Bret and Karel: Wizards at Chlistov Czech R


staying in the darkBřetislav and Karel are the wizard folks who facilitate a retreat in Chlistov, Klatovy Czech Republic. 

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Liam: Darkness Within Darkness


this is an account of Liam’s dark retreat i found online … i have reposted extracts from several posts. see the original and full texts here.

liamorig published SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2010

Darkness Within Darkness

So the time is at hand. 3 days until I begin my dark room retreat @ Sierra Obscura retreat center in Nevada City. The basic structure of the experience is like this: a residential home in the Nevada City area has been converted to a retreat space. The downstairs of the house has 5 individual rooms and one community room, as well as several bathrooms and a massage room. The upstairs of the house is where all the food for the retreat-goers is prepared, and where various servers stay and operate during retreat times. The retreat begins with 2 days acclimating to the space in dim lighting, followed by 14 days darkness, ending with 1 day integration. Here is a blog (ed: the site is no longer transmitting) site run by the center.

So the basic idea is that I will have ample time to go inward, to meditate and contemplate, to observe and attune my awareness, to recalibrate my physiological systems so used to and abused by sensory overload, as well as many other things. I intend to use it as a time to go deep, deep within. To contemplate the years past happenings, and to integrate and embody as many of these powerful teachings that have come through to me in the Tao de Ching. Healing, release, renewal, rebirth.

Rebirth. Going into the darkness, going into the womb to grow and develop and emerge anew.

Though I am excited about the experience, I feel it will be quite a challenge for me! Just the other day I sat down and closed my eyes for 5 minutes, and just watched my breath and meditated, & it seemed like an eternity! But it was only 5 minutes. So I really can’t imagine just what my experience will be like for some 300-something hours in pitch black, but I imagine immersing myself in the dark for such a long time will enhance the light that much more, at the very least.
So, 2 more quick things relating to darkness that have come up for me just recently, and that relate to the retreat @ hand and the postmoderntao blog. One is that I intend to have dark field blood work done before going in and after coming out. Dark field blood work is otherwise known as “live blood work,” and contrary to light field work, examines a complete, living blood cell. Last time I had an analysis done, I saw some pretty incredible stuff. One of my white blood cells looked like Florida, and I said to the Doctor, “say, what’s with this?” And the Doc said, “Well, don’t you have some relationship to Florida?” And I said, “Why yes, I am going to a yoga retreat there this December, and I’ve been trying to arrange my transportation there for the past week.” —-> So me thinking about Florida caused FL to literally show up in my blood. I have other friends who have seen some pretty wild stuff in there relating to their psyche, childhood, life experiences, things they need to heal or address to move forward, etc. One friend of mine had many of her blood cells in the form of yogini ballerinas. Cool huh?

The second thing related to darkness is that I have by chance met a fellow who is opening a sensory deprivation chamber retreat center (really its a “day spa”) in the Nevada City area right before I finish my dark room retreat, and we have arranged for me to be picked up from Sierra Obscura on March 4th to go to one of the Sensory dep. tanks to see what that’s all about! The chambers are basically big water holding tanks that were originally used to transport Dolphins. In this case the water is adjusted to body temperature and is loaded with epsom salts, so one can’t feel the water and can easily float in it. This creates or simulates the very real experience of primordial womb conditions. Some people apparently have floated for as long as 6 hours, but I think a very common time is a 30 min. to 1 hour journey.
So that will put the cherry on the Sunday of the dark field work & dark room retreat. Dolphin tank anyone?

So okay, perhaps the picture I’ve painted of the coming 3 weeks of my life seems rather insane, but I embrace the possibility of deep transformation and realization, and hope whatever happens will be of practical use to me and my reality–all my friends and family, all networks, all my relations!

Much love all!


orig. published MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2010
Spring Light Emerging

Greetings one & all.

Out of the dark, one month ago today. March 4th.

So much to recount in the darkness, sitting in one little room for 2 weeks. And so much to recount of my last month in the light as well. Where do I begin?

So was the darkness enlightening? Yes, I believe it was on a number of levels. My experience there was quite dynamic, ranging from all sorts of bodily sensations (wild buzzing of pituitary/3rd eye, pineal/crown), to various nightmarish and wild visions and dreams, with plenty of realizations and downloads of things that no longer serve me or anyone for that matter. I had dense, visceral, agonizing feelings of despair and helplessness and solitude. Feelings of pure joy and love and complete contentment. & on & on. I must say it was an amazingly rewarding experience on every level.

I will recount several quick stories, with a general lack of detail to allow you all to fill in your own imaginative details.

One day one I had to pee really bad. I couldn’t hold it. And I got lost on the way to the bathroom. And I couldn’t hold it. And I grabbed for whatever I could, and I grabbed a Tibetan singing bowl. And I didn’t have to hold it anymore. But I had to use a lot of scalding hot water and Dr. Bronner’s soap later to make sure the bowl wasn’t tainted forever.

