sleep in a dark room every night

i remember the moment i realised that the darkroom retreat is not a one-off thing. i thought … of course. of course, why didn’t i realise that.

perhaps i was so used to thinking of retreats as something fashionable. usually expensive. difficult to find time for ….

darkroom is not a fashionable thing to do (there are thousands around the world), to say to your friends, family etc that you have done it eg  “i am going to a retreat in an exotic location “…..

rather, once one has done a retreat, thereafter one sleeps in a darkroom every night. so you have to darken your own bedroom and do other stuff such as provide a reliable constant air  source once you have blocked all light, you have also block airflow. you make your own bedroom dark – a darkroom.

and every now and again, you will want to do an increasingly longer retreat … starting with 12 hrs, on to 4 days, 8 days, 20 days, 40 days or long enough to fully restore.

electricity has changed our sleep – view of USA

Recommended Darkroom Schedules

Practical Research over 10 years by Andrew Durham
you can contact Andrew by email – see website


6 dark + 2 lit
Mon 18:00 – in
Sun 12:00 – out
Transition day 1. Uncover window, go outside to sit and walk, but still no communication or work
Sun 20:00 – in. Cover window.
Mon 12:00 – out. Transition day 2
Mon 20:00 – in. Cover window
Tues 12:00 – out and finished


3 dark + 1 lit
Mon 18:00 – in
Thur 12:00 – out
Transition day. Uncover window, go outside to sit and walk, but still no communication or work
Thur 20:00 – back in
Fri 12:00 – out and finished

Mini & Test the Room

20:00 – in
Lights off, in bed NO later than 20:00. Otherwise, cancel and begin again the next night.
In morning, wake up, go back to sleep, repeat
11:30 – wake up. Before seeing light, look for and fix light leaks from inside, and your supporter from outside.
12:00 – out, after maximum of 16 hours in, before going past point of no return in the cycle (dangerous).

Have your light blocking tools at the ready: Masking tape, electrical tape, some black fleece strips and patches, scissors, and skewer and table knife for stuffing fleece in cracks.

here are a few links. i googled “i sleep in a dark room every night”

Crowdfunding succeeding for darkroom retreat


andrew durham, the crowdfunding goal is well over half way! After 28 years finding and testing the way nature gives us to heal from psychophysical illness, I am ready to apply it to myself, and I need your help. In September, I will do a 20-day hygienic darkroom retreat at a cost of $2300, and I would like you to consider contributing to my crowdfunding campaign to

Andrew Durham: “We are 80% of the way to our goal. With just four days left in the campaign, we need only $420 more to make it.”

Dear Friends,

After 28 years finding and testing the way nature gives us to heal from psychophysical illness, I am ready to apply it to myself, and I need your help. In September, I will do a 20-day hygienic darkroom retreat at a cost of $2300, and I would like you to consider contributing to my crowdfunding campaign to pay for it. Here is why.

For decades, exhaustion-depression has progressively crippled my ability to care for myself, twice almost fatally. Only resting in darkness has given me relief, periods of semi-recovery, and strength to go on. A 20-day retreat will be long enough for me to:

1. heal at the core of my exhaustion-depression
2. become able to make the lifeway changes that full recovery and maintenance will require

Many of you donated to me during the testing phase of the restful use of darkness. _Thank you_. I felt very frustrated for those four years because, in only managing short retreats, I thought I was failing to apply my idea. Only afterward did I see I had been succeeding at testing it. I have never been able to retreat longer than a week because I lacked personal capacity, knowledge, resources… and humility. Yet, in trying, I gained experience, proved the concept, refined the process… and finally faced facts.

Now I have done 20 retreats, built 20 darkrooms in four climates, supported 25 clients in retreating, and written a 200-page manual of hygienic darkroom retreating. In fact, you can read it for free right now at Everything is explained clearly. The theory is rational, the practice straightforward, and the results predictable. It works the same way for everyone. I feel confident in my current level of knowledge to succeed at my third attempt at a medium-length retreat. It will be the first explicitly hygienic darkroom retreat of this length in history, with radical implications for hygiene and the public health.

