The Origin of Meditating in the Dark

From Tibet, to India, to the Amazon, spiritual traditions around the world have used darkroom techniques. The process of secluding oneself in complete darkness, spending a number of days with absolutely no light, has been practiced throughout time as a way of obtaining spiritual evolution or deep spiritual growth. In Egypt, the darkroom was found in the pyramids, in Tibet and India as mountainside caves, in Europe, in the form of underground tunnels and catacombs and even in the Amazon jungle in conjunction with plant medicine as a way to heal, transform and awaken.

In the Taoist tradition, benefits of spending extended periods of time in the dark is a higher level practice known to advance ones spirituality. The dark was the final journey of spiritual work. Here you could experience a new awareness. In the Tao, the cave is the 'Immortal Mountain', the perfect place of Inner Alchemy. Mantak Chia, author of Darkness Technology, writes "In the darkness, our mind and soul begin to wander freely in the vast realms of the psychic and spiritual experience. When you enter this primordial state you are reunited with the true self and divinity within".

In India, in Ayurvedic medicine, immersing into darkness is a form of Kaya Kalpa. The term kaya meaning "body" and kalpa meaning "ageless" or "immortal". The ayurvedic treatment aims to maintain excellent physical health of the body so that one can delay death long enough to achieve jivamukta, which is the release of karma. Although the techniques used are highly rejuvenating and slow down the aging process, the main purpose is not surrounding the physical body but to realize that we are not just a physical body.

In the Amazon jungle, within the Shipibo tribe of the Amazon Rainforest, healers use darkness in combination with the psycho-spiritual plant, Ayahuasca. Some shamans have spent up to a year and a half in complete darkness. Shipibo shamans are trained as plant-based healers of physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Their work of helping others move metaphysical blockages with the help of plant medicines is very deep spiritual work. Spending time in darkness with Ayahuasca can allow shamans to receive the healing wisdom of the plant in order to help heal others.

It's astonishing to see that various cultures around the world have been practicing very similar techniques of reaching higher dimensions without the ability to communicate their practice with one another. There is a deeper level of conscious awareness within us, an inner knowing, communicating with us the answers in how to connect deeper to ourselves and to the source.