What most of us think of as our free will is actually a way of controlling—or trying to control—what is going to happen. It is what society thinks of as “iron will” or “willpower,” believing only we as separate human selves have the power to effect change and progress.
But in fact, the conventional sense of free will is outwardly directed and ignores the larger universal will. We never ask, “Why do I want this or that result?” And wanting one thing or the other to happen can often be contrary to the natural flow of reality.
The way the Diamond Approach sees will is very different: as something that is aligned with the harmonious unfoldment of reality. When we are in that alignment, our actions don’t merely feel free; they are free.
When we are not aligned, our conventional idea of free will is still operating through our old psychological filters, simply repeating the patterns and strategies we developed as children to exert our freedom. In that way, it actually limits our options. Instead, true will begins with an openness to what arises, and invites us to choose actions that are effective and appropriate for our natural unfoldment.
Initially, though, it can feel as though surrendering our conventional idea of will is collapsing or giving up, submitting to the will of another, and robbing us of our agency.
Working with the white latifa can also bring up early experiences in which we felt forced into certain shapes or into obedience to someone else’s view. This can stir up the sense of helplessness we felt in those circumstances. But if we can be with the helplessness, it can reveal that our discomfort and resistance to it is what created the reactions at the core of our conventional “free will.” And we can finally move beyond them.
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.
This course is the fourth part of the 6-part online teaching series Lightness of Being. Each course in this series may be purchased individually, or you can register for the full series for a combined discount.
“Ridhwan” is a Sufi word. It means “satisfied and satisfying.” Our school, home to more than 4,000 students across the globe, has the potential to both help you to be fulfilled and to help others be fulfilled. Students learn to ground, sensitize, recognize, and trust the inherent guidance of Being.
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. This radical acceptance of our situation allows something to come through that puts us in touch with our spirituality.
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 do meditation and other exercises, but the main method is Diamond Inquiry™: non-judgment of what we’re experiencing, which brings crisp clarity into one’s own truth.
A recording of the online workshop where you’ll hear talks from Karen, participate in guided meditations and experiential exercises, and learn from other participants in the Q&A portions.
This is a recording of an online workshop.
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To make online spiritual support more accessible to our global community, especially during the pandemic, we offer two additional “Pay It Forward” payment options in addition to the regular fee. For those who need help, we offer a reduced tuition option, and for those who are able to help, we offer the chance to add a “Pay It Forward” donation to regular tuition, with those donations going directly to provide scholarship opportunities for others.