I like crowdfunding a lot. My request goes out not just to you, but to hundreds of family, friends, clients, supporters, and acquaintances at the same time. When total contributions reach the goal by the end of the campaign, they will all come to me at once so I will have the full amount needed to succeed. If contributions miss the goal, they are returned. It’s all or nothing, which minimizes waste and long-term disappointment.

My campaign starts now and ends in 14 days on my birthday, July 6. I will keep you updated on the whole process, from now till I am well again, based on events and your response.


Jun 21 begin campaign
Jul 6 end campaign; find suitable house to rent
Aug 1 move into house; build darkroom; and arrange support
Sep 1 begin 20-day hygienic darkroom retreat
Nov 1 extra month in case of unusual delay


1200 house rental (3 months + deposit)
300 building materials
400 food
100 smartphone & service
100 bicycle
200 for retreat supporter
0 Tilt fees because they’re cool like that
0% debit card fee
3% credit card fee
2300 tilt amount
1200 reserve
3500 post-tilt total

Tilt will release the money to me when contributions reach $2300. Additional funds received will go into a $1200 reserve in case of unusual problems or delays. So I will to keep the campaign going till it reaches at least $3500.

Given my workaholism and crowdfunding’s usual focus on products, I considered offering rewards to contributors. For example, the new edition of my book, the sleeping mask, or lightproof vent I designed. But despite my recent efforts to complete it, I find the book still needs attention I lack the presence of mind to give it until I can retreat. And I have often promised future production (or benefit to humanity) to cover up shame I felt in asking for help. Acquiring the humility necessary to ask for help, only promising to establish my own wellbeing, has been the most difficult part of this for me. I am sure I will be self-supporting in the future, and that darkroom retreating will move the world as I foresee. But right now, I’m sick and need your support to rest in order to heal.

That’s all a darkroom retreat is. It’s not discipline, therapy, or escape. It provides conditions of profound rest in which the all-powerful organism, including the psychic system, heals itself. Thus its unparalleled effectiveness.

Will you please help me complete my journey back to health by contributing to my campaign?

Thank you,

Published on Jun 21, 2016

Short Tilt crowdfunding intro to say hello and point to my written proposal:
(editor note: Tilt has closed its doors)
and my book at
about the way nature gives us to heal from psychophysical trauma and illness: hygienic darkroom retreating.

22 days in darkness: the body is self-healing, if you allow it to

yubill and jasumeen spent 22 days and nights in darkness without food and with very little fluid.. he said,  “the surprising process was for me an unlearning rather than a learning, a letting go. the body is self-healing, if you allow it to …. i unlearned everything i need to know”

the following is a two-part interview of Bill by Jasumeen after the retreat.

Part One: Good pre darkroom preparation is essential

Part Two: Darkroom Retreat Insights 

published April 10 2009

Continue reading

Hygienic Use of Darkness by Andrew Durham

ed: below are extracts from Andrew Durham’s book “Hygienic DarkRoom Retreat”.    Andrew Durham’s website.

Hygiene is passive toward healing. In other words, the will is mostly passive. The unconscious is active and drives the process. The will is secondary, a servant. Its main purpose is to rest so the being can restore itself to wholeness. Hygiene is thus a peacemaker, allowing the distressed will to finally rest and recover.

Hygiene primarily depends on the autonomic self—omniscient, omnipotent, and infallible—to accomplish the work of healing. This hints at limitless results. There is nothing mystical, disciplined, or complicated about this approach. It is rational, safe, and natural: a reliable miracle.

Hygiene’s passive emphasis on rest and healing is very important because it defines the appropriate attitude toward retreating. I learned in fasting that how one approaches a retreat has a great effect on what happens in it.

The mind becomes extremely powerful when it is resting and purifying. If one’s attitude is really to passively support the omnipotent healing forces of the organism in doing everything, the effect of this internal unity will be much greater than if one has the conflicted doer-attitude of a practitioner

Three things the hygienic use of darkness is not:

1. discipline, such meditation

2. therapy

3. a psychedelic trip

These three approaches all share the vain attempt to end suffering by subjecting the unconscious to conscious action, as if mere attention, analysis, or reconditioning could fix the unconscious.

