What is Darkness Retreat? – Cetin Cetintas

What remains when you let go of everything you see and know? 

Darkness retreat is an incredible journey where we step back from what we see and proceed with the light of our hearts.

This retreat, also known as “Kaya Kalpa” is renowned for making the body immortal and derives its name from the power of darkness that stops human aging.

Today, science has shown us that exposure to darkness triggers the rise of melatonin and other hormones, preventing aging by putting our bodies into a timeless state. But the purpose of Darkness Retreat goes far beyond that. 

The Darkness Retreat is implemented in two different ways. The first is the ‘Darkness Retreat,’ where we close our eyes in a manner that prevents any light from entering and we experience life entirely in darkness; whereas in the second one, the ‘Dark Room’ retreat, participants meditate continuously inside a dark room. These retreats differ not only in their protocols but also in their contributions to people. 

The Darkness Technology in this world is designed to rejuvenate people. The night offers us a process where we renew our body, our mind and ourselves. Sometimes we wake up feeling relieved, even after a night filled with problems. These practices, dating over thousands of years, are inspired by the transformative effects of darkness. The release and accumulation of chemicals inside the brain, caused by the darkness, lead to a rapid increase in consciousness. Melatonin, as a regulatory hormone, prepares the subtle layers of consciousness to open, allowing the mind and body to perceive everything in a subtlety they haven’t experienced before. During this process, the brain synthesizes 5-MeO-DMT and DMT which facilitates us to experience love and compassion.

In the Darkness Retreat, when we start to experience life by closing our eyes, we step outside of what we know. When we go beyond what we know, we invite all possibilities back into our lives. When we start moving in an unfamiliar area, we not only rediscover ourselves but also delve into topics like trust, surrender, and mindfulness. We start perceiving everything we do with a depth we hadn’t recognized before. We start to see how our mind’s effort to understand can lead to misconceptions. 

When we think we know where our step will lead us is one of our biggest misconceptions. 

In fact, we only know where the step we take at that very moment is, and we don’t know where our next step will lead us. Predictions, calculations often take us away from reality and above all, leads us to missteps. We can make mistakes, give wrong decisions, have unexpected results, these are all part of life. 

In this retreat, we learn to hear our own voice, strengthen our connection within, and learn to trust ourselves. Through mindful movements, we practice what it means to move towards our intentions. By strengthening our intuitions, we experience that accompanying the present moment is the greatest power we have.

Throughout the Darkness Retreat, the participants are accompanied by professional instructors. They are constantly present to prevent any harm due to their inability to see what is around them, and to immediately assist them if they require any support during the process.

Instructors check in with participants every morning and evening to make sure they are ok and ensure their needs are met. The most important part of this process is for participants to experience it fully, without having too much support. They manage their daily needs by themselves in the darkness. Through all these special practices that they go through during the retreat, they strengthen their intuitions and rebuild their connections with themselves and life. On the third day of the retreat, participants are left in the forest and experience finding their way back with their intuitions. During this process, participants recall how to follow their intentions by listening to the voice of their heart.

We might think that we see our way while making decisions in life, but what we actually see are the assumptions of our minds. When we listen to the voice of our heart, the path shows itself clearly. 

Dark Room Retreat is a practice dating back 10,000 years and is currently practiced in many countries around the world. 

Caves are the womb of the Earth. To be reborn again, people get into caves and reach their darkness within. They go through a practice where they discover their unknown and unseen parts and bring them into the light while illuminating the light within themselves. 

Dark Room Retreat takes place in a 1,5 m2 room, completely in darkness. This is a serious practice requiring yoga practices and preparation of body, breath and mind. The participant stays in meditation the whole time. 

Therefore, individuals who wish to undergo this retreat must have at least 4-5 hours of meditation experience beforehand.

The Dark Room Retreat starts with a minimum of 6 hours. First-time participants start with a duration between 6 to 12 hours. Then, it progresses to 24 hours, 3 days, 5 days, and 11 days.

Participants start fasting from 5 pm on the evening before and enter the Dark Room before sunrise. The fasting lasts for 3 days provided the participant is in good health. This is indeed an opportunity to detoxify one’s body and engage in autophagy. Scientific studies show that during 3 day fasts, cells consume defective coded molecules to provide energy and perform an internal cleansing for the body. 

During this process, participants have water inside the dark room. However, advanced yogis, who remain in meditation for 3 days, may not find the need to consume water. 

When the retreat is more than 3 days, the fasting method changes. Participants are provided with a 500kcal Sattvik meal and soda every day.  

Throughout the process, instructors check on the participants and observe if they need any kind of support. 

  • What are the benefits of the Darkness Retreat? 

Researches show that being in darkness stimulates melatonin synthesis, increases antioxidant and cellular repair capacity, and even slows down the rate of telomere shortening. So during this process we stop aging and we recreate ourselves. 

The purpose of this practice is that, after all the experiences we’ve had, we consciously enter a dark room to give birth to ourselves through the womb of life. And that’s where the name “Kaya Kalpa” comes from.

Melatonin, as a regulatory hormone, prepares the subtle layers of consciousness to open, allowing the mind and body to perceive everything in a subtlety they haven’t experienced before. During this process, the brain synthesizes 5-MeO-DMT and DMT which facilitates us to experience love and compassion.

Melatonin affects the main organ systems, calms the sympathetic nervous system and allows the mind and body to renew themselves daily. 

The primary purpose of these practices in yoga is to support the process of knowing ourselves. Dark Room Retreat is not intended for therapy. There are various studies based on the benefits of these practices. As YogaKioo Institute, we collaborate with esteemed scientists in Turkey on this topic.

What is Darkness Retreat?

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