UPDATED jan 20 2018
Summary Lists of Benefits
ed: following are several lists of benefits of darkness retreat from various sources – this will be updated as i find more. last update July 2016
- deep and profound rest
- healing of physical ailments
- healing of psychological traumas
- personal insights, which may or may not apply to everyone
following is an english translation from BRC website of “Effects of Dark Treatment”
written by Dr. Milan Bajgar, Director of BRC – the Beskydské Rehabilitation Center – in the village of Celadna, in Czech R.
- Treatment with dark matter is very effective as a prevention against civilization diseases – oncological diseases and metabolic disorders. It is used for example in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, vascular and cerebral events, burnout syndrome and fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- It is an important healing method that regenerates the psyche , removes the body of psychic sediments and deposits, and allows to cure the disturbed, uncertain mind. Therapy also contributes to an effective solution to personal problems.
- It releases and slows down the pace of life.
- It develops sensitivity of sensory receptors (eyesight, hearing, smell, taste and taste).
- It allows the development of creativity, imagination and various inner experiences that are normally suppressed.
- It also enables extreme stress situations to be exercised and improves their resistance.
Current medicine likes to cure already existing, developed diseases, because it is expensive, can use expensive devices, expensive drugs, expensive curative procedures. This is a great fit for the entire giant industry around health, or rather about illnesses. It is a misconception that people can do almost any misconduct in their attitude to health because current medicine is so powerful that it can handle almost everything. In short, we will postpone our bodies as a garment to a dry cleaner or a service car, and then we will continue without any changes. But it is not far from it. I am deeply convinced that the duty of our doctors and the doubles of those who work in specialized medical institutions (in our case, in the Beskydy Rehabilitation Center) is still harsh and sometimes even unpleasantly reminding our clients that their health should be taken care of by everyone alone. It is a complex problem because health is not only a healthy body but also a happy state of our being. And it is mainly the prevention of diseases, which is often forgotten today. Staying in the dark, dark therapy, has just this aspect of prevention in several ways. In the dark, the melatonin hormone, which acts anti-cancer and is effective in the prevention of civilization diseases, firstly remains in the dark. In a few days of rest in peace and darkness, just with yourself, one can “light up” in the dark, where he makes mistakes in his life where his main problem is. And you will be greeted by your digestive system during diet during dark therapy .
MU Dr. Milan Bajgar
Director of BRC
- Humans need very little to survive (food, shelter, clothing [optional; I spent the entire time naked!], and medicine).
- All beings suffer. Just having a body and having to eat and drink and pee and poop creates so much suffering in the world.
- My parents are just ordinary human beings, and nobodies special. They deserve my greatest respect and service. I owe my life to them.
- Time and space are simply constructs of the mind.
- The idea of somebody doing something is a fundamental delusion.
- Having a teacher’s constant guidance and support and encouragement is priceless.
- Nobody becomes enlightened or achieves anything.
- The spiritual path (for me, at least) is letting go of a “spiritual self.”
- There’s nobody to be angry with, all beings are results of their karmas, and if they could choose more wisely, they would.
- I’m just an ordinary human being.
- I really dislike pain and discomfort.
- A discovery of an unknown source of life: The great sea of Yin or the primal feminine IN YOU!
- Your ideas of what your own and others their dark side is and convert it in a deep internal experience of “vital darkness.”
- Finally rest, no sensory stimuli … so nothing to do.
- Let go of your attachment to time and space. This gives you a sense of inner freedom!
- awaken the inner senses.
- Darkness, your dark side, fear …. Death. The release of the shape and the complete darkness are a part of the path of immortality.
- ‘The Mind’ (intelligence network) itself really experienced.
- Sink through your fear of the unknown and what “could” happen. In the HERE and NOW.
Wikibin: People who enter darkness in this way, in a therapeutic and supportive environment, become explorers of the infinite, seers – literally ones who see – witnessing the world not with the eyes, but with the entire body. Their subsequent comments underline the potency of this:
- “I have been waiting for the words to come to me so that I can put in writing what a difference the darkness has made in my life – it was the most incredible, fulfilling experience ever for me – It was incredible to witness and experience such harmony and feelings of safety. The darkness has given me so much – the courage to face my journey in life with a faith I never had or knew I could possibly achieve before – it has certainly been life-changing for me.”
