DARK ROOM MEDITATION FAQ
1. What will I be doing in the dark?
While in the dark room there is a structure in place but we also allow for things to flow based on the experiences of participants. One thing we are certain of from our own experience in the dark room is that there is rest and rejuvenation happening on a very deep, cerebral level. While in the dark room your brain builds up high levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and you are able to rest and relax very deeply. Some participants claim that after a 24 hr meditation they feel like they have had a week long vacation.
There will be periods of meditation during the ceremony. Some will be guided taking you on a journey while others will be in silence. Some participants worry if they don't have enough meditation experience but we find that even those with very limited experience are able to participate just fine. Please don't let your inability to sit in meditation for long periods discourage you from signing up. You will do just fine!
There will be periods of sound healing using meditative instruments as well as medicine songs, chants and mantras from many cultures around the world. People who have had experiences of sound healing fully understand sound as medicine after feeling the effects. In nature, vibrations travel via water and air. This is significant when you consider the human body is approximately 65 percent water. Sound is a powerful tool that has the ability to create positive changes in the body and mind.
Movement of the body will also be a tool of working with our energy. Very simple yoga or Qi Gong exercises can help move energy and blockages that you may experience during your time in dark room. If you have no experience in these areas there is no need to worry as there will be guidance.
We also have a structure of topics that will come up that are based on self-discovery for you to contemplate during meditation. You will be able to dive deeper into yourself and really question your own actions and purpose. Your inner journey is very personal and unique and how much you obtain from this experience will also depend on how open you are to yourself and receiving. The purpose of the ceremony is for you to be in a place of receiving and what we wish is that you are able to integrate this inner state into your daily life.
2. What are the sleeping arrangements?
As we are in ceremonial space, participants will be staying the duration of the time in our 1600 sq. ft hexagonal room. Within the room you will have your own section approx. 8x5ft that will have your mattress, yoga mat and bin for personal items.
The room was specifically designed with high ventilation and easy access to our shared bathroom. There is also a small private room just off the main room for those that feel the need for time alone.
3. How will we eat and go to the bathroom in the dark?
During our 24hr ceremonies there is only liquid served as this is a time for deep cleansing of the physical, mental and emotional body. We will all join together before the ceremony for tea and healthy snacks and then enjoy a meal together immediately after.
During our 3 Day ceremonies there will be a tray placed in front of your personal space and we will all eat together. Eating in the dark may seem like a challenge but you become accustomed to eating slower and more mindfully. If you do spill anything there is nothing to worry about as there is a system of easy clean-up and you are recommended to bring extra clean clothes in case. We will be serving light, nourishing meals enabling the body to cleanse and heal. We can certainly accommodate any food allergies given enough notice.
Going to the bathroom may seem like a challenge as well but you get used to it very quickly. It is easier than you think. We have an easy system designed for our participants trips to the bathroom. There will be further explanations of these things during or time of orientation when you arrive.
4. How should I prepare for Dark Room Meditation?
Here are suggestions to follow in the days leading up the ceremony (preferable 4 to 7). Please don't stress if you can’t do everything perfectly but a little can go a long way.
Eat Clean: Try to eat a Whole Foods diet if you are not doing so already. Eating processed, chemical laden foods will not only make your body feel less than but will also create internal blocks. Avoid over-eating, limit dairy and meat, avoid substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine, etc. Eating whole, fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your body feeling energetic, keep your mind clear and reduce body odour while in the dark room. Drink plenty of water to help flush anything that needs to be flushed.
Make sure that you have a nourishing healthy meal before arriving at Amaya Centre. We will be providing some tea and light snacks prior to heading into the dark room meditation, where you will only be intaking fluid for 24 hrs.
Move: Move your body in any way that feels good to you - yoga, qi gong, dancing, running, jumping on your bed, whatever it may be. Moving energy will help remove anything you may be holding on to emotionally or mentally. We want you to begin the process of feeling clear and relaxed beforehand.
Connect with Nature: Go into nature as much as possible. If you don't have time to go for a forest walk than even connecting with a tree on your way to or from work will be beneficial.
Meditate: If you already have a daily meditation practice you can continue this practice and if not you can incorporate meditations into your daily schedule this week. Even 5 minutes will help.
Be Mindful: Be aware of who you share energy with this week. The information you take in from media and peers the week will affect your experience. What kind of conversation are you partaking in? What influences are surrounding you? Make sure those you choose to be with are providing positive supportive energy.
Sleep well: Try to get enough sleep this week. Although our ceremonies are highly based on rest and rejuvenation we want to to be alert and able to participate in our silent and guided meditations.
5. What happens if I get scared or panic during darkroom meditation?
This is exactly what we are here for. Some of your fears may very well come out while in the dark room and thats what we hope for. At the beginning of each ceremony the topic of how to cope with fear will be addressed. This process helps you to release them as they no longer serve to protect you.
Our facilitators will guide you though any troubling emotions as they arise. We are here to remind you that most fears are illusions that can be worked through. We have a small private room where a candlelight can be lit to help calm those having a difficult time working through fear or trauma. However, we would like to remind you that this should be a last resort as removing yourself from pure darkness will alter your experience. If you are unable to work through your emotions than you are the master of your own temple and you are able to end your dark room experience if you are absolutely unable to work through your experience. However, usually when participants are having a difficult time there is a point where they have a break through and are very happy with putting the work into facing whatever arises.We assume that participants come into the dark room to do their inner work and we are here to support you through this process.
6. Can I cancel prior to the meditation?
There may be a state of hesitation prior to showing up which is normal with most new experiences. We are here to remind you that Amaya Inner Journey Centre is a very safe and natural environment for you to be guided through your inner journey.
If you wish to cancel please let us know 1 week prior in order to be fully reimbursed. If you have to cancel in the week leading up to the event we will hold your reservation fee until we fill your spot. If we cannot fill your spot we will hold your reservation fee for any future event of your choice.