The following describes the Ridhwan Foundation, the Diamond Approach and the spiritual work of a Ridhwan Teacher. Your questions about any part of it are welcome.
The Ridhwan Foundation
The Ridhwan Foundation (the “Foundation”) is legally recognised as a church and the role of a teacher is equivalent to that of a minister. People are ordained as spiritual teachers of the Ridhwan Foundation, which is the name given to its ministers. They are usually referred to as teacher, teacher-minister, Ridhwan Teacher or Diamond Approach Teacher or some title of equivalence.
The Diamond Approach® -- A Spiritual Path
The Diamond Approach is the spiritual teaching, path, and method of the Ridhwan Foundation. Its aim and orientation are the development of students so they may attain spiritual maturity and completeness. The larger aim is not only to support the development of individual students, but to contribute to the development of humanity and the service of ultimate spiritual Truth.
The spiritual method of the Diamond Approach is that of open and open-ended inquiry into personal experience. This method of spiritual inquiry leads to precise and objective understanding of the various manifestations of the nature of reality through the various manifestations of personal experience in our soul. This inquiry and understanding facilitates the natural unfoldment of the soul by opening it up to its inherent spiritual nature and qualities.
The process of inquiry and understanding is always conducted in conjunction with the practice of self-remembering, meaning that it must always proceed within the context of and be supported by the practice of presence. This spiritual method is practiced in such a way that the unique unfoldment of the student’s soul is respected and supported. The Ridhwan Teacher offers guidance, which means recognising where the student is in terms of his or her unfoldment and development and facilitating the deepening and expansion of this experience to reveal the hidden potentialities of the soul.
Devotional methods, meditation and various other spiritual exercises and practices are used in the Diamond Approach, but only as supports for inquiry, presence, understanding, and unfoldment. This process, which includes inquiry, presence, understanding, and unfoldment, is the specific spiritual method of the Diamond Approach. What is important in this approach is not the particular method, but whether it supports and enhances open and open-ended inquiry in the service of facilitating the open-ended unfoldment and development of the soul.
The Diamond Approach is not a psychotherapy or therapy of any kind. It is not an approach to healing. Healing benefits may occur as a side benefit of the unfoldment of the soul in its journey toward spiritual maturity and completeness. The orientation is neither toward mending specific physical or psychological injuries nor is it toward the enhancement of external practical life, financial, political, social, sexual or otherwise, but is simply toward the natural spiritual development of the soul. Benefits in practical areas may result as by-products of the overall spiritual development of the soul but pursuing them for their own sake is not part of the Diamond Approach.
The Diamond Approach is based on the teachings of Hameed Ali and the knowledge partly contained in his books under the name of A.H. Almaas. The Diamond Approach has developed as a consequence of an inner transformation, through a specific manifestation of the guidance of Being, one’s inner teacher. This manifestation of Being accomplishes its guidance through the revelation of a particular teaching and path, which has become the Ridhwan Spiritual Work and is known as the Diamond Approach. Functioning as a teacher-minister is a matter of each teacher-minister embodying this guidance of Being to the best of his or her ability.
The Ridhwan Teacher
The qualification for teaching the Diamond Approach is the completion of a seminary program that takes approximately seven years. This program was originally conducted by Hameed Ali, and is now a part of the Ridhwan Foundation, with different directors for existing seminary programs. The completion of the seminary program and ordination of the Ridhwan Foundation is the basic qualification for an individual to teach the Diamond Approach and to use the name Ridhwan Teacher or Diamond Approach Teacher or similar designations. In addition, Ridhwan Teachers continue ongoing training and maintain an active status in the organisation.
The Diamond Approach is taught in various structures consisting of small or large groups, using evening, weekend and retreat formats. Ridhwan Teachers also teach the work in individual spiritual insight sessions which engage the process of open and open-ended inquiry discussed above.
