Being a Good Guide/Assistant to a Darkroom Retreatant

I have posted this on behalf of Lougaya ….. this is from the perspective of choosing an assistant for your personal darkroom. some of the criteria also apply to visiting a darkroom facility where a guide/assistant if provided.  also Lougaya did not have a double -door, which is not ideal. as the guide/assistant must be extra vigilant.  a double – door as in a photographic darkroom, the first door is shut before the second door is open, thus maintaining pitch darkness at all times. the darkroom was well built and was comfortable.  Marion

Being a good assistant is not something that is obvious for everyone… Choose a person that you feel comfortable to communicate with. At best someone that is not stressed and working on other things but one that can be available to fully support the retreatant in this life-changing experience. It is essential that this person has read the book and understands well the whole protocol and how the room works. 
Ideally, they would have already retreated themselves. I felt a bit like a baby in need to call their mother quickly to answer basic needs. The assistant takes the role of an ideal mother even if they are not physically present with the retreatant. The assistant is a mighty guardian, a compassionate ear, a trusted presence.

Here is my idea of a good assistant:

A good assistant is available and present near the retreat.
It is easy to call them and they are able to answer quickly.
They assure that the retreat will not be interrupted and that the place is kept safe and functional for the retreats purposes.
Before entering the room, they will make sure that they are welcome and that they will not let light in unless the retreatant has covered their eyes. If they let light in, they will close the door as 
soon as possible and use a red light if needed.

They will communicate about their moves and when the retreatant can uncover their eyes again.

They are  clear-headed and focused when they meet the retreatant.
They keep in mind that the retreatant is probably undergoing deep processes that need no interruption. They will not pollute the retreatant with complex questions and will likely choose to ask simple questions that can be answered by yes or no. They will not talk about themself or the outside world and they will be talking with a gentle and calm voice.

They will make sure the compost is emptied regularly and the water and food is available in sufficient quantity at all times. They will make sure that the food is still fresh and will do their best to select a good quality of tasty fruits and vegetables. (Poor tasting and old raw-foods are very unsatisfying).

When they maintains these facilities, they will make sure that they put all things (bowls, spoons, compost bucket…) in the exact same location that they found it. (It is very disturbing for a retreatant in the dark to not know where to find things anymore).

They can ask the retreatant if they need anything special and if they want to talk.
 If demands are expressed, they will try to fulfil them shortly and if things are not clear they would ask for clarification. If fulfilling a demand of the retreatant is not possible, he will find an alternative solution that puts the priority on maintaining the right conditions for the retreat to operate without interruption.

The assistant understands the mechanics of the room (darkening, ventilation, water supply, toilet…) They do a daily check-up to make sure everything functions well. If there are dysfunctions, they will find a solution without disturbing the retreatant. They must communicate with the retreatant, being as brief as possible to explain what needs to be done and can assess if the retreat can be continued or not.

If the assistant is not always present/reachable they makes sure that the retreatant has everything they need and that they feels safe and confident to stay in autonomy during that time.


My retreat did not happen in good conditions yet I was still able to foresee the potentials of darkroom retreating and to rest a little bit. I wasn’t able to judge if any improvement was occurring during the retreat. In fact, it took me some time to realise what happened and to recognise that some functions had been restored like my visual perception.

Feeling safe and being in a quiet environment where rest is not interrupted seems to be an obviously crucial point to receive optimum benefits of a darkroom retreat. I thought my location was quiet enough but I wasn’t prepared for times when there would be more noise than usual. Building a dark room is already a challenge, light sneaks in in every little holes and cracks, but noise goes through everything and is unpredictable. I was in the dark yet it still wasn’t enough, I had feelings and the thoughts of wanting to “be in the womb of my Mother” again.

