Aaron Rodgers hopes the darkness will help him see the light about his future.
“I’ve got a pretty cool opportunity to do a little self-reflection in some isolation,” Rodgers said. “And then after that I feel like I’ll be a lot closer to a final, final decision.”
Rodgers, 39, said he has not decided if he will play in 2023, whether that’s with the Packers or another team, amid reports that he could be traded.
“For sure; it’s a real thing, 100 percent,” Rodgers said of retirement. “That’s why it’s going to be important to get through this week and to take my isolation retreat and just to be able to contemplate all things my future and then be able to make a decision that I think is best for me moving forward and in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward.”
He said last summer that he had taken part in ayahuasca ceremonies that can produce hallucinations similar to the drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT). He said the darkness retreat does not include the use of ayahuasca.
“It’s just sitting in isolation, meditation, dealing with your thoughts,” Rodgers said. “It stimulates DMT, so there can be some hallucinations in there but it’s just kind of sitting in silence, which most of us never do. We rarely even turn our phone off or put the blinds down to sleep in darkness. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Rodgers said the retreat will be alone in the confines of a small house in an undisclosed location. He said meals are delivered, but otherwise there is no other contact with the outside world. However, he said he could leave at any point during the stay if he chose to do so.
“It’s just sitting in isolation, meditation, dealing with your thoughts. It stimulates DMT, so there can be some hallucinations in there but it’s just kind of sitting in silence, which most of us never do. We rarely even turn our phone off or put the blinds down to sleep in darkness. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Rodgers won the amateur portion of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in partnership with professional golfer Ben Silverman on Sunday. During the tournament, fans could be heard trying to convince Rodgers to play for their team. Among the teams believed to be most interested in Rodgers should the Packers trade him are the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets.
“I’m not a free agent, I’m under contract with the Packers,” Rodgers said. “That gets lost in the conversation a lot. In years past, there’s been a couple years where we got ousted from the playoffs by the Niners and then I went and played at Pebble and those years were very razzing, I would say, from the crowd. A lot of Niner yells and other various well-timed trash talk.
“This year was a lot more positive, I think. The sentiment was very positive, people wanting me to get traded to their team, and the Raiders fans were probably the most vocal and the most numerous.”