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Dark retreat

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Dark Retreat (Wylie: Mun mtshams) refers to advanced practices in the Dzogchen lineages of the Nyingmapa, Bönpo and other schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The time period dedicated to dark Retreat varies from a few hours to decades. Dark Retreat in the Himalayan tradition is a restricted practice only to be engaged by the senior spiritual practitioner under appropriate spiritual guidance. This practice is considered conducive for navigating the Bardo at the time of Death and for realising the Rainbow body. The traditional dark Retreat requires stability in the natural state and is only suitable for advanced practitioners. Ayu Khandro and Dilgo Khyentse are examples of modern, if not contemporary, practitioners of significant periods of Dark Retreat sadhana.


Ayu Khandro performed the Yang-Ti (Tibetan), an advanced practice of the Dzogchen Upadesha, a version of the Dark Retreat.


An account of extensive experiences with dark Retreat, Dawning of Clear Light: A Western Approach to Tibetan Dark Retreat Meditation, was written by Martin Lowenthal.


 Dark retreat is practiced in Vajrayana. It is also practiced by Mantak Chia. he darkness actualizes successively higher states of divine consciousness,
correlating with the synthesis and accumulation of psychedelic chemicals in the brain. Melatonin, a regulatory hormone, quiets the body and mind in preparation for the finer and subtler realities of higher consciousness (Days 1 to 3). Pinoline, affecting the neuro-transmitters of the brain, permits visions and dream-states to emerge in our conscious awareness (Days 3 to 5). Eventually, the brain synthesizes the “spirit molecules” 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine
(5-MeO-DMT) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT), facilitating the transcendental experiences of universal love and compassion (Days 6 to 12)'.

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You haveeyes each composed of 130 million photoreceptor cells. In each of those cells there’s 100 trillion atoms that’s more than all the stars in the Milky way galaxy.However each atom in each cell in each eye formed in the core of a star billions of years ago and yet here they are today being utilized to capture the energy released from that same process all to expand the consciousness of you. It's ironic in that you are the universe experiencing itself And all you are is a thought.


‘Melatonin Stage’ (Day 1 to 3) Complete isolation from external light causes the pineal gland to flood the brain with the neurotransmitter melatonin (average 2 to 5 mg/day), manifesting initially as the need for sleep and rest. The eyes recuperate from the over-stimulation of the visual world, releasing the grip of mental concerns, plans, agendas, and letting the energies settle. Melatonin is essential for maintaining the hibernation state, which facilitates the emergence of spiritual consciousness. The person retains a child-like biological condition where melatonin is conserved and recycled, not wasted in biological continuation. When this substance works together with the yellow marrow in the bone, the reddish firing reaction will activate a gentle interaction between the sacred water and the light. The sacred waters are the inner fluids that are responsible for producing bone marrow and other bodily fluids. The waters run not only in the center of the bones, but also in the spinal connections between the Crown and Perineum Points. ‘Pinoline Stage’ (Day 3 to 5) After about three days, when melatonin concentration reaches sufficient levels (15 to 20 mg) the body then begins to produce the superconductor pinoline, whereby a greater fluidity of thought and healing of the body starts to occur.

Pinoline induces cell replication (mitosis) and intercalates with DNA molecules. The ‘pinoline stage’ is normally activated only in the womb, in lucid dreaming, or in near death experiences. Within this state we can metaprogram the brain to the Unity of Self, heightening awareness of the pathways with which we filter reality. At this stage, the nervous system becomes aware of itself. We become aware of the hologram of the external world that we create constantly in our head24. When the pinoline is triggered you activate your clairsentient and clairaudient powers. You may see light and visions, hear music, and gain phenomenal insight. A decoding of the DNA then begins to take place. Cosmic particles are attracted to us and decoded in the form of sound, light, knowledge and realization. The particles, which have the same cell structures as humans (and from which the Tao believes you evolved), are attracted to you magnetically. The body has approximately six trillion cells, which correspond to the universe ‘without’. Each of these cells can be seen as a computer with unlimited power and potential.