The Ideal BioPod

I think many off us remember playing hide-and-seek and entering the wardrobe or the dressing room and hiding in the depth of clothing. It was dark, warm, soft, even our own sounds were absorbed, only our excited breath would remain as we would wait silently for our friend to find us… You know that feeling? That quiet, that padded! That is the feeling I am looking for (with more air 😉
The only time I recall experiencing something similar and that was in a Museum in Berlin that had a whole section dedicated to this Artist (will try to remember his name) that worked a lot with felt. He had been rescued by a tribe in South America after he had a plane crash, his body had been totally burnt and his chances to survive were very little. They covered him with oil and wrapped him in soft material before burying him in the ground. Only his head was out. I think he tried to reproduce the sensation he had in this time of his life. His art piece was a big room with walls shaped like a natural cave, but this time, the walls where made out of very thick felt or isolating material. As soon I entered the room, I had a sensation of relief. The air, the space, felt very soft and was very quiet. I wanted to lay down or rest against the walls. I could have stayed there for hours if the museum was not about to close. I was breath-taken, I felt suspended, it was a timeless zone.

I remember being deeply moved by the art of this man and left the museum crying loudly.

The ideal place for me would be one that is really safe, padded, felted, soft, comfortable, stable in temperature, quiet and dark of course. Like a nest. I imagined myself wrapped-up in animal skins, far in the depth of a cave. Natural, soft and warm materials would be preferred.

A good air flow being essential as well. If any sounds were to reach me, I would like it to be the sounds of nature, or the sounds of my family, continuing their lives around me that is resting, knowing that they are there, guarding me. But the sounds of engines and machines and are the worst, their vibrations are highly disharmonious and disruptive, they must be avoided!

In the two previous examples, it’s the soundproof quality of the room that gave me this feeling of being perfectly safe and held in the space. I know that this is a major key for me to experience emotional releases and to be able to surrender to let my autonomic body take care. Instinctively, as soon as I enter a space that feels warm and safe, filled with beautiful materials and soft colors, my body relaxes. It feels HOMELY.

After All, Don’t We All Try to Find Home?
When will we feel comfortable enough inside ourselves to feel at home in our bodies, in our hearts, in our guts, in our womb space (sexual organs)? When that day comes, we will stop seeking comfort by buying things or seeking relationships that comfort us, we will have healed ourselves from the traumas we are distracting ourselves from.
But for that day to come, I believe that we have no choice but to experience what we have missed to experience: be held in the safe and peaceful womb space of a healthy and happy mother and environment. In the optimum conditions, we will mother ourselves in the dark until we are ready to be reborn into the world.

Birthing a New Culture
I observe the Indonesian people around me and they do not seem to have the same nervous system dysfunction that I have or that I can observe in most people born in the western-culture. People are generally very calm and laugh easily, they rarely are angry and aggressive. They are capable of hard work but stay cheerful and they can endure easily what we think is unbearable to the senses.
I relate this to the fact that here babies are always in someone’s arms being carried around held on the hip of their mom in a simple piece of fabric wrapped around the shoulder. If they are not in someone’s arms, they are closely held in the web of a small hammock. Young children are confident and do not fear strangers, they talk easily and loud, they are self-assured. They are used to work and play with others. Their lives are simple and the have a lot of free-time. Still not so long ago, all they knew was the soft and abundant heart of the Mother jungle. They always lived with their family and friends, they did not know stress.
I understand that our life-style and our culture are intimately related to our inter-generational information background or in other words how much trauma is crystalised in people’s body. As a whole, healing ourselves will undoubtingly have an beneficial effect on our life-style, our society, our planet…

“Dark Womb Retreat”
I foresee that the ideal darkroom retreat to be a “universal rebirthing space” and I believe that it must be treated as such. Doing a darkroom is something very special and one must be very careful with preparing the favorable conditions for it so that one will not risk to increase the trauma. In my case, it feels like my fear for thieves and my sense of insecurity has increased a little…

Giving birth is an initiation, it is sacred, it is natural and also has some degree of risk and that is why it is usually assisted by a midwife (or more) or someone that is trusted and can maintain a safe and calm atmosphere even in intense situations… The assistant of a retreatant must have similar qualities and the retreatant must be aware that they will have to face intense moments with trust that the body is perfectly taking care of this natural process.

With this metaphor, we also understand that the transition period will be crucial for the future well-being of the retreatant, as much as it is crucial for a new-born baby to have a smooth transition from the womb to the world to become a healthy person.

