Updated: Oct 7, 2020
The Experience we dropped in with Komala Lyra and Araminta Barbour, creators of the Women Who See in the Dark Retreats, to find out more about their unique offerings...
What is it all about? "Ultimately, this is an invitation to deeply stop, pause, reset and re-source. So many workshops fuel our striving to become more, to heal more, to perfect ourselves and go go go; feeding the part of us that says we aren't enough as we are. What if by staring into the darkness, by stripping away all the striving, the foundational mystery of your being would replenish you more deeply than any dietary changes, workout modifications, healing sessions, or new tools and techniques? We created this event particularly with successful, dynamic women in mind - those who are already immersed in manifesting their visions and want to go deeper. We fuse our backgrounds in tantra, sacred sexuality, meditation, dance and various wisdom traditions into the retreat we always wanted to take!
- Araminta Barbour
Why Darkness? "Consumer culture bombards our senses, especially our vision. The beauty of starting and ending each day of this delicious women’s retreat with darkness meditation, eyes open - helps reset the neurology and chemistry of the body bit by bit.
Women’s vitality and creativity requires pause from overwhelming to-do lists. By bathing our eyes in darkness, we are able to relax deeply, rejuvenate our nervous system, and brain chemistry. Melatonin production changes and our natural receptivity returns. The reactive pattern to grab and cling to external forms recedes as our inner vision reasserts itself.
Every aspect of this retreat is designed to support enquiry of what lies at our core so a deeper essence reveals itself behind every impulse. We are not here to reframe anything in any particular way - but to uncover what is natural and spontaneous. We are not going to offer any models at any level - just various creative tools for exploration through art, dance and meditations. For YOU to find out, wow! There is no possibility of comparison with anything - with anybody. Can you allow yourself to be both subject and object of enquiry? This journey is about you noticing and finding out about you - how you express and anchor your soul in daily life." - Komala Lyra
Why Masculine Initiations? "Most of our stories of who we are, have been framed by a culture that taught us to look through a narrow frame of gender-based identification. Even most women's workshops today subtly and not-so-subtly focus on helping you become more 'feminine', activating more "shakti power", or teach you how to "embody your goddess nature" etc. The deeper call, however, is to become more integrated. When all sides of our soul become seen and accepted, our life's service is revealed and we stop copying social conditioning, thus finding our unique expression. The creative surge is immense!
Peace between the genders won’t come about by controlling and manipulating the other to fit into our ideals. However when we meet these aspects within, new pathways open up. Addressing the undercurrent of disdain many women have been taught to feel towards male sexuality reconciles both sides, once this distortion is owned. When women gift themselves the chance to recognise and mature their inner masculine energy signatures, HUGE keys of power, self-awareness and self-compassion are found. We also can step out of suppressing and judging our brothers, finally stopping the cycle of blame, shame, control and recrimination."
- Araminta Barbour
Tell us more about your use of POWER "Each day we pose a question for reflection and inquiry, alternating between silence and creativity to reveal our story and the energetic imprints behind it. In exposure and acceptance, we can see how we hold back our genuine expression.
One example is The Rescuer archetype... We look at the righteousness we may hold to expect and often demand to be rescued - whether by daddy, the boss, the lover, the president etc… or to play the saviour for others in different situations.
This identification is usually subtle and undermining. The point is - it takes your power away. If you think that the way you are going to take care of your health, depends on a presidential decision, the story has control over your life. When you look at this fact as a lie, because your realise that only you can take care of your health, another layer is uncovered - you use this believe to avoid the fear of self-responsibility. Once we are courageous enough to look directly into the story and let the underlying emotional knot vibrate freely - there is a doorway to reclaiming our authenticity. Simple - not always easy. That is why a supportive tribe willing to stand in the fire of truth is helpful, as we support each other to walk our individual journeys together."
- Komala Lyra
How do you work with SHADOW? "Each day we look at an archetype and explore its shadow. Our culture is so afraid of death/ darkness/pause... It doesn’t value its place or honours its links to the cycle of rebirth. So we tend to focus on increase and accumulation at all costs. Anything that is linked to decrease usually triggers deep-seeded fear and so, for example the Rescuer archetype often steps in to prolong INCREASE and to avoid any decrease. Refining and owning our relationship to these archetypes brings much freedom and resurgence of life force." - Araminta Barbour
What is special about each location your choose? "Our event in Israel in September 2017 explored the specific themes of integrity, empowerment and ecstasy, surrender and control, power and resistance over 5 days in the stunning venue of the unique oasis, MOA. Each retreat focuses on unpacking certain dynamics that can rob us of our inherent fullness. This breathtaking retreat space is surrounded by a vast untouched desert gifting each of us the spaciousness for reflection mirrored by the external natural environment and informed by the collective energies apparent in Israel at this time around sovereignty."
- Komala Lyra
Why focus on our inner masculine if this is a women's retreat? "We have blamed men for so many things for long enough. It is time to take responsibility for change and harness our creative capacities to make great shifts. We have allowed toxic programming about men to dampen our vision and perpetuate conflict. What if our part as women is not only to love ourselves but to reorient ourselves to love & respect men rather than hate & emasculate them. The Women Who See in the Dark Retreats is a unique offering for women designed to shift ourselves and our relationship to men by undertaking initiations for our own inner masculine. This path brings immense insights, deep integration and a flowering of authenticity and intimacy with our brothers."
- Araminta Barbour
What Does the Day Look Like? Our time together is designed in layers, weaving...
Early morning Movement & Stillness ~ Awakening subtle body channels Daily Tandava ~Kashmeerian Tantric Meditation
Morning Electricity & Magnetism ~ Recognising dark masculine-feminine archetypes, wisdom & resources Includes bringing light to the roots of jealousy and comparison ~ clearing judgments and resentments ~ identifying spiritual bypass ~emotions as life resources ~ recovering trust, bliss and freedom
Mid-day Emptiness & Fullness ~ Nourishing the body with delicious Ayurveda based gourmet menu
Afternoon Inquiry & Revelations ~ Discovering alone-together, what is ready to unfold. Themes for exploration include Integrity; Empowerment and Ecstasy; Surrender and Control; Power and Resistance.
Dinner Vertical & Horizontal ~ Enjoying tastes, scents, touch, sounds, colours, opening the senses...
Evenings Expression & Introspection ~ Sharing with transparent honesty while listening in spaciousness Including Danza Ritual, Tantric touch, Innocent Wisdom
Into the Night Vision & Expansion ~ Activating the third-eye with Tratak & Darkness Meditation