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Dark Room Meditation Retreat


I Love Bali Podcast

This is how I calmed down my mind

after being a little bit over-stressed 🥵, and
a little bit over-blessed 😇

I did a dark room meditation retreat! This is an advanced practice in the Dzogchen and Kalachakra lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and Bön (Wikipedia).

A darkroom meditation retreat

Today I'm going to take you on a special journey. Well, it's a journey into darkness.

A friend of mine told me, he's going to build a dark room and I thought about something you might find that in a swinger club.

But then he started to explain: "No, it's a kind of retreat. And it's meant to be for meditation. You go into a dark room for at least three days, maybe longer and you just use the time for meditation."

Well, he's still building on his construction ... But I started reading about it, and doing some research, and the idea resonated with me. So I thought: "Let's go for it!"

Now, I'm just observing the last sunset today, and then I'm going inside the dark meditation room. And this is what it looks like: I shielded the windows with silver foil, to make them lightproof. I covered the door and the edges, the other window ...

Let's go inside. On the inside of the dark meditation room, I will also cover that with curtains. And I prepared a place where I can do yoga in the dark and a place where I can take some notes. And also in the bathroom, I covered the window, so that there is still some airflow, but no light. I'll have to shower in the dark. I wonder how this will turn out for my feelings, for my consciousness, for my happiness, and I'm really curious about what's coming ahead. Well, after I'm done, I'll let you know ...

Review of a darkroom meditation retreat

Dark Room Meditation

After three dark days and four black nights ...

it's time to turn on the light again!
Hi, I'm back from my dark retreat. Let me tell you what I experienced,

But now, it's time to open the door
and to go for the first sunrise after my retreat.

Turning off the lights is like:

putting your graphics processor on idle!

Your vision, so your most sensitive sensors, your eyes,
deliver about 80% of the data for your brain.

If you turn off the light and don't see anything anymore
the graphics processor has nothing to do.

And since life is a game
we are probably designed like a gaming computer!

A gaming computer has more CPU power in its graphics processor,
as it's in its main processor.

If we bring that on idle, there will be a lot of processing power available for other things to do if your eyes stop broadcasting any data.

And another trick is, to reduce the sounds you hear,
just by using some earplugs or going into a quiet environment.

And then, if you put in the earplugs,
after turning off the lights,

you suddenly stop hearing a lot of things,
because the level goes below what you can hear.

First of all, you hear your heartbeat,
and second, you start hearing your breath.

I decided to close the windows with this silver foil here behind me.
That was only a reasonably good idea.

Because every wind makes it move. So let me tell you a little bit more about how I prepared everything in the dark meditation room.

First of all, the setup was quite frugal.
I removed everything which I didn't need.

I just had this table for writing.
There was nothing on it.

Just the writing book, a pencil, and a ruler.
The ruler helps to keep writing in the dark, keeping the lines.

Then the next thing you don't need is any clothes.
put them away.

I was naked for three and a half days.
I think I've never been that long naked before ...

Apart from the time before my mother gave birth,
so inside my mother's belly.

I put the bed in the corner and I covered the edges
so that I did not kick with my toes against them and hurt me the same here.

I think that was quite good.
Then, having a bed like this avoids that you fall out of the bed.

And if you put the yoga mat right in front of it,
if you fall out on this side, it doesn't really hurt you.

In the bathroom keep everything organized.
I just put a water bottle here and a glass, actually a plastic.

Plastic is definitely a better idea,
in case you drop it in the dark.

And then, organize your soap and your toothpaste and toothbrush.
That's all.

But how did it feel?
I took plenty of notes, and I filled this entire book with my thoughts about what I experienced.

I wrote a lot of post-its,
which I already organized and put here.

First of all, how did I feel?
Was it boring?

No, it wasn't boring at all!
I didn't get bored,

I was waiting for what I'm going to experience
and not feeling boredom.

Then, I had this effect:
I found out here at the corner

there was falling some light through the roof.
During the daytime, it did not get completely dark.

You should do a better job!
Here at the aircon, for example, I tried to close up the lamps, the LED,

But I couldn't cover the sensor from the aircon,
because then I wasn't able to switch it on and off anymore.

And so during the day I still had
a little bit of daylight in the room.
I found that it was quite disturbing.

My creativity really popped up,
only during the night,
and during the daytime,
it calmed down.

But anyhow, I decided to close my eyes during the day.
Also, I decided, to sleep the most of the time during the day.

I thought let's live with it,
I can live with that,
without getting um frustrated.

But I really had much less creativity during the daytime than during the nighttime.

So, I decided just to keep my eyes closed during the day.
But it doesn't have the same effect as complete darkness.

So, what else did I experience?
On the first day, I didn't get any food I had ordered from my host.

I looked outside and couldn't find anything to eat.
I thought, my love Komang did tell them it would be better for me if I would be fasting!

