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The 11 Most Zen Places on the Planet

More than just vacation destinations, some places have long been revered for their natural beauty and spiritual power. Whether sparkling lake, clear-blue ocean or majestic mountain, these spots will help you find your inner om.

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MOUNT KAILASH, TIBET

This mountain in western Tibet is a holy trinity, as it’s considered the center of the universe by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains.

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ULURU, AUSTRALIA

Also known as Ayers Rock, this clay-colored monolith is worshipped by the Aborigines, who believe it’s inhabited by ancestor spirits and still perform ritualistic ceremonies in the base of the caves today.

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LUMBINI, NEPAL

The birthplace of Buddha is home to shrines, temples and monasteries, such as the stunning World Peace Pagoda.

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LAKE ATITLÁN, GUATEMALA

Travelers come here to unplug and take in the culture of the Mayan villages that have dotted its banks for centuries.

Look hard enough and you just might spot the mythical city purported to exist deep below the water.

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STEVE FLOWERS

SEDONA, ARIZONA

Bring on the tie-dye and wind chimes. This area is known for its vortexes, which are considered powerful centers of kinetic energy.

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CENOTE SAGRADO, MEXICO

This stunning, azure-hued sinkhole, located near the archaeological site Chichen Itza, was used by the Mayans for ceremonies and sacrifices.

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SANUR, BALI

The Indonesian island is known as much for its pristine beaches as its meditation and yoga retreats.

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CRATER LAKE, OREGON

The Native American legend says that a battle between the chief of the world above and the chief of the world below caused the eruption that led to the formation of this massive lake.

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STONEHENGE, ENGLAND

To this day, the prehistoric monument is shrouded in otherworldly mystery. Scholars and historians still question how it was built and why.

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KATHERINE BELARMINO

NA PALI COAST, KAUAI

As Hawaiian legend has it, Pele, the goddess of fire, came to this verdant, volcanic spot in search of a home. Island natives say the sense of mana, or spiritual power, instilled by gods and ancestors is strong.

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MAHABODHI TEMPLE, INDIA

Buddha reached enlightenment here after awakening from three night’s rest under a Bodhi tree. Hey, it doesn’t get much more Zen than Buddha.

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