My Experience in a Darkness Retreat
- This is an essay I wrote about spending an entire week in total darkness, which you can read by clicking here. Completing this legendary spiritual practice was far and away the most challenging thing I have ever done, and also, I think, one of the most beneficial.
- The experiences I had in the darkness shook my beliefs about reality. They have also had a significant effect on my day to day wellbeing. Though I still have plenty of lows, the average point around which my state of mind oscillates has definitely risen several notches since the retreat.
- “On most days, I cried harder than I have in years. This was a pretty big deal for me, as I went through a multi-year period in which I couldn’t cry to save my life. This period of repression has made me deeply grateful for every tear that I shed.”
- “At several points towards the end of the retreat, my body started shaking violently, particularly around the area where the root chakra is supposedly located. This shaking was so intense that at certain points, I worried for my safety. However, it always passed. Looking back now after several months of integration, I would say that this shaking was caused by the release of some type of energy or emotion that desperately needed to find its way out.”
- I did my retreat by completely blacking out my basement and putting on a mindfold when I needed to venture out to the fridge to get food. This was partially due to the dearth of dark retreat locations in America. If you’d like to do one at a proper facility, check out this one. Though I haven’t been there in person, I have spoken with the fellow who runs it and he seems very nice, thoughtful, and down to earth.
Rhonda Patrick Free E Book
- Rhonda Patrick, one of my favorite scientists, just released this free E Book.
- It summarizes a large number of very pertinent health studies. I honestly believe that reading it and acting upon the information it contains has the potential to add at least five healthy years to your life. Seriously.
- The final excerpt included below is of personal significance. My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was 13. The treatment that he underwent (radiation) created wide variety of side effects that led to a tremendous amount of suffering for him, and everyone in our family, until his death last October. I dearly hope that the new treatment for prostate cancer described below will lead to better outcomes for those diagnosed with the disease.
“The study revealed that children born to women who had low vitamin D status during their pregnancies were 45 percent more likely to develop ADHD, even after adjusting for maternal socioeconomic status and age. The average vitamin D level among women whose children developed ADHD was 29 nmol/L.”
“In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study, the researchers provided smokers with a combination of EPA and DHA or a placebo daily for four weeks. The authors assessed tobacco cravings after cueing participants with images of cigarettes and other people smoking. After one month of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, smokers experienced reduced tobacco cravings and reported an 11 percent lower daily cigarette intake as compared to the start of the study. Cravings remained below baseline for one month post-treatment. The placebo did not affect tobacco cravings or cigarette consumption.”
“Current prostate cancer treatments often involve surgery to remove malignant tissue. Many men who undergo surgery develop urinary incontinence, and as many as 85 percent experience erectile dysfunction. The new treatment technique, called transurethral ultrasound ablation, or TULSA, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses MRI-guided ultrasound to heat and destroy tumors while sparing normal tissue.
The multi-center study involved 115 men between the ages of 59 and 69 years old who had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Each of the men received TULSA treatment (average time, 51 minutes) and then were reassessed 12 months later.
At the 12-month follow-up, 80 percent of the men displayed no evidence of clinically significant cancer; 65 percent of the men had no evidence of cancer in biopsied tissue; and 96 percent of the men had significantly reduced prostate-specific antigen levels, a biomarker for prostate cancer. Only 1 percent of the men were incontinent after the treatment, and 25 percent experienced erectile dysfunction.”
Why are you so interested in figuring out how you got messed up? Why you have the neuroses that you do? Who cares why you are the way you are? Wouldn’t you rather know how you can become the way you want to be?
Out of all activities, reading perhaps best epitomizes the phrase “double-edged sword.”
It doesn’t matter how many mystical spiritual experiences you’ve read about. Until you’ve had one for yourself, you will have some doubt of their validity.
How often have you had your mind made up about actions you wanted to take in the future, but ended up changing it when the future arrived?
If you find doing nothing unbearable, it’s probably a sign that doing nothing would do you a lot of good.
Perhaps everything is exactly as it should be, and the fact that it doesn’t seem so is due to our limited perception.
Black Orpheus, performed by Joscho Stephan and co
Hey Joe, performed by Jamie Harrison