Bringing Darkroom Retreats to People in Need
As we see, our society is very sick and almost everyone needs to undergo a darkroom retreat. With the experience of Andrew and other pioneers in this subject, I realised that it takes experience and skill to transform a room into/build a functional BioPod and that not everyone has the appropriate place to do so. Not only that, people that need it the most are the least capable of making it happen for themselves and even if they were capable, not everyone has the skills to do so or enough time to study the subject. It also takes experience to be a good assistant.

I have a vision of creating a “Dark Womb Rebirthing Retreat Center” and/or a “Dark Womb” design that can fit in most people’s house so that they can retreat as much as they want. But eventually that person would retreat enough and not be in need of the facility anymore, In which case, a “Dark Womb” kit could be sold like a IKEA kit thing but kits could be rented as well for certain length of time. A relay center would make sure the BioPods stay clean and functional and would take care of the transportation logistics. At best, it could become a service that offers a network of portable “Dark Wombs” on trailers that some specialised “Dark Womb Rebirthing Midwifes/Guardians” would travel with to meet their retreatants where they live instead of people having to move to the retreat. People would have nothing to do but to provide the space and watch the BioPod be assembled together in their living room or their bedroom and get in. They would be assisted by the same person that takes care of the biopod from setting up to packing up.

Design Concept
The principle of a DARK WOMB design is to be a room within a room, like a uterus in a belly…
The room/house provides shelter for the retreat and a first layer of protection (security, rain, wind, cold, noise…). The kit is an easy to assemble shelter that includes floor, walls and ceiling. It is sound-proof, light-proof, and has it’s own ventilation system that plugs in no matter what the ventilation system in place in the house is to make sure that there is always enough airflow in the BioPod. Ideally it is made of modular panels meaning that according to people’s finances, space and needs, the “Dark Womb” could be built in different sizes and even different shapes.
It could connect with a black fabric tunnel to an existing bathroom that will be darkened in simple ways or it can include a basic dry toilet module/ a compact bathroom module in option. The bathroom does not need to be sound-proof because not much time will be spent there.

If the climate is very hot or very cold, a heating or a cooling system can be plugged into the ventilation system. But most homes would provide a fairly stable and viable temperature range. In this case, a hot climate would need it more than a cooler climate because the BioPod would have the tendency to keep the warmth inside.
Size : It should be big enough to provide space for the bed and for stretching and exercising. People could put their own bed inside it.

It would have a double sided shelf inserted in the wall where food and drinks can be delivered without entering the room and silently. When it is closed inside it keeps the room’s property of light and sound proofness. It has a door that can open from the outside for deliveries. When opened from the inside, no light comes in because the door will be closed on the other side.

A special talking tube/”phone” that would be a simple air channel wire connected to a cone would be used to communicate with the assistant without needing to talk loudly through the walls.

Ideally the materials used will be natural and/or eco-friendly. They should not smell. They should be resistant to mould.

Panels could be something from 1×1.2 m big to 1x2m big. They should be light enough for a person to easily be able to handle a panel by themselves. The whole kit must fit in a small trailer or a small van when folded together.
Ideally the panel and its connector are also structural and do not need another skeleton to reinforce the stability of the shelter.

These kits could be made by a community or an eco-village to finance themselves in a ethical way that benefits the planet and people. They could also be a retreat center and teach people how to make their own BioPod kits which would lighten the labor if the work was reduced to sourcing materials, providing the machineries and teaching how to make the kits to motivated future owners.

Let’s Collaborate
These are the ideas that came to me and I am looking forward to work more on this. I hope Andrew and I will be able to collaborate to design a functional, affordable, compact and nomad design of the ideal BioPod to enable more and more people to access dark room retreats safely. The money generated from the retreats, the kits, etc can be managed by a trust or a foundation that makes sure that its benefits are redirected to helping more people access the Darkroom retreats and support to grow the network of people that will take care of retreatants.

Thank You

Thank you Andrew for your dedication and your generous help and support, Thank you for your willingness and your work to make this more available to the world.
Thank you Marion for bridging people and supporting Andrew, for believing and persevering with this.
Thank you Joe, Kev and Eliot for enriching the study group with your energy, your heart felt sharing and your presence.
Thank you Joachim for innocently making the mistakes that take us further and building the room together.

