This venture is the first of its kind for the Diamond Approach teaching. Moreover, we are not aware of this kind of offering being attempted in other spiritual traditions up till now. This is an invitation to participate in an experiment to see whether it is possible to delve into the substantive knowledge of our path using the current medium of the internet.
We have taught this spiritual body of knowledge for the past 45 years through ongoing groups that gather regularly in person for weekends and retreats. These groups gather committed individuals who become steeped in the teachings and are supported by integrative practices. The teachings build upon one another in depth and breadth. Many of our students have been on this journey for years and some for decades.
The Diamond Approach spiritual teaching has its unique view and methodology. It is a path of liberation and realization. Our orientation is to be fully in the world with all our human capacities and attributes, backed by the felt known that is beyond and permeates the physical layer of our ordinary world.
Our recent experience with providing interested individuals a taste of our teachings online has given us insight into the modality and its potential for disseminating this spiritual teaching. When we began a few years ago to offer courses as initial small steps into our spiritual path and practices, we did not realize that eventually this would be useful information. Because of COVID-19 we were forced to move all our current in-person groups online for the sake of safety.
We have been inspired by the depth of experience that emerged from such a small sampling of our work online, and we feel the real possibility of offering an ongoing group for the seekers who want this work. This also bodes well for those who want to engage with this path but are unable to participate in our traditional in-person format. We still hold the view that the best way to engage with our teaching is through our in-person groups and private teaching sessions. Joining any of the newly forming, in-person groups will offer that opportunity when meetings can safely resume.
Since our positive online teaching experience the last few years has surprisingly shown us that this new model is a possibility, we feel it is worthwhile to pursue online teaching to discern how much and in what ways it will be effective in conveying the depth of knowledge and practices of our path. We have the sense that more might be possible than we have done so far, and that there is a good chance that with the right individuals the online group will function to support the practices and realization of students who engage with this group.
Our intention is to develop an ongoing group of committed students that can go on for some years. Students usually stay as long as they like, but what we offer deepens over time and there is no end to the spiritual illumination and maturation. That is a feature of our path: there is no endpoint. It continues to be a journey for the spirited, adventuring nomad who is not satisfied with knowing only one state of consciousness but is interested in traveling unhindered into the magical display of the inner universe.
We are offering the Lightness of Being series to help you find out about this work by getting an experiential sense of it. You can then better know if you feel an inner resonance with this path and explore your interest in joining such a group.
When the group actually begins, we will be speaking to a continuum of experience from the individual perspective to the nondual and beyond. We anticipate there will be a wide range of individuals with varied experience on the spiritual spectrum. We are also inviting individuals from across the globe, thereby bringing in many cultures and views.
Timing for the meetings will be limited to mornings, 9:30 am Pacific, since it was necessary to determine the time zones that will most easily accommodate live teaching. Each meeting will be three and a half hours long and will contain meditation practice, delivery of a particular teaching through a talk, interpersonal exercises for the participants, and a period of questions and answers that end the meeting. You can investigate what this would mean for your time zone and if it works for you to be involved.
Prior to the official start of the ongoing group in September of 2021 there will be an application process. We will be admitting only those who we recognize as a good fit for the journey. We want to make sure as much as possible that this teaching will be right for you, that it will benefit you and move you along the inner journey home. To truly engage with a path requires that you feel it is something that is the necessary next step for you. We are offering the Lightness of Being series as a way for you to gauge whether the teaching lights you up to its potential. We will provide more details about the application process as we move along in the year.
At some point, prospective group members will begin to have sessions with a private teacher, who will help you to practice inquiry and to learn how to move with the material in the process of understanding and integrating what is coming up for you. Private teaching and guidance sessions will begin prior to acceptance into the group because it is a way for you to get a sense of the process of how the teaching will unfold for you personally, and it will also give us a chance to see if the work is right for you.
Welcome to our first-ever fully online exploration of the Diamond Approach to Inner Realization, a contemporary, continuously unfolding spiritual path that helps us bridge our perceived division between human life and the sacred.
The Diamond Approach path is an original teaching drawing on modern psychology and ancient spiritual wisdom. Rather than bypassing the messiness of the human experience, this path helps us not only to embrace all of it, but to see everything that arises as a doorway to transformation.
The central practice of inquiry supports us in touching into our true spiritual nature—its strength, compassion, love, clarity, freedom, and many other qualities—and helps us bring those qualities into every part of our lives. This inner exploration liberates us from the confines of our rigid beliefs and structures, allowing us to embody the radical transformation of experiencing ourselves as spiritual beings who are one with, rather than separate from, spirit.
