When I entered the darkness I had no expectations, projections what this experience would be like. What any typical westerner can expect from a Dark Room? Why would you even do it? People commit crimes and are thrown in jails. What crime have I committed? I voluntarily entered the darkness. Why?
48 hours in Dark Room is part of my Teacher Training. It’s just a room with bed and bathroom. Very basic. Light proof. It was a lottery on what date you go in. Well, after few twists I’ve ended up with 2 days straight after a Silent Retreat!! I guess the Universe really, really wants me to work through all layers of my conditioning. Why?
Silent Retreat is absolutely beautiful experience. You have 10 days for yourself. Just for you, and you, and you. Silence, 7 hours meditation a day it’s a process of going deep, deep inside and internalizing on a level like you are not able in your busy, daily life. Purification of your conscious and unconscious mind is happening automatically. Of course it depends on your meditation practice and the quality of your mediation is always your responsibility. It was my 3rd Silent Retreat. On my first one (read more) I was very much in my head playing some stories from my past and daydreaming about the future. I still do it, but less and less. With my consistence practice in the recent months I have noticed lots of subtle changes, gentle shifts. My determination to go deeper and deeper in meditation is strong, but it also means that I have to drop this beautiful daydreaming I do so often, and bring myself back over and over again to here and now.
So after this beautiful, but very intense 10 days at 7pm on a day 10 I’ve entered Darkness
I did not think much as I was still very occupied by revelation from silence. Silence stirs you. The stuff that you usually avoid consciously or unconsciously are coming up sometimes very strongly, very right in your face. How was the Dark Room then?
It was not a nice experience.
It was beautiful experience.
You cannot describe it in words. Words put labels. Words are good or bad, black or white. This was neither good or neither bad. It was an experience.
It took me by surprise for sure. First night I was scared. Fears that I did not know that even exist in me have come up strongly. It was surreal. My fears were real though. Very real.
Day 1 I think I slept a lot. In India the retreats in darkness are called Kaya Kalpa. In Sanskrit it literally means “ageless body”. Apparently spending a long time in darkness slows down the ageing process and bring physical rejuvenation. Obviously 48hrs is not enough to observe this process, but lots of us experience a need to sleep more. When I woke up next day I knew it was day time as the sounds were different. You can hear birds, barking dogs and people laugh somewhere in the background, but you have no sense of time at all.
I felt tight. My fears were present. My body was contracted through the whole day. It was clear that my nervous system went into the “fight or flight” mode. Bear in mind it was day 11 of my internalization. It was easier to observe my physical body kind of from outside. The silence retreat was the best ever preparation for a dark room. Without I would be probably caught up in my fears and simply terrified, but no I was just observing what the hell was going on.
I meditated a lot. I could not go any deep as my body was still contracted. Relaxation and internalization are essential for mediation. I could not possibly relax. I tried yoga but my body refused to move. Nothing I tried worked so I stopped trying. I said to myself again and again “It is what it is. That’s all what it is. Accept and don’t fight against”. So I lay down in bed and observe what my whole body, physically and emotionally, is trying to tell me. The message was clear FEAR. Deep, deep down there are fears present in my daily life that I was not aware of. It has become very clear that they control me, they are my limitation. When I have started this journey I said “I have a dream. Dream to fly high and to be free“. I’ve been given wings. I have all tools but my fears are my limitation, my weight that keep me still down. Well all good, but how to work through them? Acknowledge them is a first huge step. Work in progress again.
Day 2 was nicer. I started to relax more. I did a short yoga session. It was powerful experience. I’ve understood why we practise so much. I’m in love with meditation, yoga is my secondary choice of practice, but more I do it more I understand what yoga is really about. In darkness my senses were sharp. I was so internalized that I could feel every body sensation when I was moving through asanas. I felt an energy flow with such intensity like never before. It took my practice on an other lever for sure. It brought depth into those physical movements.
I meditate again and again with eyes open, with eyes closed. It did not matter. It was dark. My meditation was mainly focused to calm my mind and to bring relaxation into my being. I could not go deep. My body was still tight.
After 2 nights in darkness at 7 pm Iveta knocked to my door. I could stay longer, but at the same time I was ready to go. 12 days of very intense purification was enough. My head felt dizzy. I had to sit down when I’ve spoken to her. My first words after 12 days.
After-effects are impossible to describe. I was calm. What an irony? I’ve spent 48hrs with my fears, where it felt almost like a battle, to get out and to feel an absolute calmness of my mind and in my whole being. I felt very present and very, very much calm indeed….
Our teacher training books says:
And the moments the darkness, the real darkness, which is there, enters in your eyes, it will give you a very deep soothing feeling. When real darkness enters you, you will be filled by it.
And this entering of darkness will empty you of all negative darkness. This is a very deep phenomenon. The darkness that you have within is a negative thing; it’s against the light. It is not the absence of light; it’s against the light.
When darkness enters you, you enter into it. It is always reciprocal, mutual.”
Osho – The Book of Secrets
This was all week ago. I needed some time to process and digest. As a matter of fact I’m still processing the echoes of both retreats.
Work in progress.