How dark is it?
It is very challenging to create a truly pitch black space in this world! Our eyes can adjust and become sensitive to minute levels of light.
In our retreats the Darkness effect is created by wearing comfortable, specially designed blindfolds. We highly recommend purchasing one before the retreat so that you can adjust it for your greatest comfort and adapt it for maximum Darkness.
The group room in which most of the Experience takes place will be dimmed, but not pitch black. This is so that your guides can see you and respond as necessary. Bedrooms, the dining area and other rooms are also dimmed (but not pitch black.
Will I feel afraid?
Many people have negative associations with the dark – that it is something to be scared of. We want you to know that you will feel completely safe during the retreat and that any fears typically fade very quickly to be replaced with a wonderful sense of relaxation.
What can I expect to happen?
The Darkness Experience is an encounter with Mystery. And every person’s experience is different. However we often see a certain sequence unfold. Initially there may be a nervous settling in period – you might feel a bit vulnerable to be without sight along with a great curiosity about the people and things you encounter. Moving around and mealtimes are especially novel! Gradually you realise that you have to slow down in the dark and that theres really nothing that you have to do. This can bring a great sense of relief and relaxation. There could also be moments of restlessness and boredom if you are used to being very active but this typically passes quickly. On longer retreats you may shift into interesting altered states of consciousness – for example, visionary states, different perceptions of time and space, or blurring of distinctions between waking and dreaming. Unlike some other Darkness Retreats we do not try to induce these experiences, our focus is more on creating a restful sense of your inner space gently opening and deepening in a way that brings relaxation and healing.
Can I use my phone?
Once you have entered the Darkness you will not be able to make any phone calls or use any electronic devices (because you wont be able to see!). For some people, this in itself may seem quite challenging – but we can assure you that having this kind of ‘digital detox’ has very beneficial effects on your mind and health and you will be so glad to have a period of relief from electronic stimulation.
How many people attend each program?
In order to provide good support and maintain an intimate atmosphere, we accept no more than 12-16 people onto each program.
What if I want my own separate room?
You will be sent a list of accommodation options with your deposit. Most venues have a single room option (with a surcharge). Please note that there may be a limited number of single rooms available.
Many participants report that sharing a room is an especially enjoyable aspect of the retreat.
Is the food a certain diet?
Each venue we choose is proud of providing excellent, healthy food. Usually the food will be vegetarian, with some special diets catered for by advance arrangement. If you inform us of your requirements when you send in your Application Form we will do our best to cater to your needs.
What do I do if I need help in the darkness?
Suta and the team are not in pitch Darkness and are there to support you and help you feel safe.
What happens in an emergency?
We will give you a contact number of a staff member to give your family before you enter the Darkness. Please ask them only to use this in extreme emergencies! This is a retreat with the intention to leave the outside world for a few days!
Are there any reasons not to attend?
If you are taken any medications it will not be possible for you to take them and it is probably best that you do not come.
People with serious mental disorders occasionally go to Retreats with the unrealistic expectation that the method will cure or alleviate their mental problems. Unstable interpersonal relationships and a history of various treatments can be additional factors which make it difficult for such people to benefit from, or even complete, a Darkness Experience. It is not possible for us to properly care for people with these backgrounds. Although Darkness Retreats are beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders.
You are wanting to have a ‘quick grope’ in the dark. We are committed to upholding the beauty and purity of this method, which has a foundation in meditation. If you are coming with some other agenda, or are incapable of containing yourself – please stay away. Anyone behaving inappropriately (which has never happened yet) will be asked to leave
How can I best prepare?
Once we have received your payment you will be sent instructions about how to best prepare for your Experience. It’s highly recommended to get used to being without sight and moving around in the week before the retreat – even if you can only manage a short practice time.
” What grows in this darkness?
So many things: spring’s roots, deep dreams,
Depth to ponder, quiet meditations, the renewing
Deep pond of silence and stillness.
Art, imagination, vision, all arise
From the place of no light.
In order to see light at all,
There must be darkness.
Darkness makes all growth, all evolution
Possible, graceful, powerful. “
Suta, I want to learn more!
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“It was a deep feeling of ease, rest and peace. I was Home, and I liked myself! What an amazing gift to receive! After 24 hours in the Darkness I felt as if I had been on a long holiday – rested, renewed and revitalised, and most importantly, connected to myself. So simple and so profound.”
“Wow! The Darkness Experience was GREAT!! I really enjoyed the Darkness and it helped me see clearly things about my life and aspirations. I am more than fully charged! I feel cleared, open and went into meditation deeper than ever before. I would certainly recommend the Darkness Experience to others it is an amazingly powerful retreat.”
“I really enjoyed being in the dark. It was a time out of time: just peace, presence, a time for slowing down, with a feeling of being free in myself. I appreciated feeling connected with myself, in presence with all my senses, feeling complete in the present moment. It was like feeling back home, in my body. I had the feeling I’ve been touching my soul.”
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