Each cell can become a super conductor, able to receive information from space. You are able to decode this universal information carried from outer space, which may be as old as nothingness itself. When you enter this primordial state or force you are reunited with the true self and divinity within. You literally ‘conduct’ the universal energy. You may see into the past and future, understand the true meaning of existence, and begin to understand the order of things. You return to the womb, the cocoon of our material structure and Nature’s original Darkness. ‘5-MeO-DMT Stage’ (Day 6 to At this stage the pineal gland starts to produce the neuro-hormone 5-MeO-DMT (aka ‘akashon’). This psychoactive tryptamine is highly luminescent and also extremely phosphorescent due to the amount of phosphene that it transmits onto the visual cortex. 5-MeO-DMT switches on 40% more of the cerebral cortex and awakens the nervous system to become aware of itself; ‘beingness’ results. Hence, the possibility of metaprogramming the nervous system’s bio-computer - activating healing and conflict message assortment of the nervous system. 5-MeO-DMT is the empathogenic neurotransmitter that expands the emotional body between ‘infinity and zero’. It gives rise to telepathy in the emotional and intuitive bodies. It engages the awakening of the ‘Flower of Life’, the spine, which begins to glow in a state of beingness and peace. 5-Meo-DMT discharges the Darkness from the Darkness. A bright light is activated and one experiences a born-again mentality.

This Great White Light, the manifestation of the astral body, enables the self to project externally. At this point, some degree of ‘N-Methyl-DAspartare Inhibition’ (NMDA-I) usually occurs. This is a ‘soft form’ of the slowing of the glutamate input signals into the cells. This makes it easier for the nervous system to cause electrons to stop flowing within the cells, allowing for profound meditative trance states. 5- MeO-DMT intercalates with messenger RNA. One can see in 3 dimensional Holon pictures, as the thoughts behind language. “Techniques taught in the Darkness enable one to read and go beyond the matrix, by unifying all directions, and externalize the soul computer so that one can start to interact with ones own genetic code of the Tree of Life. In this intensive process 5-MeO-DMT activates the entire spine, the Tree of Life. The spine is activated and reprogrammed and you can start to process the illusion of the dream from its binary code into the unified translated Self: the Unity Self.

Through 14 days of total light isolation your consciousness can be expanded to the wider range of wave emanations and transduce the core hologram of reality that is coherently programming ones nervous system to the Unity Self25.” Many exercises will be practiced during this period: compacting Chi, consciousness and awareness into the nervous system, working with the Silent Self and anchoring the Immortal Body. The 5-MeO-DMT prepares the nervous system, through its empathetic state of being and self awareness of the nervous system, for the DMT or dimethyltryptamine production of the pineal gland, in psychoactive milligram doses. ‘DMT Stage’ (Day 9 to 12) When DMT levels reach more than 25 mg, one’s experience can become very visual. DMT is the visual Third Eye neurotransmitter. It enables the energy body and spirit to journey into hyperspace, beyond third dimensional realms of time and space. It is intensely energizing. “After some 10-12 days one starts to see in infrared, and ultraviolet, one can actually run across the room and touch a person, by seeing their heat patterns. The Holon Images exteriorize and one is walking in a Virtual Reality, which appears to be the DNA language macro uploaded, and interactive.” When you reach the ‘DMT state’ you begin to function consciously from the various psychic centers or chakras.

The bodily processes of Healing Love are then combined with those of the Darkness. The human states of true compassion and sexual arousal create a new chemistry and a new vibration within the body. This ‘special’ vibration occurs at a frequency of 8Hz. ‘As in the macrocosm, so it is in the microcosm’; hence if we make love, then all the cells and DNA actually make love as well. The DNA crosses over, like two serpents intertwining in an erotic embrace. You need the orgasmic vibration to arouse this crossover process which leads to the ‘two giving birth to three’; the conception of new cells. The two vital states are compassion and arousal leading to orgasm. Both are inextricably linked to love. When this ‘love-vibration’ reaches the pineal gland a new hormone is produced, which in turn creates whole body conductivity. Only when you feel the waves of orgasmic vibration and unconditional love for the self and others can the process be activated and the essence of the Darkness is magnified. At this stage of the Darkness retreat, the required amount of sleep tends to diminish dramatically. Although the day may last 24 hours, 3 hours of sleep can seem like 12. During this period we will engage in further practices; psychic games and interactivity, Taoist Dream Yoga (advanced levels) and Imagination Expansion .