Everything is Possible Together
Saving the world is not a one-man job, it’s a one human at a time job and everyone can decide to take their responsibility for it NOW!
From my experience of community building, when the intention is guided and pure, and that several individuals unite their manifestation powers on that same intention, everything becomes possible!
If this is true, a person could safely and naturally heal hundreds if not thousands of year of accumulated human trauma and damage in less than a year. Imagine if hundreds of people do it every year…

like my visual perception… After a few weeks was able to see myself with the strength to do activities that was too tired to do before and I realised that I was able to overcome the challenges in my life with much more ease and grace. So even in terrible conditions, my retreat and continuing to sleep in the dark has definitely increased my vitality. It just took me a little adjustment time to realise it!

Lougaya, August 2018

Czech Republic (Czechia) Lenko and Tomas

editor’s note: this is a google translation of extracts from the website:   google translations are good enough to understand everything.
Stay in the Dark provides such full information.  it seems so well organised,so well built and provides the necessary services. much of the information comes from the hosts. and much of the information comes from the retreatants. from the information i can garner from other darkroom facility websites, they seem to pale in comparison with Stay in the Dark. yet that might only be a lack of information. even so, the comparitive lack of information pre-visit might indicate a lesser level of in house nurturing conditions for the retreatant. if one is travelling more than a few hours, information is vital, as well as easy contact with the factilitators. i do not know. you have to decide for yourselves.

My Incomplete LIst of Criteria

– Stay in the Dark receives 5 stars for every criteria below – they say “According to us, staying in the dark is only a stay in the dark, nothing more, nothing less.” – that is brilliant, so good.

preparations ease: booking ease: contact ease:

individual requirements: non religious: non spiritual: a softly-spoken, committed and present guide/assistant: the retreatant’s vehicle is safe:

ventilation: sound insulation: temperature insulation: toxin-free: odor-free:

food: bed comfort: room comfort: all systems work: contact with guide/assistant:

CZ Léčba tmou- Tomáš a Lenca Roudovi

Tomas Roud

Stays in the Dark by Lenko and Tomas

According to us, staying in the dark is only a stay in the dark, nothing more, nothing less.

Likewise, the contribution for staying in the dark is entirely voluntary.

We have no conditions for staying, you can come alone or in a couple for 3 nights and a month. We do not go to any religion or technical or spiritual school. We are for freedom and love.

Welcome to the site for a quiet stay, stay in the dark, sometimes called dark therapy. We rely on 70% of our eyesight, and we pay much attention to the world. To solve personal problems, you need to look inside us and turn off “classic” eyesight. Dark Therapy is performed in a shade that is absolutely dark. Thus, staying in the dark helps to connect more with its higher self , with its personal divinity (intelligence, light, source) that can solve our problems . While staying in the dark does not solve the symptoms, but they pull out the problems with the roots .

“Do not see for the eyes” is our motto on the path to self-knowledge.

On these pages you will find both stays in the dark at Kutná Hora and you will find also the experience of practitioners.

Staying in the dark is good for anyone who feels that darkness is the right choice for him.

We have no conditions for staying, you can come alone or in a couple for 3 nights and a month. We do not go to any religion or technical or spiritual school. We are for freedom and love.


The last experience of practitioners in the dark

Stay in the dark in the cottage for peace of mind and body 16.9.2018 You can choose different ways and spaces to stay in the dark. Someone closes in a damp cellar with a darkened window, someone occupies a bathroom for a week, and someone else chooses a deep cave. All these and other spaces are suitable for the stay in the dark, and most for those practitioners who are in such a space. Stay in the dark in …

Tomáš – darkness therapy is the most consciously spent time 9.9.2018 It’s been a couple of years back when I first learned about dark therapy and I was very interested. At that time I was, but was not ready to stay in the dark, and the idea gradually disappeared. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been feeling that my strenuous lifestyle (manager, athlete) has been hampered and I have never connected with my everyday habits with pleasure …

