mindset and attitudes upon entering a Dark Room retreat will help
set the stage for our immersion into darkness. It would be wonderful
to enter with a sense of clarity, openness, joy, and of resting
in our true nature, but this is more the fruit of the retreat
than a prerequisite. Nevertheless, some of the attitudes that
can help set the stage include:
1. Looking forward to
a wonderful rest and vacation from the pressures of everyday life.
2. Curiosity about what
3. Longing for the clarity,
wisdom and fruits of the practices of the retreat.
4. Dedication to growth.
5. Treating whatever
arises as an opportunity to learn.
6. Connecting to your
teachers and the teachings.
7. A sense of support
from the community.
8. Service to the larger
community and the world and wishing to be a beneficial presence.
9. Confidence stemming
from the fact that others have successfully navigated through
such retreats for thousands of years and have returned with immense
treasures through their commitment and efforts. Gratitude for
this opportunity to learn, to grow, and to create benefit and
beauty for oneself, others, and the World.
Inner Preparations - Practice
1. Each participant
should practice the Cosmic Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, Fusion
of the Five Elements, Microcosmic Orbit, Iron Shirt Chi Kung and
Tao Yin, which bring the body into a state of balance and tuning.
A physically fit vehicle is the foundation stone from which to
launch astral travel into multi-dimensional orbits and higher
2. All participants
are encouraged to engage in a healthy preparatory diet and bowel
cleansing process, commencing 4 weeks before the retreat. Diet
should be rich in Vitamin D, beta-carotene like choleric, calcium
(2,000 gm), magnesium (500 mg) and zinc (20 mg/day).
3. We suggest that participants
increase their daily intake of seaweed and blue green algae approximately
four weeks before the retreat. Bring a sufficient supply of vitamins,
seaweed and blue green algae along with you. This will enable
essential amino acids and enzymes required by the body and third
eye, to produce the all-important neurotransmitters of the 'Internal
4. Participants should
endeavor to disperse all emotional troubles with friends and family
members, prior to the retreat.
Outer Preparations - Practical Advice
1. We recommend that
you arrive at Tao Garden several days before the retreat, to settle
yourself, continue the purification process, and to become accustomed
to the physical environment and retreat layout. This will facilitate
your day-to-day life in complete darkness.
2. It is imperative
to leave any light-emitting device outside of the Dark Room retreat.
The eyes and our perception will become extremely sensitive to
the least bit of illumination; even the faintest leakages of light,
such as a watch dial or LED, will disturb the environment. Therefore,
please do not bring: illuminated clocks and watches, flashlights,
flash cameras, palm pilots, cell phones, etc.
3. Make sure that all
clothing and personal items that you will need for the period
of the retreat are in order. Create a way of laying out the different
items so that you can easily determine what you are selecting.
Organization and order can make everyday functioning much easier.
4. Bring eye-shades
with you to Tao Garden, such as the blind-folds that you might
wear during travel to help sleep. The eye-shades will be worn
during the retreat to soften the eyes and remind the eyes that
they are unnecessary in the Dark Room, breathing their habitual
pattern of use.
5. Medications and vitamins
require special care. It may be helpful to contain daily doses
in separate vials, medication boxes, or plastic zip-lock bags.
A multi-vitamin supplement is useful, and special supplements
of vitamin D are particularly important to make up for the lack
of exposure to sunlight.
6. It is important to
take care of any personal business before entering the retreat,
such as letters, phone calls, etc., and to plan on total isolation
from the outside world for the duration of the retreat.
7. Bring sunglasses
and eye-shades with you to Tao Garden. The 7th, 14th and 21st
evenings are opportunities to terminate the Dark Room Retreat.
You will leave through a reflexive tunnel, wearing sunglasses
to readjust to the light.
Benefits of the Dark Room Experience
The experiences of each
person will vary depending on their stage of spiritual development
and maturity. At the same time, most people, even beginners, will
receive great benefits, which may include:
1. Relaxation. This
is one of the foundations for all other work. During the early
days of the retreat, catching up on sleep, allowing the eyes to
recuperate from the over-stimulation of our visual world, releasing
the grip of mental concerns, plans, and agendas, and simply letting
the energies settle creates the best vacation you may ever have.
2. Once relaxed and
feeling at home in the dark, the Inner Lights may appear as well
as possible images of space teachers, deities, colours, and shapes.
Imbalances in one's energies can manifest as dull colors.
3. Over time, as one
becomes more open, balanced and awake, images clear as day may
appear, not inside the mind's eye but outside in the space of
4. Advanced practitioners
may experience some of the following: Dreams and sleep become
more lucid. A state of continuous consciousness arises in which
there is no break in conscious awareness; meditation can continue
during sleeping and non-sleeping hours.
5. The Taoist Secret
of Love and the Healing Love become very active, so that working
with sexual energies and engaging in creative work become easier
and more powerful.
6. Dreams will often
take the form of teachings or participation in great mythological