Consistent with the usual relationship between ministers and parishioners, your work is treated with complete confidentiality with four exceptions: (1) a teacher-minister may talk with other teacher-ministers on a confidential basis, about your work if they are involved with teaching you or are conducting group, individual spiritual insight sessions or seminary trainings with you; (2) a teacher-minister might discuss your situation with another teacher-minister to gain further spiritual insight and understanding about your process of unfoldment and development. In such cases the other teacher-minister is bound to hold the information confidential; (3) in a situation where danger to yourself or another seems likely, a teacher-minister may contact appropriate people for assistance; and (4) in all situations, known or suspected child abuse to minors must be reported immediately to the proper authorities in accordance with the Ridhwan Foundation child abuse reporting policy. This includes but is not limited to child abuse discussed or learned of in any of the groups or individual spiritual insight session.
Ridhwan Teachers work with students who are members of the Ridhwan Foundation. If you are not already a member, you are considered a provisional member upon signing the receipt of this information statement. This membership is provisional while you are determining whether to continue in this teaching. At the completion of a designated period of time you will be asked to confirm your membership by paying the appropriate membership fees to the Foundation. Throughout the duration of your work it will be necessary for you to maintain your membership in the Ridhwan Foundation. Your teacher-minister will provide you with the necessary information to confirm and continue your membership in the Ridhwan Foundation and will advise you of when you are to pay the membership fees.
Individual Spiritual Insight Sessions
Ridhwan Teachers may conduct spiritual teachings in individual spiritual insight sessions which put into practice the teachings of the Diamond Approach as described in this information statement. These sessions are one modality of the teaching that are integral to and inseparable from the teaching and the teaching methods of the Diamond Approach.
Because of the specific spiritual nature of this work, no time duration can be put on a student’s work. You may terminate your work at any time, though the Foundation recommends and believes that it is very important that you allow at least some individual spiritual insight sessions prior to final termination to allow for the completion of any current area of inquiry.
Conduct of Ridhwan Foundation Members
Members of the Foundation (Ridhwan Teachers and students alike) are notified by this information statement that the following is expected of them:
- Only Active Ordained Teachers, who have been trained by the Diamond Heart and Training Institute or the Ridhwan Foundation, located in the United States, may teach the Diamond Approach. While teachings may enhance students' understanding, and therefore, enrich their own professional areas of expertise, they may not represent themselves as teachers of the Diamond Approach, though they may refer to their student status in the school.
- The teachings of the Diamond Approach through the various groups and individual insight sessions are intended to support your personal spiritual development and are not teachings or trainings for you to work with people in any mode. A seminary program may be available at times for these purposes for qualified students who have been involved in the teaching of the Diamond Approach for several years.
- In the teacher-student relationship sexual intimacy is never appropriate.
- The Teacher-student relationship is to be used only for understanding, guidance and support in the process of unfoldment and development of the individual soul.
In the course of human affairs, we recognise that grievances, complaints and conflicts may arise. All Ridhwan Teachers and students constitute the membership of the Foundation and are expected to act in a manner toward one another that expresses their commitment to truth, discovering what is true in any situation and to engage a sincere process of inquiry and understanding. Such processes are hopefully engaged beyond assigning blame, minimising, rationalising, self-deprecating guilt, or not paying full attention to objective causes and conditions behind such complaints and conflicts.
To facilitate this process of inquiry and understanding there are procedures that support direct communication between students and teacher-ministers informally and formally. First, informal meetings and attempts at understanding are recommended and encouraged. If this does not resolve the conflicts and grievances, facilitators may be made available for additional informal meetings. We resort to a formal grievance procedure (1) when informal meetings are unable to clarify and reconcile the situation or (2) when the situation is found to be inappropriate for informal meetings a formal grievance procedure is commenced by a written request to the appropriate Review Committee of the Ridhwan Foundation wherein you clearly state your grievance. The Review Committee will normally respond within two weeks of notification and will advise you of the process for investigation and resolution.
If you wish more details of this formal grievance process, your teacher-minister may provide you with this information or direct you to where you can obtain more information. The governing by-laws of the Foundation authorise and describe the general process for formal grievance and dispute resolution and are likewise available to you.
Discovery, development and preservation of the human essence is the basis of our work together. The information and processes described above are intended to support our personal development as part of the larger unfoldment of the field of the school and our society.