PLEASE TAKE A LOOK OVER SOME COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS BEFORE BOOKING A RETREAT
How many dark retreat cabins do you have?
We have 3 dark retreats.
One is a cob/strawbale cottage that we’ve been using since 2019
The other two are “hobbit” cottages built into the hillside and are fully burried in the Earth. We’ve been using them since 2022.
How many days should I book my dark retreat for?
For people who have both never done a dark retreat before and have also never spent much time in solitude, we recommend starting with 3-5 days.
For those who have never done a dark retreat before but have either spent extensive time alone, have a solid daily meditation practice, or feel deeply at peace & comfortable within themselves, we recommend starting with 5-10 days.
When does the dark retreat begin?
People tend to enter into the dark in evening.
Check-in time is 3 hours before sunset .
We will have an hour orientation in which we will bring you up to the cabin, get you situated, review the meal plan, run through the day-to-day, and answer any questions that you may have. You will have the remainder of the day to settle into the space, get oriented and familiar with the cabin and enjoy the surrounding elements.
What kind of meals do you serve during the retreat?
We will bring you 2 simple organic meals daily.
We bring both meals in the evening to minimize distrubance.
When available, as much as possible of the food will come from our abundant gardens and fruit trees. Both of these meals will be delivered through a double door around sunset everday. Upon your arrival, we will meal plan together.
We can and will cater gluten-free, vegan, raw, smoothies and many other dietary restrictions/requests.
Can I fast during my dark retreat?
Many who have fasted inside have shared that it was very difficult in the dark, even for experienced fasters.
We highly encourage people not to plan on fasting but to make that decision inside if your intuition guides you in that direction.
Where does the water in the cabin come from?
The water is spring water that runs through both a sediment and UV filter for total purification.
Is there hot water?
Yes. The bathtub and sink are plumbed with hot water
Is the cabin and the entire land off-grid?
The cabin has its own, self-contained off-grid system to power the ventilation fans, propane hot water heater and lights occasionally used during the integration process.
The entire land is off-grid and out of cell service range. We do however have WIFI and are able to use our cell phones to make calls out in case of any emergencies. The dark room retreat cabin is 1/4 mile away from any other dwellings on the land and thus is totally contained in an EMF-free zone.
How is temperature maintained inside?
There is a wood burning stove inside one of the walls thus enabling us to stoke and maintain the fire from outside without allowing any light to be seen within.
While tending the fire in the evening, we do our utmost to be as quiet as possible. It only takes a couple of minutes as we start a new fire. Due to the nature of how the retreats are built, they hold heat very well and one fire a day is sufficient at keeping it cozy. And they remain moderately cool through the heat of the Summer.
Will I ever hear people while in retreat?
The dark retreats are totally sound-proof.
How does the toilet work?
The cabin is equiped with a flushing toilet.
What do I do in case of an emergency?
If you ever feel that you need additional support, there will be a bell inside your dark room that you can ring when we come to deliver food to let us know that you are wanting some additional attention.
The cabin is nestled in the woods on a mountain side 1/4 mile away from any other structures on the land.
During the orientation, we will walk through where to find us in the unlikely event that any emergency situation arises and you need immediate assistance.
How is the ventilation?
The retreats have been built with a very well engineered active ventilation system that includes a couple fans and a series of ducting that run through the walls that constantly circulate fresh air into and throughout the building.
What can I expect my experience to be like?
Every retreatant will have a completely different experience and even retreatants who have done more than one dark retreat find that they have an entirely different experience each time.
Typically, most retreatants find that they sleep, more or less, for the first 24-48 hours. As the days continue to unfold, they tend to find that they need less and less sleep. Many eventually find that they either do not need to sleep at all or are only sleeping for 1-2 hours a night.
Altered states of consciousness can naturally begin to arise as early as the 3rd day of the retreat and continue to intensify as the retreat progresses. This is due to different neurochemical reactions that occur from various glands and hormones being both suppressed and/or stimulated from the light deprivation. This can result in heightened sensory sensitivities, visions, lucid dreaming and many other profound & insightful experiences.
Can I come before and/or after my dark retreat?
Integration from the dark can be a very delicate process.
It is a great idea to consider booking a few extra nights both before entering the dark retreat and, most importantly, afterwards so that you can deepen your retreat and slowly integrate.
When do I come out?
We suggest coming out of the dark in the morning and planning for a full day and night to integrate.
We work with you to craft your retreat experience during booking.
Check out is a couple hours after sunrise.
" Enlightenment was my biggest disappointment. "
- Suzuki Roshi