There is no ideology, no belief system to follow, no special diets to adopt. Instead, this path simply helps us see our personal truth in the present moment, understand our beliefs and the impacts of our past, and find freedom from limitations so we can better respond to all of life’s demands.
The central orientation of the Diamond Approach is “to be in the world but not of it,” meaning we still wake up and handle our day-to-day responsibilities, contributing to society through our work—as scientists, gardeners, teachers, parents, or any number of roles—all the while remembering that we are ultimately reflections of something deeper.
For some 45 years, the Ridhwan Foundation has offered this vital teaching through ongoing, in-person groups that gather regularly in a physical space for retreats and other meetings. Meeting in person remains our preferred format, however, having been compelled by the pandemic to move all our teaching online, we have been encouraged by the depth of learning that has been possible through the online medium.
It is our hope that DHO1 will provide an alternative format for those who are, for whatever circumstance, unable to travel, and those who live in remote locations that make such groups inaccessible. It will be an international gathering of many cultures and backgrounds.
The Diamond Approach is a path of wisdom, an approach to the investigation of reality, and a method of working on oneself that leads to increased understanding and liberation. It connects us with our spiritual nature, bringing it into our life. The Diamond Approach represents a new paradigm in human/spiritual knowledge and understanding. It encompasses existing spiritual knowledge as well as presents new dimensions of our deepest nature. At the same time, it helps us understand the relationship of the entire human psyche—ego, personality, and soul—with its fundamental nature and shows us how these dimensions are inseparable.
The Diamond Approach is the core teaching of the Ridhwan School, a spiritual path that approaches our ordinary experiences, emotions, and sensations in a friendly way of understanding.
In the Diamond Approach, everything we experience is utilized as a doorway to our spiritual nature. Rather than negating or seeking to transcend parts of our humanness that are considered barriers to realization, we learn to approach each aspect of our physical, emotional, and mental experience with acceptance and open curiosity to discover its truth. We meditate and do other exercises, but the main method is inquiry: non-judgment of and interest in what we’re experiencing, which brings crisp clarity into one’s own truth.
During Big Group meetings, the whole group gathers to hear and explore the core Diamond Approach teachings. These live, interactive lectures are led by a Diamond Approach teacher and take place on a Saturday and Sunday morning, beginning September 25-26 2021. Each meeting includes a period of meditation, followed by the teaching, interactive, small group exercises, and time for questions and comments with the teacher(s).
During each session, you’ll receive instruction in various Diamond Approach practices including meditation, vocalization, visualization, sensing, movement, and our unique practice of inquiry. Because this path recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each person’s experience and expression, these practices are designed to help you experientially explore and test the truth of the teaching for yourself.
Because the teaching builds on itself, it is expected that students will participate in all weekends. All sessions are recorded so that students may make up any sessions they miss and students who join after the group has begun can catch up. Each Big Group meeting is offered on a sliding scale of either $60, $90, or $120 per weekend. There will be eleven Big Group meetings per year.
These are subgroups of the Big Group, each bringing together 15-20 consistent students and usually meeting once a month. This more intimate setting provides students with an opportunity to inquire into their experience with the help of a teacher, and also to be impacted by work the teacher does with their peers. Within this shared field, students get to experience and know each other in more true and meaningful ways. It is also another layer of support that can take us more deeply into the immediacy of our individual experience without the structure of a specific teaching. It is simply about where you are now, in this moment.
DHO1 students are required to attend at least ten small group meetings per year. Each small group meeting is $25.
A unique feature of the Diamond Approach is one-on-one private sessions with a DA teacher. DA teachers have been rigorously trained in various spiritual modalities and psychological knowledge over many years. The steady, mature support they offer through private sessions is considered “the heart” of our inner work and essential for helping students reconnect with their authentic nature. Sessions are specifically tailored to a student’s particular needs and level of development and designed to help students navigate their individual experience to reveal the underlying meaning and depth of that experience. In this way, they are critical to deepening students’ spiritual development and integrating the teachings into their daily lives.
While many students benefit from monthly private sessions, five sessions per year is the required minimum.
This course will explore the lataif (plural of latifa), those subtle qualities of our being that invite us to experience the pure, unshakable truth of what we are, helping dispel the belief that we are individuals who are somehow separate from our spirit. Each latifa takes us beyond our ordinary cognitive world into the realm of lived, embodied experience of these subtle qualities, allowing us to touch into our inner seeing, inner hearing, inner tasting. This in turn makes our experiences richer and fuller, allowing the human spirit to thrive and expand.
