About The Diamond Approach
The Diamond Approach is based on the work of Hameed Ali who writes as AH Almaas, and his co-founder Karen Johnson. It is taught through the community of students and teachers called the Ridhwan School, which has grown around them.
There are no beliefs or dogmas that one has to take on to study the Diamond Approach. All that matters is your interest in finding out what is true in your own immediate experience.
You engage the Diamond Approach first and foremost through certain practices. These practices are all about exploring the truth of your inner world with friendly curiosity and interest, in an immediate experiential way.
- The central practice is a particular form of open exploration into your experience called diamond inquiry.
- We use various meditation practices, beginning with a concentration meditation to become more steadily in touch with your inner world
- We have a practice called “Sensing, Looking and Listening” for being more present in all circumstances of your life not just when you inquire and meditate.
Engaging with the Diamond Approach first and foremost means practicing these practices
You can learn more about the practice of inquiry at my website www.Dive-In.life and in my book Diving in the Inner Ocean, which has a foreword by AH Almaas. You’ll find a self-paced introductory course that is a great way to begin.
Teaching in Ongoing Groups
Engaging these practices kicks off a process of discovering, exploring, unfolding and transformation in your inner world. The inner world of a human being is immensely rich and complex. So the Diamond Approach includes teachings to help you orient to and explore different areas of your inner life and potential. The teaching gives you a map of some kind. You still get to explore and discover the territory yourself, and your own journey will be personal and unique. But it’s much easier and more effective with a map or a guidebook that orients you to the important features of the territory you’re exploring.
Teaching is most commonly done in an ongoing group. Groups meet regularly either in residential retreats or for non-residential weekends, and typically each retreat or weekend has a theme and you explore experientially some aspect of your experience, and the barriers and issues that relate to it.
Being a student in an ongoing group – alongside doing the practices – is the primary way to engage the fullness of the Diamond Approach.
I am one a lead teacher of two ongoing groups: Diamond Heart UK or “DHUK” in London and Diamond Approach Africa or DAAfrica in South Africa. Find out more about each group by clicking its name or selecting it from the Groups item in the top menu above.
Private Sessions and Small Groups
In addition to ongoing groups, students can work one-on-one with a teacher in an hour long private session, or in a small group of about 15 students. Here the teacher directly supports and guides you in your own inquiry. It’s like having your own private guide – you are still doing the exploring, but you have someone with you who might help you discover things that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
Inquiry in private sessions can go very deep since you have close to an hour, and can include breath work and body work to further open up your experience. Regular private sessions are recommended, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
In a small group, different students take turns working with the teacher. This has the added advantage that you can learn from others as they inquire with the teacher. You learn about territory that others are exploring, which may be relevant to you at some other time. You also learn more about how to inquire, since you see how the teacher guides others. Regular small group participation is also highly recommended to engage the path deeply.
Diamond Net / Diamond Approach Online
Finally there are ways of engaging the Diamond Approach online through various programs offered by DAO (Diamond Approach Online) or by teachers in their own capacity.
The Dive-In 1 Inquiry Course – Mindful Inquiry that I offer is one element of this broader online approach.
Diamond Approach Path
Engaging the practice of inquiry in the specific way that is taught in the Diamond Approach begins a process of unfolding and development that is called the Diamond Approach path. Always, the orientation of the path is simply to be curious and interested in your experience, whatever it may be, to find out what is true.
An ongoing group is typically open to new students for a few years and then closes. The group works through a core body of knowledge in the Diamond Approach path, exploring various qualities of our human essential nature.
- We start off exploring the experience of our consciousness itself. We see that our individual psyche or soul has elements of inherent qualities that can be discovered as pure conscious presence, or true nature. And it is shaped by our conditioning or nurture. We discover various structures within the soul such as the inner critic and psychological object relations, as well as the immediacy of presence.
- We explore various qualities of presence like strength, will, compassion, and joy that are universal and each have particular psychological issues and effects.
- We go on to look at various qualities of presence often associated with the mothering person such as love, value and nurturing.
- We look at qualities often associated with the fathering person such as support and brilliancy.
- We discover the unique person of presence that each person has the potential to be: a Pearl beyond price that is your own precious individuation of the potentials of being. It is the unique “you” that grows through the digestion of your personal history and experience.
- We explore what it takes to realise presence not just as an experience but as our very identity through the challenging process of self-realisation. This involves exploring our narcissism which means fundamentally our separation from knowing ourselves as who and what we truly are.
This process usually unfolds over about seven years. Beyond this point, the journey continues discovering various potentials and qualities of presence that inform different areas of our lives. And we go onto explore the non-dual possibilities of reality in the various boundless dimensions. Here we are not exploring only our individual consciousness, but the experience of the totality of reality.
More information about the Diamond Approach is available at the School’s website: