My First Attempt At Cave Meditation
I had recently read an article on Medium (https://medium.com/@tonystratford/do-you-want-to-have-an-amazing-legal-psychedelic-spiritual-experience-without-leaving-your-home-d4158e191153 ) which indicates that, after about 5–7 days in total darkness, our pineal gland in our brain will naturally produce the mind-altering drug DMT.
In recent years my meditation practice has moved from looking at candles or rocks or such, pictures of spiritual masters, to simply looking into the dark and listening to Om (Aum, Amen, Amin), attempting in this way to clear my mind. So the idea of sitting in the dark wasn’t particularly daunting to me, simply a longer period of time doing more or less what I normally do to meditate.
Within a few days, I arranged to attempt to “go inward” for 10 days. I got together food packets with fruits and nuts and crackers, had plenty of water and some gatorades, and darkened my room
As it turned out, I didn’t darken it well enough, and almost immediately I started struggling with a blanket hung over the window to keep it dark. Next time I’ll cover the entire window with cardboard.
The problem with eating was, I then had to “hit the can” pretty much once a day, which was a horrible “light violation”, no way to do it completely in the dark. So next time I’m considering doing a water fast, though 10 days is a long time to fast.
I also allowed music, which was a mistake since then I was turning my phone on and dinking around with it, thus again violating light discipline. In addition to not wanting to restart the process of producing DMT, I also didn’t want to know what time of day it was, in order to increase my detachment from reality.
Next time I may get an “Alexa” or whatever that I can command to play music, but I think it would undoubtedly be more effective (and difficult) to have NO music. The more silent it is, the better I can hear OM, although it is also true that I had three fans on the entire time, circulating the air and creating a wall of white noise which drowned out various distractions from neighbors and the like.
Despite the various infractions and difficulties, there were hours upon hours spent in total darkness. It was quite intense at times. It was odd to have literally nothing going on, no contact, while the world continued to turn outside my room. I wondered how Joe Biden had done in the debate (when I came out of it, Trump had the coronavirus).
I would stare into the darkness. Invariably there were lights, there seems to be no such thing as literal black-ness or lack of light, the mind fills things in, in the absence of vision.
I was never really bored, although I did sleep quite a bit. My escape into sleep, though, was more because my body was sore from sitting upright — back pain — that from a desire to escape boredom. Such a determined effort to not take in any input — no sight, no sound, no tastes most of the time, no smells essentially, no touch to speak of — left me not really distracted like usual, but obedient and interested to see what visions or perceptions my mind would see in the absence of input.
About three and a half days in I had more trouble with the blanket and decided to quit and try again in a month or so, rather than possibly starting over after three days (since I had taken in so much light fixing the blanket). Next time I’ll just have to prepare better and figure out some strategies to stay in the dark.