hygienic dark retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham

formerly darkroomretreat.com


recover your lost self

Switch off the world. Sleep deeply. Heal from everything.

Including trauma, the cause of suffering. Trauma is natural. But so is health. So nature provides a condition of healing from trauma: darkness.

Consciously, you rest in darkness and maintain the conditions of rest. Unconsciously, you work. Your organism unleashes its limitless power to heal itself, in body and soul.

Lost parts of the self return. One becomes whole again. It feels like a miracle.

From health come joy, power, and genius: the capacities we need to restore the world and live full lives in it.

Everything else can wait. Recovering your lost self cannot wait.


A hygienic dark retreat is an extended rest in a totally dark room. The room is quiet, comfortable, and well-ventilated. There is food. One is alone, with a supporter nearby.

This is a complete manual, with theory, protocol, and design. It explains why retreating works and how to do it. It has instructions and blueprints for beginning at home.

toward a hygienic psychology

This approach to darkness is hygienic. It is neither spiritual, therapeutic, nor psychedelic.

Hygiene is the science of health, a branch of biology (look it up). It is based on life’s self-preserving and conditional nature. Hygiene led the 19th century’s famous improvements in public health.

Hygiene lacked only a psychology and a grasp of trauma. These prove to be the keys to health. The result: reliable miracles.

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