They try to willfully improve what they regard as an inert, even resistant unconscious self, as if it were incapable or disinclined of doing so itself.

Unfortunately, this attitude is ignorantly coercive toward the injured conscious self and discouraging to the omnipotent autonomic self. It is internalized tyranny predictably accompanied by triune brain-drain.

In contrast, hygienic use of darkness is passive as regards the will. The conscious self only plays a supportive role. The unconscious autonomic self is the principal actor. Zero conflict. Maximum efficiency. Perfect result.

The essence of the hygienic approach is the recognition of the power of the  autonomic self. Hygiene involves no gold-leafed statues or exotic rituals or substances, but it has the virtue of being cheap, quick, easy to remember, and vastly more effective

1. It is not discipline, such as meditation. Discipline is consistent exercise of the will. Will is the most delicate, energy-consuming, and, due to atrophy, ineffective part of the psyche. The psyche is the system most in need of rest. So discipline sets into motion and takes energy from the healing of the faculties it depends on while giving the least possible benefit for time, energy, and effort expended. Granted, it produces results impressive by the tragically low standard of ordinary people. But it prevents accomplishment of the top priority: full recovery of the psyche from its catastrophic damage.
Spiritual meditation, like all spiritual practice, entails supereffort to force access to subtle energy reserves to fuel transformation. The hygienic approach entails exactly the opposite: profound rest to conserve movement and energy for self-restoration. The conscious self at- tempts nothing to ameliorate suffering. It only provides conditions of healing to the unconscious, autonomic self, whose job is to heal the organism.
Discipline begins with accepting as real, as natural, the appearance of an intrinsic internal conflict: original sin. Next, one struggles “against nature”, fighting habits with practices to achieve an ideal. Hygiene begins with an assumption of natural harmony, of non-contra- diction and a logical explanation of illness. This naturally motivates one to easily fulfill its aim, which is healthy in reality.
Lastly, discipline sets up artificial dangers and obstacles by partially retaining willed control of the process. Then it spreads fear about retreat- ing without the necessary preparations guided by experts of the tradition. It’s a self-fulfilling delusion if not an outright racket.

2. It is not therapy. Therapy is done to a passive organism from the outside. The therapist, therapy, and therapeutic substances are the principal actors in a therapeutic session, not the organism itself. While depending on the organism to react to treatment, therapy views the organism as incapable of initiating a movement toward health. It fails to see such movement in disease itself.
In a darkroom retreat, darkness does nothing. Like air or water, it merely presents an opportunity to the self-preserving organism to better pursue its ceaseless tendency toward wholeness. The principal actor is life, not its conditions nor any treatment.

3. It is not a psychedelic trip: consciously experiencing normally unconscious phenomena using abnormal conditions like sleep-deprivation or chemicals, natural or artificial.

Andrew Durham’s website.

Andrew Durham: speaking in Sweden

see the book  by Andrew Durham “Darkroom Retreat” – second edition

Published on Nov 14, 2011
Talk held by Andrew Durham at Kulturföreningen Gryning, Helsingborg, Sweden on the 13th of November 2011. Contact him at

~~ the darkness conjecture:andrew d
toward a strifeless recovery of natural rapture ~~

Everyone has had a moment of rapture, when the world appears perfect and beautiful and every breath is sublime.

Rather than rarities or even delusions, what if these were moments of lucidity – clear awareness of the world as it is? What if this awareness could be restored without strife (enormous, difficult, and painful effort) by simply resting for several days in absolute darkness? What if the sheer insanity of our lives in this culture is, at root, simply an illness that could automatically heal under the proper conditions?

On Sunday, I will give my reasons for believing this possible. I will share my experiences with darkness: trying it in Oregon, USA and running a retreat in Guatemala for 18 other people. And I will invite your participation in making a darkness retreat here in Sweden so others can have this experience and continue testing what I call the darkness conjecture:

Rapture, the natural human condition, turns to suffering in a catastrophically injured psyche, which, as an organic system, will heal itself with vital energy accumulated in the profound rest available in an absolutely dark environment. Continue reading