But well, in the evening Edy turned up and said:
"Klaus, what's wrong with you, why are you not eating?"

And then I realized, he put the food around the corner on the chair,
where I neither could see nor reach it from inside of the dark meditation room!

From then on I got every day my food.
Two or three portions and I really enjoyed the food.

Eating in the darkness is a challenge!
First of all, it's a challenge to put the food on the fork or onto the spoon,

if you're not used to that.
It's rather easy to find the mouth with it in the darkness.

But it requires some extra skills and you're gonna build them over time.
It's an interesting experience.

With the darkness around,
you start eating very very slowly
and you experience the taste of the food much stronger.

Yeah, any food I got was so delicious.
So, unfortunately, the portions were big.

I don't like to leave something behind,
so I always ate up everything, and I kept overeating, a little bit ...

And well, then I asked Edy: "Please prepare smaller portions."
And for the last day, I only ordered two portions.

But actually, food is the only distraction you get during the day,
and then, I was missing it.

So, rather go for even smaller portions.
You don't need much, because you don't move a lot.

You don't exercise a lot, and so,
the smaller the portions are the better!

But I found,
three portions a day is better than two.

Why no food?
But I wasn't feeling angry about it.

And thinking about food did not make me feel hungry.
I came to the point, fasting it's okay!

Why does one do a retreat like that?
It is said, you shouldn't do it with any expectations for an outcome.

But see, I love results!
So, of course, I had some reasons:

I was looking for some kind of outcome from this experience. Number one: In the last time, I often felt dizzy.

And I did some research on that and found, that it is said: Dizziness is often a sign that you're lacking meaning in life.

So, I was collecting ideas during this retreat:
What is my passion?

What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?

What do I like to do?
What do I dislike?

What are my skills?
Finally, overthinking my meaning in life!

Which I put together in short:
Vitality for Happiness!

And overthink that, to see, where I have to recalibrate my values ...
and maybe, also my life targets.

So, I got together a lot of things about,
what my passion is.

What I love, what I dislike,
and the things, where I have built strengths.

I also did think about my talents.
And it turned out that, I'm currently living certain values, like:

Growth, results, wealth,
to build more consciousness and more awareness.

That I live frugalism and simplicity
and that I'm living the value of gratitude.

I got plenty of ideas for things I wanted to do, For example:
I kept hearing in my ear the song:

"Hard to say I'm sorry" from the band Chicago,

And so, I came up with a lot of things that I want to do:
Scripts for affirmations and a lot of that have to do with forgiveness.

Here are some things, I came up with:
Finally, I came up with the idea:

Let's read the bible or listen to the bible,
and maybe the koran.

A book about Hinduism in Bali, and Buddhism.
Learn all about it!

What do those religions recommend how to practice forgiveness?
Other ideas had to do with writing a book about flying,
and learning to fly!

And I decided that I want to learn to fly a kite.
I got this idea of having dark room retreats and a co-working space.

Maybe traveling to Laos, instead of Thailand,
which I plan at the moment.

Instead of extending the visa in Indonesia over and over again, find a country, where the citizens have free access to Indonesia.

Actually, there is a second reason for which I did it:
It is said, it's gonna increase your level of consciousness in the long term.

So I can't tell you yet if that worked out.
But I had some pretty light moments during doing that.

I have to wait, for how it's gonna turn out after a while.

Should you do it as well? And can it be done on your own?
My answer is clear: It's definitely possible to do it on your own!

In which mental condition do you need to be?
Well, I think:

If you have serious mental problems,
I wouldn't recommend doing it on your own.

But, if you're mentally stable and mentally healthy,
that's definitely possible.

If you are claustrophobic,
if you fear loneliness,

If you fear the darkness,
or if you are generally in a psychologically unstable situation

you probably don't want to do it on your own.
But I don't know.

Well especially being in those situations,
a retreat like this will give you the biggest benefit in healing those issues.

When should you do it?
Well I think, I have learned so much about myself ...

So, whenever you want to learn more about yourself
this is a great option.

Understanding yourself gives you a good idea,
where your life's gonna carry you!

What do you have to lose? 3 days!
See, if you don't feel comfortable ...

you any time can turn on the light,
and open the door,

and go outside and enjoy the daylight,
and the sunshine and a good talk with someone else!

You're not a prisoner.
If this idea resonates with you: Go for it!

You anyway live life at your own risk.
Even if modern society teaches us something else.

And even if insurances keep charging us money
for making us believe that they are taking the responsibility for our mistakes.

No, everything we experience we create with our mind,
and this is a wonderful way to access it.

So, if the idea resonates with you:
Go for it!


 

Good morning, my dear.
I'm Klaus Foster and this is Bali Sunrise Beach coaching.