On another day I walked into the bathroom and stepped on what felt like tiny stones. And I reached for whatever it was, and they had a slimy texture, and they smelled funny. And I found out what the little stones were eventually. My darkroom retreat roommate-neighbor Rigzin had tried to dump rotten soaked almonds in the toilet, and she missed. Completely.

I remember realizing/thinking/feeling that nothing really matters, that my return to source is inevitable, but the glory and gift of being a human being right now is beyond imagination and probability, so I need to take advantage of every moment to its fullest, cultivating awareness more and more every day.

My pre-retreat post-retreat blood work analysis was profound. Before the Dr. said “this is very healthy blood.” After the Dr. said “this blood is exemplary, vital blood.” Wow!

I came out with a blonde strip of hair. How does that happen in the dark?

. . . . . . .

So that’s all for now. Spring emerges here, and I am loving the light more than ever. I’m not going to pretend my body or mind is in some sort of radiant transcendent healthful state, but for some reason I feel more surrender to every moment than I have ever felt.

Come what may–I will do my best to give myself to the righteousness within me.

I love you all!


orig. published TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

Blogicide
. . . . . .

I don’t have any more questions about anything. All the big questions that left my mind restless have been answered, and I must say, I don’t believe there is anything worth doing, accomplishing, or creating outside of me, outside of William/Will/Liam. There is no knowledge “out there,” no fulfillment to find, no happiness to pursue. It would seem that through all the people I’ve met, books I’ve read, experiences I’ve had, etc., the only work I feel drawn towards at all is inside. In other words, I would like to devote a great deal of time, energy, &/or effort into focusing my attention inwardly. You know, treat it like a 9-5 type thing, a whole new life style. From what I have read/been told/experienced thus far–a whole lot is possible when we simply sit quietly and close our eyes, and wait. So that’s what I’m going to do. A lot.

Nothing is “out there” but a relative, ever-changing Universe of ups and downs, sorrows & glee, a roller coaster of relativity. So I will go inside and see. See if there is anything more to mere changing forms. See if there is eternity, see if there is changelessness, repeatlessness. I will have to have patience. I will have to wait and see. 🙂

Much love to you all!!! & of course I will continue to communicate with everyone through the dozens of modern communication tools–facebook, email, cellphone, skype, etc. And hopefully in person!

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

Barry Spendlove: A Healing Darkness, Wales


These retreats with Barry Spendlove look wonderful. The next Healing Darkness event is

5pm December 16th – afternoon of December 21st at Dao Centre Colwyn- pre-requisite Fusion of the Five Elements
. There are darkroom retreats in January 2017 that are open to everyone

Here is an extract. For full and original text, go to Healing Tao Britain.


In the dark, it doesn’t take long before boundaries dissolve. All the fears we have concerning the dark vanish as we discover so much vitality, clarity and inner light. b.s. 09

How suitable is Tao Centre Colwyn for this type of deep spiritual practice?

barry spendlove

barry spendlove

Tao Centre Colwyn is my home, it overlooks the Irish Sea and is built on a terrace that was formed by mining the Limestone. A cliff (going up) with a thick quartz seam is behind the house.

The house is made from blocks of stone, (some of which are close to a metre square) that were mined here. 120 years ago the house would have been under ground and the stone retains the memory. The house and its environs have a sense of deep belonging and unity.

healing darkness 2When the windows are completely sealed from light the house has the resonance of a deep cave, but one with bathroom facilities, hot water, warmth and comfortable chairs and beds. Alchemy has been practiced in the house for the last 18 years and the local spirits and devas are most supportive. I have had the feeling for

daoist shamanic alchemy .014some years that there was a cave or caves here before the mining operation. Most natural caves are formed in Limestone, there are many in this area. Some (12 miles away) have been excavated and the bones of Mammoth, Straight Tusked Elephant, Lion, Bison, Giant Elk, Hippo and Rhino were found along with bones of early Neanderthal Man (230,000 years give or take the odd millenium or 3).

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Martin: three days in the dark


Martin’s three days in the dark is a wonderful read.  published 22 March 2016

see the whole original post here  and english translation here.

 

handsholdingHi Peter, my experience of the three-day stay in the dark for me was really special. In retrospect, I feel as if I had stepped out of an express train everyday life. In the darkness suddenly erased all sense of time and one of the senses – sight. Because I really missed nothing much to expect, so I had nothing but pleasant experiences unexpected.

The time spent inside, I used meditation to improve, which will certainly succeeded, and it happened to many other interesting things. I started having dreams, I went beautifully calm and relaxed. I felt at home there eventually, I enjoyed a burst of joy, happiness, gratitude, compassion and understanding. Much more I appreciate the ordinary things that make me happy right now. It changed my outlook on life, on me and on my very neighborhood, the better.

I very much appreciate the comfort that he was there, thank you Peter for everything you’ve done for me, shoved me that one step further on my journey through life. It was a sincere and intimate experience when I left so I was from that of all to cry. Thank you.