“The strangest phenomenon darkness can offer you is to give you eyes to see!....”
My first time encounter with the Darkness….
When my sister and I were a bit too wild, my father used to lock us down for a while in the cellar. He would ask us to stand in the middle of the room and shut the light and door. It was astonishing the amount of demons, ghost and creepy beasts that would suddenly come up from everywhere. My sister was very scared. I felt I had to protect her, so I couldn’t afford being too afraid myself, even though I was a little bit. One day, I decided to face the fear so that next time my father would put us back in the cold dark cellar, I would be able to comfort my sister. So, I went on my own in the cellar, I closed the light and walked in the middle of the cellar. It was so immensely scary. I stayed there for some minutes trembling like a small mouse and then rushed back to switch the light back on. To my great surprise, there were no monsters. There was only me. I repeated the experience a few times and realized I was always alone in the dark. There was nothing to fear. I was about eight years old. The experience completely changed me. I came out of the cellar as a totally different person.
Many years later, this experience came back to me and I decided to go back in the dark and explore its depth. At first, staying one or two hours and finally stretching it to a few days. Each time different faces of myself have been revealed. And each time, I would come out of the darkness as a different person. It always felt like a mask had dropped off and I came out of the dark with a new face, until one day, after another darkness retreat, there was no face at all. Nothing to identify with. Total emptiness. I had no shape anymore. Mystery started to show itself.
Darkness leads us into Mystery…
Moving into a Darkness Retreat is definitely entering into Mystery. We get eyes to see it. Before the eyes can really see, we need to clean, purify lots of layers polluting our vision. Like the child I was once standing in the dark cellar and realizing all the monsters were just my own projection; this work we all need to pass through it. This first stage might uncover different things in everyone. We all have a layer of illusions between us and reality. It might be rooted in fear or in conditioning or in trauma; whatever it might be, this layer is animating the darkness with all kinds of distortion. Once the eyes gain back their pure vision, which can take few days in the dark room, we can finally experience darkness and our ability to see in the dark.
Now, that doesn’t mean we are going to comprehend Mystery because we can see it! And this is the whole beauty of it. And it is also what makes it very difficult to explain, to share about experiences we gain in a Darkness retreat. We can finally see the whole picture of Mystery and yet there is no way to explain it. But we can see the changes, the transformation this encounter with Mystery creates in us and there are many such as:
– Refining of our senses, our perception
– Activation of the DMT in the brain
– Letting go of attachment to fear
– Centering in the core of our being
– Moving out of duality
– Relaxing into the present moment
– Encounter who we are
– Getting rooted in our life’s purpose
I could go on with the list because there are more transformations unfolding in a Darkness retreat depending on its length of time. Those are just a few of the major phenomena of change which happen after just a few days in the dark. Of course everyone will have his/her own very individual changes on top of these ones listed above.
Darkness retreats are far from dark, negative or frightening as it might appear at first. Darkness is filled with light, love, silence, peace… and Mystery… actually, with everything we are longing for. And the strangest phenomenon darkness can offer you is to give you eyes to see!….
Mei Lan 5 days
On the third day I experienced a sudden insight that was a profound step forward in my journey.
While sitting all by myself in the dark room all my loved ones appeared before my minds eye. My heart was overflowing with love and gratitude for so many people in my life.
It was then and there I realized how connected I am, how connected we all are. Even when I might believe the opposite in daily life. I have a history of feeling different and left out.
In the dark room I saw clearly with every cell of my body, that I am always connected and part of the universe. This realization has never left me ever since.
It feels like a strong guarding presence that is always with me.
The very hight state of alertness, presence and sharp intuition after my stay in the dark room made me feel like a new born baby. Simple choices as ‘coffee or tea?’ Where never so easy to answer. My mind didn’t know why I chose one or the other, I just knew and felt what was right and what was not.
Paul 3 days
For me it was an experience of safety: no mails that had to be answered, no big decisions to make nor deadlines to reach.
The temperature was hold constantly on 25-26°C and this contributed a lot to the feeling of cosiness. Also the fact that the meals were served and the knowledge that there was someone looking over my safety. This felt very secure. Even in this short period I could feel something shifting in the brain like it was searching to attain new patterns of consciousness. Sometimes it was as if my left eye could see very deep into the darkness and my right eye saw nothing as if there was a wall just an inch before the eye. And after a while this experience was reversed. It could sound strange but I didn’t experience the darkness as a void of light. In the contrary the darkness received a glowing quality and the eyes received a rather listening aspect instead of the habit to search for looking.
Karumi 5 days
“This experience was very powerful for me. Darkness was a beautiful space to meet myself, safe as in a mother womb. I could deeper reconnect with myself. In the simplicity of this space I could clearly see many of my conditionings, fears but also my potentials and strengt.
Being in darkness made me familiar with it, I could experience beauty of it, beauty of emptiness. My energy had space to unfold, my heart could open up.
The memory of this time is still present in my daily life. Something got fulfilled in me and that changed my relation to the world and other people. There is more self confidence in me, more Light , more optimism.”
I thank you very much for creating this space, I’m sure that I want to come back there in a few months to come :))
Judy 5 days
One thing I know for sure is that after 20 years of not being able to do a headstand in the light, and now after a few trials in the dark, it is beginning to take shape!
Meanwhile I’d like to share with you that this amazing period of transition has brought me peace, calmness and beauty. This situation has also offered me een enormous space to find order and creativity in me.
Baudouin. 1/4/7 days
I had the chance to be able to go three times in the dark room.
The first time I went only for a day, to feel if Darkness was something for me.
As I enjoyed the experience, the next year I decided to go in for four days.
These days went by very quickly and easily.
A couple of years later, I felt that my time had come for another Darkness Retreat.
This time I stayed in there for a whole week, from Thursday evening till the next Friday morning.
I spend most of my time meditating, repeating mantra, and overlooking my life: I worked systematically on all the unfinished business I encountered.
I can’t say what the specific value of this retreat was in my life, as it was part of an ongoing growth process. But it definitely was an important moment in that process, which enhanced my sense of confidence and inner peace.
So I am very grateful for Bhakti who made that experience possible for me and who took good care of me during the retreat.
Katerina 14 days
… I am purely amazed what an effect the Darkness Retreat had afterwards. Mindblowing!
For example every day there are intense number synchronicities, universe that regulates things with humor etc …
During the retreat, I viewed and analyzed many of my shadows. My emotions have hurt me more than ever before.
At home, my partner and me had deep conscious discussions. Nobody walked out, nobody slammed the door.
This happens if you don’t use your usual patterns for 2 weeks … After that it is different. I can’t name it, but it feels like I’m finally trying to lie down in the wild river and go with the flow instead of standing in it.
It feels like my body got on a super fast train. And my consciousness remained at the station with very heavy suitcases. The suitcases are so heavy that it didn’t fit on the train. Now my consciousness has quickly picked out some rubbish and thrown it overboard and hopefully he will also jump on the train and everything will regain some balance.
It feels like: There was a dictator (my ego) and he lost control of his people / armada / government (thinking patterns) for the entire 2 weeks. And after two weeks the dictator came back and now he has to adapt to the new population…