I've been on a dark room Retreat for four nights and three days and today I'm gonna share what was the best I experienced during the retreat, the best results after it, the worst during the retreat, and the worst results which I had after it and the worst experience. I'm also will give you some practical advice if you want to test it and that idea resonates with you.

Let's get started with the best results I achieved from it. number one: It improved my vision. I used to read with those reading glasses because I'm a bit farsighted. After the retreat, I was able to read on the screen of my computer and on my mobile phone without glasses. I assume, because I was for four nights and three days without looking at a computer or a telephone screen, my eye muscles did relax that much. That was a wonderful feeling. I didn't need any glasses anymore for about one month. but well, after that I got a bit under stress, and then the farsightedness gets worse. I used the computer and the telephone frequently. but the learning about it was, to reduce screen time!

The second thing I experienced is: I was able to see ahead of what is coming soon. after it, my intuition more frequently told me, there is a situation that's gonna come. and then shortly after, it turned out like that. which was pretty amazing.
in total, I need to say this was the happiest time I experienced during the last month, well, probably during the last year, yeah! I really felt happy during the retreat. it really served me well with some good feelings. and one of the most amazing feelings I had was, that I was able to fully forgive myself and anyone else. and this feeling of forgiveness stimulated a lot of Happiness, which I experienced during the retreat. also, other senses increased, for example, eating, if you're eating in the dark, you eat slowly. and all of your senses, especially vision and your auditive sense get very little data. so all of your sensibility goes into your tongue while eating, and into your fingertips, and other senses. and so the sensitivity increases. and that's also something that remains a little bit longer after you're done. and the quietness, so I put I did put some earbuds like this in my ears. Because it's very hard to get a room really sounds proof. some earbuds help. you squeeze them together and put them in. really squeeze them into your ears. and from the warmth from the body, they start growing inside and really closing the ears quite well, which worked pretty fine for me. and the side effect of that was I sometimes keep hearing a sizzling noise in my ears, tinnitus. but after one day it disappeared, at least temporarily. so the side effect was quite nice. that I got the tinnitus away at least for a while. and then what happened was the explosion of creativity. I had so many ideas. I came up with uh very creative things. and I was able to listen to my inner voice, which was really amazing. I did write down a lot and filled this book here. You might ask yourself, are you able to read what you write when you're in complete darkness? what helped was a ruler, I put a ruler on the paper and I was riding on top of the ruler. So I had some lines for orientations while writing, and that turned out to be quite nice writing. apart from this page on which I wrote twice! because I accidentally turned the book around and didn't see it, of course. there was already something written on it. and the things I wrote down were quite helpful to recall what I was thinking. I can strongly recommend taking many many notes during a dark retreat.

And then I had an absolutely amazing experience: in complete darkness, I had the feeling I can see like a blind person. and I can move like a blind person. that actually already happened after one night. so the next, the second night in the evening, I had the feeling I was on my knees on my bed. and I saw the white bed sheet below me, and my hands on it. and when I looked down I was able to see my legs there then I went to the bathroom and I was able to see the Tails of the wall and the door. and a walk there and I realized it looks like the wall is standing this way. but in fact, I was feeling the wall was standing that way. so first of all, I knocked my head on the wall. what didn't really matter, and didn't really hurt. but then later when I was on my knees on the bed, and I was crawling over the bed with my hands I was walking there ... and there was no bed anymore! but I still did see it! so, I fell out of the bed. I didn't hurt myself, luckily! My ego fooled me. but I'll come back to that when talking about the worst experience ...

then I experienced that if there was only a very little light shining from the outside, my creativity almost disappeared. I wasn't able to fully cover any light sources from the outside. during the day I had a little light from the inside. and also the air conditioner, I couldn't cover the LED from the air conditioner completely. because it was shining through the infrared sensor. and if I would have taped that I wasn't able to turn on and turn off the air conditioner anymore. I had to live with this compromise. if you're doing it, make sure you get a room that is really 100% lightproof. it's possible, but it is a bit of effort to do that. but I definitely would recommend it. because with only a very very little light I experienced that my creativity went down.

most things I wrote here, I wrote during the night. actually, to avoid something like that, probably, you better get a booklet like this which is unsymmetrical, so you can feel it. It has this strap here. then, if you have written on one page, you probably just want to fold the page inside, like that. and then you know next time when you open the booklet, this page is already used. so you can skip on to the next one. maybe you want to get a little bigger one. you can continue writing there.

so let's come to the worst experience. well, I call it ego backlash, when I had the feeling that I can see in the Darkness.

But I saw not a real picture. because I was able to see the bed and the wall, and it didn't matter if I had my eyes open or closed. So in fact, my ego was projecting a picture out of the memory onto my frontal lope! and this projection, well it is a big ego backlash! because the ego wants to tell me with that: "hey buddy, you're thinking you're the master of the situation? no, I am steering! so my ego fooled me.

