FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Welcome to a world where time is irrelevant and all familiarity ceases to exist.
Where we are invited to abandon our dreams, surrender to our sorrow, and rest in a profound simplicity of being.
From the depths of darkness - within our purpose-built, completely blacked-out, soundproof “caves” - people emerge with a direct knowing of a deeper truth within.
The eye masks are only used when we transition people from inside in the darkness to outside in the light.
Darkness retreat strips us of everything we’ve used in the world to build an image - to gain self-worth - to feel powerful and important - and to have a sense of meaning and purpose.
We’re left with our interior - with our coping mechanisms, insulative patterns, dissociative habits and overlaid structures -- along with our tender hearts and the depth and simplicity of our presence.
We’re met with a very clear choice — continue chasing the dream of self-importance, of peak experiences, of avoiding our lack and neurosis — or simply soften, let go off control, receive ourselves as we are and gently open.
THE SOUL DOES NOT GROW BY
- Meister Eckhart
What matters most?
What lies beyond our striving - our achieving - our healing - our awakening?
When we turn towards the simplicity in our hearts - we enter into a tender stillness that completely fills us.
Beyond who we thought we were -
Returned to what we are -
Rested in knowing.
FOR THIS QUEST
- Ramana Maharashi
In this place of darkness - In this space of silence - What remains?
What is underneath our posturing, our personality, our attempts to be seen and validated?
Darkness retreat invites us into the Beyond.
When we stop chasing meaning - both in the things of the world and also in our experience - we begin to touch what lies underneath our seeking.
There’s a profound softness that beckons us from the Beyond - a faint whisper - the tiniest little bit.
When we feel safe enough to truly lean into the Unknown - when we trust our body enough to give it to the Unseen — we soften and open to a vast mystery within.
With no hope of gain and no fear of loss — we descend into the heart of hearts and rest as a speck of dust - with no voice - floating through the universe — while the waves of our life continue to move through us.
What lies beyond my habitual way of being?
THERE ARE NO
- Suzuki Roshi
Stripped of all distractions and all things that we look to for defining our image and self-importance - darkness retreat takes us beyond gauging our worth based on arbitrary cultural and spiritual norms and standards.
We are suspended in a timeless reality - we begin to move within - we slowly soften and open into what we first are within.
Like a baby - tenderly held in the womb of darkness - safe and protected - taken by the wondrous mystery - we rest in the depths of meaning.
What happens when I don’t use culture to gauge my worth?
Am I sincerely willing to be exposed?
What am I unwilling to feel?
THE MOST IMPORTANT
THING IS TO FIND OUT
what is the most
- Suzuki Roshi
"Surrendering to your sorrow has the power to heal the deepest of wounds."
- Sobonfu Some
DIVE DEEP INTO THE HEART OF
In the darkness - with nothing to hide behind - we are fully exposed.
We clearly see what is right underneath our persona.
We feel the desperation to seek experiences that will validate our worth, prop up our sense of self, and distract us from our sorrow.
And yet nothing lasts long enough in the dark except darkness itself.
We begin to discover that it doesn’t really matter what we’re experiencing - it just matters how deeply given we are to what we’re experiencing.
We soften. We surrender. We open. And our relationship to "what is" becomes paramount.
What directly connects me to what matters most?
Am I truly willing to simply receive myself as I am right now?
AND THE END OF ALL OUR EXPLORING
WILL BE TO ARRIVE WHERE WE STARTED
and know the place
for the first time
- T.S. Elliot