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Dark Room Meditation Retreat

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This is how I calmed down my mind

after being a little bit over-stressed 🥵
 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!


 A Darkroom Retreat Retroperspective

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.

    1. blank
      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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