I had another bad experience: After the retreat was over, I went to the beach, a little bit further up here. and I wanted to go for a swim after a morning run. and before I got into the water, I had a bad feeling about it. and I thought, well probably I'm gonna hit my legs on a rock. Then I went into the water and the ground was Sandy. and it went down, and I already was standing in the water until my hip. and then a wave came, and I thought let's dive below the wave. and then I did hit my forehead on a rock below the wave. so the wave pushed me down. I was bleeding on my nose and on my forehead. and it looked pretty ugly! I did not listen to my inner voice. and see, you become able to create your future, and see your future ahead. and then, if you ignore your inner voice... well that was a pretty bad idea that morning.

Now, how can you find out if a dark Retreat is something, you may want to do or not? Well, just get some diving glasses which cover, other than those, your eyes completely. and then put some aluminum foil on it and cover it completely with dark tape. so that no light comes in. Now you can remove any light from your eyes and then just use earbuds and squeeze them in. Try it for a day or two and see if the idea resonates with you or not. and if it isn't working, if you don't feel comfortable during that time, you're free to take off the earbuds and the glasses anytime. of course, you want to have a mask, which doesn't give you a mask squeeze, which is comfortable to wear, and where you can cut off the nose part, so that you can breathe freely. but that's very little effort to try out if this kind of retreat would work for you. and then you can do it basically in your room, in your house anytime. just make sure, your friends and relatives know, what you're doing. and that they will give you some food. and apart from that, leave you alone, so that you can get a pretty authentic experience from it.

let's cut back to the ego backlash: and this is just one step of the learnings you get out of it. if we are learning something, we are always going through four stages.

1. we are bloody beginners. we have no clue what we do. but we are very enthusiastic about it! and that's when we start and that's when I felt during the retreat the biggest happiness, and the biggest pleasure. and I really felt good about it.
2. and then after a while, you become an advanced beginner. but with the advanced beginner, there comes the frustration: about falling out of bed, or about ignoring my intuition and banging my head on the Rock in the sea. at this time, you have already got some new skills. but you have very little motivation. This frustrating phase comes after each learning. see, when the first phase, of the early beginner with high motivation and enthusiasm, is over, the frustration phase always comes! and after the first phase, with the enthusiasm, the bigger the enthusiasm was, the deeper the frustration will be. because it's a contrast of it. and you will realize, that you're really going down in your mood and in your motivation. luckily, if you're able to go through this phase, I only can encourage you to push yourself through there. because that's when beauty comes back into your life. you will develop some new skills. and you will be able to use them consciously. so still, you have to force yourself to implement and use the new skills. and this is a phase, where you're not stable. your motivation goes up and down. and you might be in a volatile mood. on some days it already works automatically. but on other days, you really have to push yourself. or maybe, you want to have someone, or a reminder from an alarm clock, to implement what you already learned. and then after doing that for a certain while, you build a habit. and people keep saying: you build a habit after 21 days. well, others say, it's 30 days until you build a habit. until the Habit is there. I'd say: a month is a good time. if you work for a month with a reminder, that reminds you to do something new, then it becomes a subconscious habit. and you'll do it every day. and you'll do it in every situation without thinking about it. and you also will do it on a bad day. but there won't be any bad days anymore.

so be aware, that those learning phases come with each learning. and if you're able to master something new, and you build a new habit, it's time to become a student again, and train for the next thing.

I hope I can encourage you with that, to try a dark room Retreat, and two develop the habit of listening to your inner voice. and I wish you the best of success with it. Have a lot of fun listening and creating your own future, and dream life.
Thanks for watching this video. On this channel, you can see my other video. and you are welcome to sign up for my channel.

thank you, this was
Klaus Foster
Have a great day!

 


FAQ: Darkroom Retreat Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a dark meditation room?
  • How to do a darkroom meditation retreat?
  • Can you do a dark room meditation retreat on your own?
  • Why am I meditating in the darkroom?
  • Is meditation in a dark room dangerous?
  • Who shouldn't do dark room meditations?
  • What are the benefits of dark room meditation retreats?

 

 

3 thoughts on “Dark Room Meditation Retreat

  1. Unbelievable, Klaus! The things you think and can do when all your needs are met are very different from the things you think and do when you have to work, pay bills and b responsible for others around you.
    It’s very interesting and refreshing to read about your experience. If I could put my life on hold for 3-4 days, would I choose to be in the dark, only with my own thoughts? Quite unlikely although I could if I decided so. For many people I imagine it would be unbearable because their thoughts are too frightening…
    Please don’t stop sharing your experiences and thank you.

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    1. Author Klaus Forster

      Thank you, Jenny,

      Thinking that we have to work, pay bills and that we are responsible for others, are only beliefs.
      Bet in fact, we have the free choice of what we believe, can’t we?

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