- “Amazing. I still can’t find the words to describe the experience and nor am I yet fully aware of all the implications that it will have on my life. It was a truly sacred time.”
- “It was an amazing and powerful experience and I feel very blessed to have been part of this.”
- “The darkness was incredibly powerful. We did many things that I would not have thought possible for sighted people plunged into blindness. As individuals, our differences fell away when we were blind. Perhaps it was to do with us all being vulnerable together, so the only thing possible was to give love, understanding, compassion and acceptance. If in our society we could all recognise that even with our eyes open we are all vulnerable together, the world might become a more loving place.”
The effects of prolonged darkness are unique for each person, and, at the same time, quite consistent. They include the attainment of renewed energy, the ability to move past self-limitations, to meet life’s challenges with greater ease, and to step into the unknown without fear, as the comments above suggest.
With no visual distractions from the outside world, the mind is forced inwards towards self-examination and the questioning of the material universe. The imagination is fired and unbridled, and, according to the shamans of many traditions, reaches out to the spirits, who hear this call and bring their gifts of insight and intuition, of seeing the world in a way that the soul remembers. We all saw the world without eyes during our first year of life in the womb and immediately afterwards. Before we were taught how to assemble reality, we never needed eyes; we just knew.
Prihan: there was a sweet feeling of release and freedom, it was a lesson in surrender, one that I built upon in subsequent meditations. I learnt that surrender and equanimity are very close to each other, and that expressing your trust and abandoning and relaxing from your self during meditation is the most powerful catalyst to a deep absorption state.
The second experience came later, when upon thinking of loved ones, a deep empathy manifested itself in me that made me feel with shock and horror, the level of suffering experienced by all beings. It wasn’t an intellectual notion, it was a very real firsthand experience of imprisonment – a feeling of panic, of feeling trapped, and of deep sadness. It moved me to a tearful night of prayer and asking for blessings to be given to loved ones and strangers alike, which became my nightly routine.
The third was the sweetest one of all. I was suddenly overcome with a sense of being loved, being protected and guided. . . . . . . knowledge of meditation and self-inquiry, and to be given a burning desire to pursue and practice. I was blessed, blessed, blessed. In that realization, only gratitude would be the appropriate response.
These constituted the roller coaster ride of emotions unleashed from my heart. It was a divine ecstacy that I have not yet forgotton, nor do I ever wish to. In the darkness I finally understood the words of Sahajananda, who taught me the Hridaya meditation technique, that the heart could be an organ of knowledge. In my rapture, the dome itself became a cosmic golden womb, Hiranyagarbaya, its darkness ripe with fertile potential, the very air an amniotic fluid. I worshipped the very walls of my confinement every time I felt like a gestating foetus, and dared to dream about how I would be reborn upon completion of the 14 days.
Jasmuheen: Q: What are some at the other benefits of darkroom retreats and The Prana Program that you share there? A: Apart from what we have already explained, the darkroom experience has numerous benefits for the participant. Firstly it recreates an experience of being in the Divine Mother’s womb from where all light flows, next it eliminates feelings of separation as all you see and/or feel is that you are an individual point of consciousness
Kalianey: As I am meditating for extended periods of time I am getting more and more insights into my mind and myself, and some beautiful experiences, like experiencing the true meaning of the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’, ‘Praise to the jewel in the lotus’ (the lotus being the heart). I literally see myself being somehow inside my own heart, which became huge and is shining with a incredibly bright blinding white light, exactly like a diamond. I very often during this week see light shining extremely bright from my body, huge beams of white light shooting out of my heart or my head, bright red light coming from the navel, glistening gold or purple light filling the whole room etc. It’s incredibly beautiful and fascinating to witness this saying of Rumi becoming true in front of my eyes: “it is your light that lights the worlds …. rumi”
I truly felt how a wide open heart means a quiet contented mind, and how important on the path is the cultivation of the Heart, through gratitude and compassion. I’ve been surprised how it enabled me to sit with profound restlessness, with the urge to act, and watch it dissolve into peace and focus.
I also feel more and more how truly everything in the world is the projection of my own mind, how life is a just a dream which can be enjoyed as such.