Petr – I stayed in the dark till today 19.8.2018 I wish a beautiful day together and send greetings to Tomáš and Lence! Memories of Staying in the Dark Doing a few rows of stay in the dark that I did last year was not necessary at first. Everything was natural and peaceful. I perceived this as the next step in my life, which I get further, and it was not so big to hand it over or reflect it. …

Michal – Staying in the dark helped me to do things with my heart 28.7.2018 My friend mentioned my stay in the dark. I have not heard of him for a long time, and nothing has begun to “throw” big wits. Suddenly there was talk of darkness treatment. I enjoyed it, and I began to think about it and to pretend my girlfriend to react to it. On my stay in the dark with my girlfriend …

Lída – everyone goes to stay in the dark for yours 17.7.2018 Hi, Tom 🙂 send you greetings to both of you in Lomca and a nice memory … I keep rolling in my head what to write and how to evaluate it so it does not seem to me strange 🙂 Stay in darkness is a beautiful process Clearly beautiful process. We all go to stay in the dark for my … I left in a sense of cleansing, softening, lightening and in …

Karel – second stay in the dark is deeper 30.6.2018 When I went to stay in the dark for the second time, I knew what to expect. I’ve been enjoying my stay since the first minute – just as the cabin door closed behind me and I turned off the light, my mind began to overwhelm fantastic scenes, surrealistic animations, almost psychedelic visions that I entered, lost in …

Zuzana – last day of stay in the dark was the most important 30.4.2018 Dear hosts, Lenko and Tomas. Thank you very much for doing what you are doing. And that you are doing so well. Staying in the dark with you was a very special experience for me, I learned about myself and things I did not want. But you too are important. And I also relaxed. One of the finest holiday …

Šárka – I enjoyed nothing in the dark in the dark 4.4.2018 Hello Lenko and Tomas, it’s been almost two months in the dark, and now I have been able to write a few lines. Before Day D came in January, I blushed all the descriptions of the people who were there before me and thought about how it would happen to me. Stay in the dark …

How is it in the dark 15.2.2018 Sometimes you ask us if you will not be cold in the shrine in the winter or very warm in the summer. Although we have already written that there is a heat pump at each sanctuary, which can heat it to 30 ° C in winter and cool to 18 ° C in the summer, we decided to show you how it is in the shrines right now. We Love Technology Though …

Trafficking in the Dark – Interview 23.1.2018 This picture is convenient to how some practitioners have a thought hurray in their minds 🙂 How can you read in the experiences of the darkness are practitioners who have an increased intensity of thoughts and others not again and all week enjoy themselves as if they were on a pink cloud. Type of practitioner to stay in the dark In principle, one can say that someone …

We receive questions from you, who we are, what we are, and whether we are the right guides for your stay in the dark. We would love to write here that we are no one, we are nothing nameless that he realizes he is and that he really enjoys being 🙂

Tomáš Klus has touched it in the song “Dno za den”
“I’m nothing to wear a costume.”
At the same time we are love, we are you, you come to a stay in the dark and we are you too.

In this life we are Tomas and Lenca
We love life, our children and we also love staying in the dark🙂

When you come to the darkness, we will not try to offer anything, we do not have the desire to give you something to have a better life, or to live well.

We are not more spiritual than you or anyone else, we are people who love life as it is. We are not enlightened, nor are we a guru from India who only wakes you up to consciousness.

Although it is not essential for your stay in the dark, let us introduce you something about us.

We were born in Most at the turn of 1977 and 1978 and entered the marriage in 1998.

Until 2014, we lived at the Ore Mountains in Litvínov and Horní Jiřetín, and now our life went to Kutná Hora to Lomka.

Currently (March 2017) we have 3 children and 4th blessings on the way we are waiting in July.

Children learn at home, so they do not go to school, we love the freedom of learning.

We attended several courses and techniques, visited temples in India and recognized beautiful people and places. And all this has guided us in the direction that the greatest treasure everyone has hidden in them.

We do not recognize any religion, although we are not atheists, so we respect freedom of religion.

We do not believe in positive thinking because the division into positive and negative does not make sense to us.

We love both the light and the dark side of the power, because life can be said to live fully upon the reception of the whole and not just its half.

