Evening Darkness Events

All Darkness Events

December 3rd: Dinner & Concert in the Dark

December 5th: An Evening with Daniel Kish

December 6-10: Darkness Experiment II

Dinner & Concert in the Dark
Sunday, December 3rd

Dive into your senses.
Eat a delicious four-course meal.
Bathe in the sounds of live music.
Lose yourself in the dark.

This is a dining in the dark experience you will never forget. The room will be 100% dark. Your eyes will be of no use.

But let’s be honest, when it comes to enjoying food, how useful is your eye sight anyway?

It’s said that 80% of our sensory input relies on sight. To say it’s our primary sense is an understatement. It’s our access to the world. It’s the gatekeeper to all our experiences. But it’s also the sense that is most active, even when it’s not the one we want. How often have we closed our eyes to enjoy an experience more? How much more could we access if we could give 80% of our sensory input a rest?

Let’s kick sight to the curb for the night 😜

Let’s see how much we can taste,
Let’s see how much we can smell,
Let’s see how much we can experience.

And let’s eat with our hands! There will be no one to scold you for having bad table manners. Finally!

Your food will be selected and meticulously prepared by Gerard LaBonté, the chef and movement specialist for the Darkness Experiment. He and the musician/host Dave Booda will take you through an evening of exploring the unknown, and the known — seen through a completely different lens.

Music, poetry, tastes, smells, connection games, and more…

Special Guest Announcement!

Erdis Maxhelaku will be joining us on the cello. He is one of San Diego’s finest cellists and has played on more records for local musicians than anyone could count. He will be joining Dave for his set, as well as playing his own solo cello set. You don’t want to miss this!


Sunday, December 3rd, 4-8pm

4-4:30pm: Guests arrive
4:30-4:35: Lights go out
4:35-5:30: Appetizers & Connection Games
5:30-6:30: Main Course
6:30-7:15: Concert
7:15-8:00: Dessert & Closing

This is limited to 20 people, and will be hosted at Serenity Villa, a beautiful house in the hills of Ramona. The inside is beautiful too, but you’ll just have to trust us on that…

The cost is $150 per person.
You can register by clicking the button below.

Your Hosts

Gerard LaBonté is a chef, nutrition coach and movement specialist. Raised in a family of chefs with a classically trained 3-star Master French Chef for a Dad, Gerard has been immersed in the world of taste and nutrition his entire life. As a Cross Fit athlete and college wrestler he studied the body and pushed it’s limits to understand what it’s capable of. Today he combines gourmet cooking with advanced, cutting edge nutritional knowledge to help both clients and retreat participants enjoy good food and mindful living to it’s fullest.

Dave Booda is a writer, musician and social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of IntimacyFest and hosts The Darkness Experiment. He has led over 400 workshops on connection, touch and relationships and has consulted for and facilitated experiences for companies, communities, retreats, festivals, conferences, men’s groups, birthday parties, weddings, funerals, and gatherings of all kinds — with the intention to inspire authenticity, depth, group cohesion and connection. He has published over 200 essays for boodaism.com and played over 1000 shows as a touring singer/songwriter. He is a former Naval Officer and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, currently serving on the board of directors for the Foundation for Intentional Community while touring and living at different communities in North America.


Q: Will the space be totally dark? Will I be able to see anything?

A: The space will be completely blacked-out, not just dark. We will help you navigate the space, and there will be opportunities to be seated and see your surroundings while there are still lights on.

Q: Will there be accommodations for food sensitives and needs?

A: Yes, our chef Gerard will do his best to accommodate for any food allergies or special preferences. All the food will be gluten-free, dairy-free and locally sourced.

An Evening with Daniel Kish
Tuesday, December 5th

Hey everyone, Dave Booda here.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Daniel Kish.

Daniel has been blind since birth, and uses echolocation to navigate the world. Most blind people stay within their zones of comfort, and yet he travels 3-4 months out of the year doing speaking tours and training other blind folks on echolocation.

Let me just stop there so we can appreciate what that means.

Navigating the world without sight is difficult, we get that. Now imagine training someone else is blind when you yourself are blind. You have to show them where to go, keep them away from danger and track their movements as well as your own.

This is just the beginning of what makes Daniel fascinating and impressive. He has taken his 50+ years of living in this world as a blind man developed a deep philosophical understanding about human nature. I’ve learned so much from him about what it means to “adapt” and how all of life is a kind of adaptation.

This is a rare, evening workshop with Daniel you don’t want to miss.

Daniel will also be accompanied by Derrick Tween, a student that has been working with him for several years. I got the chance to meet and interview Daniel and Derrick last year and Derrick’s story is equally fascinating. You can watch the interview below.

This workshop will move you through an active and interactive understanding of what it means to see. It includes deep listening and touch activities as well as movement activities.

We may also go on a walk or hike through the community, experience an interactive ball game, and there will be thoughtful discussion about what it really means to see.


Tuesday, December 5th, 5:30-9pm

Private villa in Ramona, California

$40 early bird
$50 regular price

Daniel Kish is the lead Founder of World Access for the Blind.

This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization uniquely combines a self directed, no limits approach with expertise in perceptual development, positive psychology, person-centered instruction, and public education to develop and mobilize innovative, high impact strategies to facilitate self directed achievement by challenging all forms of blindness throughout the world.

Daniel holds Master’s degrees in both Developmental Psychology and Special Education, emphasizing perceptual development, family dynamics, and children at risk.

He also holds two national certifications in Orientation and Mobility, COMS and NOMC. Daniel is the first totally blind individual to obtain both certifications.

Click for Darkness Experiment II (Dec 6-10)