Traver Boehm: What Would You do with Only One Year to Live?


Traver Boehm has just returned from a dark retreat. I have extracted some of his post below. Read the full original post here. Traver has written another article “Scared in the Dark”, posted BEFORE the dark retreat here.  Extract below. And a wonderful post on meeting Adrienne of hospice.


Traver Boehm 2016

Traver Boehm 2016

before the retreat

When the door closes behind me in a few hours, I will be alone in complete darkness for a period of twenty-eight straight days. Complete darkness. No light. Not a drop. No electronics. No music. No books. No other human beings. Nothing. Nothing but what I take in with me. And I’m taking in a lot more than my picture of my dog Lucas, my meditation cushion, and yoga mat.

. . . . .  Everyone asks me the question, “Why?” What’s the point of something so extreme? What do I hope to gain from voluntarily engaging in an activity usually inflicted on political prisoners?

Who knew we are all so afraid of the dark…

What lies in that room that is so scary? I hope to find out. I want to know what’s underneath everything. Everything. I want to touch the place that exists below the constantly growing layers of distraction that despite my best efforts continue to infiltrate my life. I want to know what’s there when you take everything from a man and make him sit there, in the darkness of his own thoughts and emotionality. What happens when there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nothing to do but be still? Hospice taught me there is strength beyond the physical, but what strength lies underneath it all?

I fully expect to go insane. Multiple times. Despite my best efforts, I’m addicted to caffeine. I’m addicted to my phone. I’m addicted to my thought patterns. And I want none of them anymore.

I look forward to “insanity,” as sanity appears to be a prize that pays no dividends. “Sanity” is a smoke-and-mirror show created by my own lack of understanding of myself at the deepest, darkest level. That place. That place that I don’t want to go, yet I have all this time already been living with the outcropping of behaviors that surface because of its existence. Being left along with that place is what we fear in the dark.

after the retreat

darkdome7June 12 – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala       . . . . . . . .   The experience was so overwhelming and transformative I don’t even know where to begin. But I will. I promise.

My mind is blank, yet the articles are written. All of them. I’ve read them over and over, word for word, hundreds of times in my head. Yet they’re not ready to come out.

On that note, the video is up to show you all a bit about the physical space I was in. It was very small. It was as sparse as sparse can get. A yoga mat, a meditation cushion, and that was really it. That and my mind for 28 days. Cumulatively, I stood upright for no more than an hour in the entire month. Every meal was a mystery until I put the first bite in my mouth. Everything was an ordeal. Everything was hard. Everything took forethought. Everything took planning. It was hard in ways I never expected, and that doesn’t take into account the mental and emotional challenges.

Next week I’ll post the first of this series, for now, enjoy the video.

Thank you all so very much for the messages that were waiting for me, I was awash in love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Published on Jun 10, 2016

Here’s a walk through of the physical space where I did my 28 day dark retreat. You get to see just how sparse the place was.

Published on 3 Aug 2016

Retreats in total darkness have been used by most spiritual traditions worldwide for time immemorial. Sensory depravation has profound effects on our psyche and thus allows for a profound shift in our awareness of ourselves and reality at large.
Our fully equipped earth-bag dome provides optimal conditions for going deep into the mysteries of existence.
Learn more at Dark-Retreats.com

Traver Boehm has just returned from a dark retreat. I have extracted some of his post below. Read the full original post here. Traver has written another article “Scared in the Dark”, posted BEFORE the dark retreat here.  Extract below. And a wonderful post on meeting Adrienne of hospice.Traver Boehm 2016before the retreatWhen the door closes behind me in a few hours, I will be alone in complete darkness for a period of twenty-eight straight days. Complete darkness. No light. Not a drop. No electronics. No music. No books. No other human beings. Nothing. Nothing but what I take in with me. And I’m taking in a lot more than my picture of my dog Lucas, my meditation cushion, and yoga mat.. . . . .  Everyone asks me the question, “Why?” What’s the point of something so extreme? What do I hope to gain from voluntarily engaging in an activity usually inflicted on political prisoners?Who knew we are all so afraid of the dark…What lies in that room that is so scary? I hope to find out. I want to know what’s underneath everything. Everything. I want to touch the place that exists below the constantly growing layers of distraction that despite my best efforts continue to infiltrate my life. I want to know what’s there when you take everything from a man and make him sit there, in the darkness of his own thoughts and emotionality. What happens when there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nothing to do but be still? Hospice taught me there is strength beyond the physical, but what strength lies underneath it all?I fully expect to go insane. Multiple times. Despite my best efforts, I’m addicted to caffeine. I’m addicted to my phone. I’m addicted to my thought patterns. And I want none of them anymore.I look forward to “insanity,” as sanity appears to be a prize that pays no dividends. “Sanity” is a smoke-and-mirror show created by my own lack of understanding of myself at the deepest, darkest level. That place. That place that I don’t want to go, yet I have all this time already been living with the outcropping of behaviors that surface because of its existence. Being left along with that place is what we fear in the dark.after the retreatJune 12 – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala       . . . . . . . .   The experience was so overwhelming and transformative I don’t even know where to begin. But I will. I promise.My mind is blank, yet the articles are written. All of them. I’ve read them over and over, word for word, hundreds of times in my head. Yet they’re not ready to come out.On that note, the video is up to show you all a bit about the physical space I was in. It was very small. It was as sparse as sparse can get. A yoga mat, a meditation cushion, and that was really it. That and my mind for 28 days. Cumulatively, I stood upright for no more than an hour in the entire month. Every meal was a mystery until I put the first bite in my mouth. Everything was an ordeal. Everything was hard. Everything took forethought. Everything took planning. It was hard in ways I never expected, and that doesn’t take into account the mental and emotional challenges.Next week I’ll post the first of this series, for now, enjoy the video.Thank you all so very much for the messages that were waiting for me, I was awash in love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!Published on Jun 10, 2016Here’s a walk through of the physical space where I did my 28 day dark retreat. You get to see just how sparse the place was.   https://youtu.be/B8yGHsHTnA4

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