Darkness Nutrition
Food is specially prepared to meet the requirements of the body, mind, and spirit in attaining the goals of darkness enlightenment. Fresh juices and soups are served for “breakfast” and a light organic meal is prepared for the afternoon. The diet consists of simple, often liquid foods. Seaweed and blue green algae meet many of the general dietary requirements, supplying high concentrations of the eight essential amino acids required by the body (see below). Fresh juices, especially from the noni (Morinda) fruit, supply the metabolic enzymes necessary for developing the neuro-endocrine system to its highest potential. Sufficient levels of tryptophan are especially important for the Darkness experience (See: Chemistry of Consciousness p. 2. Tryptophan is one of 20 amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of proteins. It is one of the eight “essential” amino acids, meaning it cannot be synthesized by the body from other amino acids, and must therefore be ingested in foods. Adults need from 3.5 mg/kg/ day to 350-500 mg of tryptophan per day. 43 As tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is converted to serotonin with the assistance of vitamins B6, B12 and folate. Tryptophan is also converted in the body to niacin (vitamin B-3) and picolinic acid. Giving high doses of vitamin B-6 along with tryptophan increases its conversion to niacin and decreases its uptake into the nervous system. Low blood tryptophan levels have been reported in depressed patients and are corrected with tryptophan supplementation. Tryptophan is better absorbed in the brain when consumed as part of a high carbohydrate meal. Some of the tryptophan-rich foods available at Tao Garden, and recommended for the Darkness retreat, are listed below, along with several other tryptophan-rich foods.
Tryptophan-Rich Foods(Tao Garden39) Tryptophan-Rich Foods

· Seaweed, Blue-Green Algae · Cottage Cheese
· Tofu, Soy Milk, Soy Yogurt, · Milk and Milk Products
Soy Beans · Malt
· Brown Rice · Legumes
· Bananas, Dates, Figs · Almonds, Soy Nuts
· Peanuts · Brewer’s Yeast
· Watermelon Seeds · Animal Protein: Beef,
· Fish and other Seafoods Turkey, Chicken
Levels of tryptophan in some common foods40:
· Fish and other seafoods 800-1,300 mg/lb
· Meats 1,000-1,300 mg/lb
· Poultry 600-1,200 mg/lb
· Peanuts, roasted w skin 800 mg/cup
· Sesame seeds 700 mg/cup
· Dry, whole lentils 450 mg/cup
Accessory Vitamins
B6 (pyridoxene); Sources: Meats, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, bananas, whole grains. B12 (Cobalamin); Found almost exclusively in animal products (meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, yeast, cheese). Blue Green Algae Algae are the fundamental basis of the entire food chain — the foundational nutrient source for creating and renewing all life on earth. Blue green algae are the crème de la crème of all algae, one of the planet’s most powerful foods. This single-celled organism (actually a bacterium) is richly endowed with a vast array of easily assimilated nutrients including essential fatty acids, active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, proteins, complex sugars, and phytonutrients. Blue green algae have an amino acid profile that is nearly in exact proportion to the requirements of the human body. It contains over 60 minerals and trace minerals in naturally chelated form so the body can absorb them into the cells. With the exception of vitamins D and K, all vitamins are present to provide fuel for our cells (Vitamin D and K are produced naturally by our body). Blue green algae contain the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) Omega-3 and Omega- 6, and are one of the highest known natural food sources of beta carotene (a cell regenerator and potent neutralizer of free radicals) and chlorophyll (excellent chelating ability to escort toxins out of the body). The food is also 97% assimilable, digestible and useable by the body.