Retreat into Darkness
A darkness retreat at Gut Saunstorf is a retreat of several days in complete darkness – alone with yourself in a space of total darkness and with daily therapeutic support.
This form of retreat has a long spiritual tradition and is a gift to yourself. It is very supportive in getting closer to your inner self.
In solitude, it is possible to open yourself to everything that seeks to manifest in your inner life. Being free from any external obligation, distraction and visual stimuli can lead you deeper inside.
Darkrooms at Gut Saunstorf
Gut Saunstorf ist a modern monastery in northern Germany, founded by the spiritual teacher OM C. Parkin. The modern, nondenominational monastery bows to spiritual traditions and takes them further into the modern age. A monastery is a place of silence, contemplation and seclusion from the world. We continue this tradition – free from obsolete confessional constraints. This inner path serves being here in this very moment. It includes everything, and it is oriented towards the divine.
There are two dark rooms at Gut Saunstorf, ready for a retreat into total darkness.
You will have a room with space for sleeping and moving around, including a bathroom with shower. Food and drinks will be served in a small anteroom.
The entire retreat space is in complete darkness during the retreat.
SCHEDULE & PRICES
You book a dark retreat from at least 4 nights dark room and at least 1 night as integration after your dark retreat here in the light.
It turns out that 5 to 10 nights are most beneficial for deepening the process.
Longer stays are possible.
For overnight accommodation in the light, see notes below.
An experienced dark room therapist will support you for the duration of the retreat.
At the first meeting you will get to know each other and you will get familiar with the darkroom.
You will also have a daily conversation in the darkroom with the therapist.
Twice a day, a vegetarian meal in organic quality (certified according to DE-ÖKO-034) will be delivered in the dark anteroom.
You will also get tea, fruit and nuts for the whole day.
The dark room cost is 185 EUR per night including VAT.
- Overnight stay in the dark room
- Daily conversation with a dark room therapist
For the first meeting an additional one-time fee of 80 EUR incl. VAT is charged.
After a few days in darkness, your sensory perception is attenuated. Your experiences and inner openings in the dark take some time to integrate. Therefore, we highly recommend booking at least one or more extra nights after your dark retreat in the modern monastery so that you can slowly reintegrate yourself and get used to the sensory impressions of the other world in a quiet, natural place like ours. You can stay in the dark room set up as a bright single room or move to another room in a different category.
It is recommended to have some experience in an inner practice such as meditation, self-inquiry or similar.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ ABOUT THE DARK RETREAT
How many dark rooms are there at Gut Saunstorf?
At Gut Saunstorf there are two dark rooms available for dark retreats. These rooms are secluded in the basement of the house, so that any disturbing noises from the house and from outside is kept to a minimum.
What equipment does a dark room have?
Each dark room consists of a small hallway with a table where food is placed, a shower room and the actual retreat room (about 10 m²). The room is furnished with the bare essentials: a closet, a bed, an armchair, a thick carpet, meditation cushions and a floor chair.
How does the food supply work?
A vegetarian meal will be delivered twice a day at different times. Fruit, tea as well as trail mix are always available. The meals are provided by the kitchen service in the small hallway of the dark apartment in such a way that neither daylight nor personal contact disturbs your stay.
Is the room ventilated?
Since no daylight should enter the rooms, they are completely darkened. However, the rooms are well ventilated and supplied with sufficient fresh air.
How does the support work?
The support during your stay includes a preliminary talk as well as daily talks (30 to 60 minutes). Three experienced darkroom therapists of the house are available for this purpose. The daily conversation takes place in the dark room. You will be advised by a knock at the door. In the preliminary talk on site, the external setting and all questions will be discussed.
Is the therapeutic support obligatory?
A dark retreat in our house completely without the support of one of our experienced dark retreat therapists is not possible.
How do I move into the dark room, how do I orient myself here?
First you move into the dark room with light. This will allow you to orient yourself in the space and put away your personal belongings. The furnishings are basic, making it easier for you to find your way around the room without light.
Am I locked up in the dark room?
No, the door is not locked. If you reach a point where it becomes very difficult for you, you can press the emergency button in the room. This button is connected to your therapists’ cell phone and she will come to you promptly.
Are there any candles, writing facilities, smartphones or other media in the dark room?
Any form of light (e.g., from candles, electric toothbrushes, or similar) in the dark room should be avoided, as should smartphones and other media, so as not to interrupt the experience of immersion in darkness. If you would like to write something down for yourself in the dark room, we will provide you with a line board, which you can use to write even in complete darkness.
What is the cancellation policy?
The following cancellation policy applies: Up to 2 weeks before your retreat is due to begin, we charge a handling fee of 50 EUR. After that, the full cost must be paid, due to our need to keep the darkroom and the corresponding support reserved for you.
Support in the Dark Room
During your time in the darkroom, you will be attended with a daily one-on-one conversation and mindfully guided in and out of the room.
Our therapists, all members of the community and long-time students of OM C. Parkin, have several years of experience in providing support to the process of people in the darkroom.
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