ideal d. r. setup


  • double door as in photographic darkroom so that the assistant, the helper can enter with the meals without the retreater having to don a mask.
  • both hot and cold water – for comfortable water temperature
  • a composting toilet which is foolproof and well ventilated, the ventilation coming from inside the room, out through the toilet to the outside

ok, yet not ideal

Prihan: Once a day a server would knock on the door to deliver food. The knock would rouse me from my meditation and I had to blindfold myself – an elaborate routine to ensure that any light resulting from the act of opening the doors would not reach my eyes.


Kalianey: or take cold showers (which are still very challenging though as the dark room is so cold in itself)

The fan broke down around midnight on day 33 (I sleep very little these days, usually a few hours in the early morning). The smell of the compost toilet was really bad and I realize how lucky I have been to have the fan working 24/7 until then. My mind started to go crazy on the thought that it might be broken and stay like this until the end of my retreat. When it was finally turned on again the next day after breakfast, I felt such an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude that I realized how happiness is really as simple as a breath of fresh air.