Enter the incredible world of

Dark Retreats

The Dark Retreat is an unparralleled experience in intense seclusion, in which the practitioner is deprived of all light and sensory distractions, and thus plunges into a deep witnessing awareness of the mind, and eventually experiences the perception of the inner light of pure Consciousness.

Retreating in complete darkness is a practice common to many of the ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions across the world. From the monks and lamas in Tibet, to the Kogi Mamos in Colombia; the ancient Egyptians and the mystics of 15th Century France, Dark Retreats have provided revelation and illumination to countless practitioners who have sought the inner light.

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The hermitage offers two custom built dark retreats - the TARA ROOM AND THE BUDDHA CAVE

Built entirely from natural river stones, cement and crystals, our large ‘TARA ROOM’ Dark Retreat is submerged into the hillside and is entered through a special underground tunnel. Resting predominantly under the earth at the base of a sacred copal tree, retreaters will experience the embrace of mother earth as they ‘return to the womb’ of darkness and silence.

Our ‘BUDDHA CAVE’ Dark Retreat is the newest addition to The Hermitage and is built entirely from natural adobe and bamboo. It is positioned at the top of our hill behind a huge Amate Tree (sacred Central American tree, quite rare around the Lake), and is beautifully designed to awaken the Buddha nature in all who retreat inside.

Dark Retreat nr.1
our original Dark Retreat

The TARA ROOM

Built entirely from natural river stones, cement and crystals, our large ‘TARA ROOM’ Dark Retreat is submerged into the hillside and is entered through a special underground tunnel. Resting predominantly under the earth at the base of a sacred copal tree, retreaters will experience the embrace of mother earth as they ‘return to the womb’ of darkness and silence.

our new Dark Retreat

The BUDDHA CAVE

Our ‘BUDDHA CAVE’ Dark Retreat is the newest addition to The Hermitage and is built entirely from natural adobe and bamboo. It is positioned at the top of our hill behind a huge Amate Tree (sacred Central American tree, quite rare around the Lake), and is beautifully designed to awaken the Buddha nature in all who retreat inside.

Buddha Cave Dark Retreat

prices

Dark Retreats

Dark Retreats always begin at sunset the day before your first day, and end at sunrise the day after your final day. The below prices are including two delicious meals delivered to you each day.

1 Person

Per Day
  • 1-4 Days - $65
  • 5-10 Days - $60
  • 11-21 Days - $57
  • 22-30 Days - $55
  • 31 + Days - $53

2 People

Per Day
  • 1-4 Days - $111
  • 5-10 Days - $102
  • 11-21 Days - $98
  • 22-30 Days - $95
  • 31 + Days - $91

deep dark world

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Each of our two dark retreats is crafted little differently, each offers an incredible unique experience

Questions?

FAQ

Please take a read over our Frequently Asjed Questions before booking your Dark Retreat

The Dark Retreat is a very special, and often intense experience. It is important to consider carefully how many days your feel ready to do inside, and to book accordingly. Generally, if you are a beginner to meditation and retreats, we recommend three to five days. If you wish to book longer than ten days with us, please let us know about your meditation and retreat background, daily practice, and your intention for doing a dark retreat.

Doing a retreat in darkness is a very unique experience and quite unlike doing a retreat in the light. When you are alone in the dark retreat, it is just you and your mind and there is nothing to distract you. If you do not have a steady practice, it can be easy to get bored or to waste the time simply thinking and fantasising. However, if you have a background in meditation and are looking to go deeper, the dark retreat is an incredible container for that. We have had so far remarkable reports from almost every person who has been inside our dark retreat, whether for three days, or three months.

Visions are common in the Dark Retreat, though should not be the reason for you to go inside. The Dark Retreat should not be used as a way to get a “natural high” or to “trip out” on DMT. DMT is sometimes naturally released in the dark retreat because of a shift in hormones in the body, but they should simply be witnessed just the same as the thoughts that come and go. We have noticed that the people who have less expectations generally have the deepest retreats.

At The Hermitage we provide two wholesome vegetarian meals per day and tea in a thermos with breakfast. We do not allow fasting for more than three days inside, even for experienced fasters. All of those who fasted inside reported afterwards that it was ten times harder fasting in the dark with no distractions that in a normal fast outside.

To prepare for the dark retreat, you don´t need to do too much. Simply eat healthily, avoid alcohol, coffee, meat and sugar for a few days before entering, and get some good sleep. Come with an open mind and heart and be ready for a deep (blissful and difficult) journey.

The temperature in the dark retreat is between twenty and twety five degrees, with fresh air being pumped in all the time. It is good to bring a pair of warm socks and a jumper with you.

There is a warm solar shower, yes.

At The Hermitage we have built the Dark Retreat so it is possible for couple to do a retreat together. There are two separate beds, and a big space to practice in between. There is one bathroom that you share.

We let people into the dark retreat at sunset (around 5pm) and out at sunrise (around 5.30am) so that the eyes can gently adjust to the light again. It is a great idea to consider booking a few extra nights in one of our cabins or private rooms both before entering the dark retreat, and afterwards, so that you can deepen your retreat and integrate back into the light more gently.

Yes, the door is locked from the inside, so you can open it at any time and come out if you have to. We are always available for support if needed also.

Its our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

¬Marianne Williamson

Ready for a dark retreat?

contact us

+502 4816 1361
info@thehermitageretreats.com

We respond to all emails personally so please expect up to 24hrs before receiving a reply .
We do not answer emails on Sundays. Thank you for your understanding.

San Pablo La Laguna
Lake Atitlan – Guatemala