We live, as Jarda Dušek says, the dream of a warrior, when we recognize ourselves and perceive that we are not the victim of the enemy’s universe, that everything is interconnected, and that the universe is one living being.

Although we often see and feel what you are experiencing and what specifically would help you, we usually stay back and wait until you ask ourselves because we believe you can not wake up a man who wants to sleep.

You will not hear from us that you are doing something wrong or that something is worthless because we know that everyone is just taking another step on his way through life, and that way is the goal, the present moment in which everything is happening.

We love freedom and we love discovering new things and getting to know new people.

We are very pleased to learn about the masculine and feminine principle of energy and thus to explore and enjoy the polarity between man and woman.

If you come to stay in the darkness to Kutná Hora, we will be glad if you come to another center, we will also like it and if you are not your time and you are not sure you can be absolutely calm.

All people grow to happiness and love, someone before, someone later, but once there will all

Friends, we wish you wonderful life and sometimes in the dark to see.

Tomáš a Lenča


Food (Strava) for Stays in the Dark

Lined vegetable dish

Lined vegetable dish

Vegetables with RAW mayonnaise to soak

Some participants in the dark prefer fasting only to water, others normally eat. It depends on everyone how it feels.

In the shrine, participants report that they have less need for food, that is, they eat less food than usual. Another factor is the refined taste that condemns the spicy foods. That’s why we always try to provide food with minimal spice and in such a combination that it tastes good and at the same time it can be eaten at dark therapy.

The food will taste you differently, mainly because you can not see it before you know what bite you have put into your mouth. The brain does not have the ability to compare the appearance of what to eat. Some participants in dark therapy do not even want to know what they got to eat to get it themselves 🙂

The meal is delivered once a day in the meals. Usually between 11 and 15 hours. We deliberately do not want to get used to you for a certain time, because the loss of the concept of time, meaning that you do not know exactly how many hours are, is a desirable helper in deepening contact with the higher self.

Attitude for a Stay in the Dark

  1. Good mood
  2. Good mood
  3. Good mood

Comfortable clothes and shower only with water, we strongly ask for eco shower gel, but only water is better.

The waste water from the plant is watering the garden.

What not to take with you to stay in the dark:

1) chemical shower gels and shampoos
2) steroids, hormonal contraceptives
3) chemical fragrances, antiperspirants and other chemical poisons

In the toilet, just throw toilet paper, we use special eco paper with enzymes.

Especially, ladies, we ask for the hygienic needs to be put in plastic bags for the purpose of the sanctuary


Utensils for food and drink
Bed linen and bed sheet
Toilet paper
Earphones, earplugs if you want absolute silence

Basic rules for a Stay in the Dark

1. I am an adult and I do not hinder me from staying in the dark in a windowless cottage, and I have decided voluntarily on my own free time to stay in the dark.
2. All the information I provide is true.
3. I do not suffer from any form of psychic illness such as claustrophobia, schizophrenia, manic-depression, etc., and I have never suffered.
4. I do not suffer from any illness, nor am I being treated with drugs that would prevent me from staying in the dark.
5. I have studied the website and I am acquainted with the details of staying in the dark through the site and / or in personal conversation.
6. I know that the stay in the dark is in utter darkness. The beginning of my stay in the darkness I decide to turn off the light and whenever I can turn the light or the garden cabin off again.
7. I undertake to immediately terminate my stay in the dark in the event of mental, psychological or physical problems or any other reason for terminating my stay in the dark.
8. I am not under the influence of narcotic or psychotropic substances and I undertake not to take them before the stay, during the lease or immediately after the termination.
9. I understand that premature termination of residence does not entitle me to a refund of the voluntary contribution even in a proportionate part.
10. I agree that I have 100% responsibility for my actions and my stay in the dark, and for any damages whatsoever for the deposited or deferred things, for any consequences or harm, both physical and psychological, possibly arising from my voluntary stay in the darkness of the cottage no claims for compensation, whether moral or financial towards the Guide, have been made.

listen to audios of the english translations of retreatants at Stay in the Dark with Lenko and Tomas:

28 mar 2017  to stay in the dark with straight legs

05 jan 2017  i found love, peace and happiness in the dark