Diving In The Dark
During this time of year when many people shun the darkness, Volker explores the value of diving in darkness, and the possibilities Continuum practice offers for health, wellbeing, and creativity.
Why would anybody voluntarily go into the dark and stay there for 10 days?
In Continuum, we are always looking for movements that are novel and not patterned, in order to find re-invigoration, re-generation and re-structuring. In addition, we are also looking for possibilities to allow the body to cope and re-balance all the thing we are dealing with in these times. In the darkness, we are searching for whatever is needed for the body to be able re-connect with the bio-organic field in order to be able to do what it is that we are originally here for. “What is our body here for?” could be a whole other blog entry!
I think everybody agrees that in these times there is a rise in information input, and that we need a way of processing and integrating it all. Whether it is through the growing speed of data available through internet and computer technology, the mass of messages and information through social media, or our phones always nearby, we are being constantly bombarded with input.
An increase in information input is happening already through the constant flooding with light that we have had since the development of electricity. This is peaking at this moment in history, with screens that are often so bright. Excess light is having a direct effect on our endocrine system as well as our entire body physiology. Many of the long-term effects of excess light are not yet known. In that sense, we are all in one big experiment.
Continuum is offering the counterpoint… instead of a continuous inhale in order to take in all the information, we are looking for a long, nice, and soft exhale…
Notice what happens when you just think of and feel in your body a long, nice and soft exhale?
Aaaah… (If you are new to Continuum, take a breath, and then exhale with the sound of Aaah, as if it is a breathy whisper. Do this a few times, slowly, and then rest, feeling the effects of breathing this way.)
Now add the idea that your eyes can rest. You don’t have to take any more info in, you don’t have to scan the environment for the latest news, trend, danger, lover, food, traffic, children, message, agenda item… For now, allow your eyes to rest and sink into the back of their cavity, their cave. Let the eyes exhale, too.
Before I met Continuum, some of my questions in life were, “how deeply can we relax? What is the deepest way possible? How can I relax even more deeply?” I felt I could always go a layer deeper into relaxation and let go. But when I started practicing Continuum, I could finally feel what relaxation REALLY means! Wow, THAT is relaxation! I didn’t even know it was possible to that depth!
Then, when entering Continuum retreats where we would have an “All-nighter” – practicing throughout the day and night, going beyond the time and space ideas of daily life – I could feel the sinking in… the continuous dropping into myself. My whole system wanted more of that: even more time, even more turning inwards, even more darkness.
Many myths talk about darkness as what comes before creation. Life originates in darkness. Darkness is what brings forth life, birthing life and all forms.
In “The Healing Darkness”, a retreat in the natural landscape of the Swiss Alps, we will be going into the darkness for an extended time. The darkness becomes a gestation chamber; everything quiets down even more. Simple movements that normally take a few minutes can last for hours, transmitting valuable information that is carried within them. Sometimes being in the darkness is like exploring the dying process – dissolving into the long, nice, soft exhale, until a new movement appears, maybe just a quiver, not yet manifested, something new, birthing itself into the light.