This is an overview of the Diamond Approach, a spiritual teaching that shows us that spirit is not one thing, but has an infinite multitude of qualities. This teaching helps us recognize spirit in its many forms when it shows up in IFS therapy. Click here for more about how that can happen.
The Diamond Approach
“By making intimate contact with the truth of your everyday life, you can know the depths of who and what you are. You can learn to invite Being itself to provide you with profound guidance and understanding for your inner journey of self-discovery. You can come home to the still sweet simplicity of spirit while living in today’s complex world.” – A.H.Almaas*
This is the fundamental understanding of this teaching, which has become a unique modern spiritual work school developed by A.H.Almaas in California.
As Almaas explains further, his teaching is:
“… a path of wisdom, an approach to the investigation of Reality and a method of working on oneself that leads to human maturity and liberation. It is a spiritual teaching, a method of connecting with our spiritual nature and bringing it into our life. … (It) represents a new paradigm in human/spiritual knowledge and understanding. It is not a synthesis of existing knowledge, but rather a new, more integrated understanding of the entire human psyche – ego, personality, soul – and the psyche’s relationship with its fundamental nature.” **
The aim of the school is self-realization in a gradual, systematic way that is always completely responsive to our unique personal history, capabilities and needs.
This involves a dynamic form of teaching which supports the unfoldment of the soul through the process of open-ended inquiry into our personal experience. This process naturally and gradually activates the unconscious psychological barriers to self-realization that are unique to each of us. Over time, as these barriers are made fully conscious, and become more and more transparent to us, we can start to contact and mobilise our deepest potential, or Essence. In time, Essence becomes the source of self-understanding and the guide for the soul’s journey Home.
The Diamond Approach is unique in its understanding that our Essence is not just a uniform Presence, but has many distinct qualities or aspects, like the many facets of a diamond.
Some of these aspects are Joy, Love, Will, Compassion, Peace, Clarity, Intelligence, Strength, Personal Essence and Absolute Nature. It is also unique in its very precise understanding of the ego’s barriers to each aspect, and in its methods of working with these barriers to reveal the hidden Essence.
In the Diamond Approach we work to rediscover and fully experience the preciousness of Essence—the “honey” or “elixir” of enlightenment, and also that part of ourselves which is most true, real and substantial. Precise knowledge of how this happens, step by step, aspect by aspect, is one of the unique contributions of this approach.***
Rather than fight against the ego’s barriers to self realization, this teaching invites us to understand them from a radical perspective, not merely as barriers but as doorways. They are both locks and keys. Hurt and the hostility that covers it are not simply blocks to genuine compassion; fully experienced, they allow us to access infinite love and compassion for ourselves and others. Anger is not just a shallow substitute for real strength; experienced and understood deeply, it opens into the expansion, capacity and vitality that is our birthright.****
The fundamental approach is a process of open inquiry into whatever arises in our experience in the moment, be it an emotion, a sensation, a thought, a belief or a memory. We inquire into the truth of our personal everyday experience, working with presence, sincerity, compassion and precise awareness, without judgement or goal. We inquire into our awareness at all levels of the self, including body, mind, emotions and spirit. Nothing in our experience of ourselves is left out, and ultimately every part of the personality comes to be included in the process so that it can be refined and purified by the action of Essence. This inquiry into the Truth of our own experience is what guides us on our journey towards personal liberation, Freedom and Home.
The Diamond Approach shows us that our personality is actually a necessary stage of our spiritual development, and rather than being a barrier, holds the keys to our liberation.
Thus all self exploration undertaken with openness, sincerity and a deep desire to seek truth, insight and meaning can be a part of our ongoing spiritual journey and path to Essence and self realization.
* See ridhwan.org
The official site for the Diamond Approach
** See www.ahalmaas.com
The personal site for A.H.Almaas, founder of the Diamond Approach
*** See diamondapproachaustralia.com
The site for the Australian DA group.
**** See Davis, John. The Diamond Approach
A book explaining the basic concepts of the teaching.
You will also find more about healing into spirit in this article