This course is strongly recommended for all members of the new online group.
Orientation meetings are an opportunity to learn more and ask questions about DHO1. The first Diamond Path Orientation will be April 18th 2021.
In this meeting you will hear from DHO1 teacher, Zarina Maiwandi, who will talk about what this path is, our practices and methodology for inner exploration, and the new online group. The DHO1 group administrator, Ash Schoep, will talk about the practical aspects of joining the new online group. Diamond Approach students who will share about their experiences being on the path and part of the worldwide Ridhwan School community.
Mini-sessions are a way for you to get a sense of the process of how the teaching will unfold for you personally and also give us a chance to see if the work is right for you. You’ll receive more information about mini-sessions when you sign up to receive announcements.
We will be accepting new members to this group through 2022. At some point, the group will close to new members once the material is too far along for new members to make up. Group members will be required to make a one-year commitment.
Everyone interested in joining the group will complete an information statement (describing the nature of the work that we do in the Diamond Approach and a legal document required by the Ridhwan Foundation) and an application which will be reviewed by the teachers of the group. We will begin accepting applications online in the Spring of 2021. You’ll receive information on how to apply to join the group when you sign up to receive announcements.
If accepted into DHO1, you will become a member of the Ridhwan Foundation. The Foundation is the governing and administrative organization that is home to the Diamond Approach.
All members of the Ridhwan Foundation are required to pay annual dues to the Ridhwan Foundation. This is part of our legal obligation. These dues help to support the administrative, communications, and legal processes necessary to run the organization. Dues for the new online group will average $125 per year with options to pay more or less based on circumstances.
DHO1 members will be required to make up missed teaching weekends and invited to make up the recommended introductory course, Lightness of Being. Access to the missed teaching weekends will be provided upon registration. You can participate in the recommended introductory course by registering here.
A.H. Almaas (pen name for Hameed Ali) is the founder of the Diamond Approach, a contemporary teaching that developed within the context of both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychology theories. He has authored eighteen books about spiritual realization, including the Diamond Heart series, The Pearl Beyond Price, The Void, and The Alchemy of Freedom. He is the founder of the Ridhwan School for Spiritual Development, an inner work school devoted to the realization of True Nature. The orientation of the school is directed toward guiding students to realize their true nature to the fullest realization and further still, to endless enlightenment.
Karen Johnson is the co-developer of the Diamond Approach as it is taught in the Ridhwan School today, having worked alongside Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) for the last 40 years. Karen was trained in art and dance and began the journey into the spiritual universe at 14 years old with the guidance of her parents.
First, she was introduced to yoga and meditation and then learned about other forms of spiritual practice, which allowed her to develop her innate paranormal capacities. After attending California College of Arts and Crafts, she befriended Hameed Ali, and with him began a new trajectory into the secrets of the universe of Being, which became the Diamond Approach. Karen also received an MA in psychology at JFK University in 1990 and is the author of two books, The Jeweled Path: The Biography of the Diamond Approach to Inner Realization and The Power of Divine Eros: The Illuminating Force of Love in Everyday Life. She continues to venture into new explorations of the endless realms of our miraculous Nature.
Christof Bosch grew up in Germany, but his father was connected to Ananda Mayee Ma, a spiritual teacher in Northern India. Christof met her in his teens and found himself on an inner journey that led him to the Diamond Approach 20 years later. In between, Christof’s search brought him to ecology and philosophy. After studying forestry, he worked as a consultant for soil ecology and for many years he run an organic farm in Bavaria, where he still lives. He is a teacher of the Diamond Approach since 2006.
Zarina Maiwandi has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1999 and a teacher since 2015, working with groups in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Trained as an academic studying Western philosophy and literature, she edits books, including several written by A. H. Almaas.
Applications will open in the spring of 2021. Applications will be carefully reviewed by the teachers of the new online group. To receive announcements about the new online group application process, sign up here.
Big Group teaching weekends are live events. You will receive access to a recording of teaching weekends if you are unable to attend live.
Once payment is received for the teaching weekend you will receive an email with your login details. You will receive everything in your email inbox, including instructions on how to access the Zoom details for the live event and the recording. Please check your spam folder to locate the email that starts with ‘[DHO1].’
Working with a private teacher is an integral part of participating in the new online group. If you are accepted into the new online group, a teacher will be recommended to you.
If you would like to work with a private teacher before the new online group begins in September 2021, you can schedule a session here.
Yes, DHO1 is open to people who have previously participated in a Diamond Approach group as well as individuals seeking a secondary group. Admission to DHO1 as a secondary group will be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.