22, March 2019. 

Featured image via stocksnap courtesy of Matthew Henry, Image 1 courtesy of Enhale, image 2 courtesy of Kadampa Meditation Centre, image 3 courtesy of Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul, image 4 courtesy of Enhale, image 5 courtesy of rawpixel.com via Pexels

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