The Diamond Approach is a contemporary spiritual teaching based upon the premise that everything we experience in our lives can be considered to be a doorway that leads directly into our deeper spiritual nature.
The function of its philosophy is “to approach each aspect of our physical, emotional, and mental experience with acceptance and open curiosity to discover its truth.’ (Source: www.diamondapproach.org). In short, the Diamond Approach centers on practice of investigation of the self – a form of spiritual pychotherapy if you like.
A. H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali, founder of the Diamond Approach to Self-Realization, He has authored eighteen books about spiritual realization, including the Diamond Heart series, The Pearl Beyond Price, The Void, and The Alchemy of Freedom.
In addition Almaas is also the founder of the nonprofit organisation the Ridhwan School for Spiritual Development which is orientated towards preserving the Diamond teachings and in guiding its students towards realizing their true nature through endless enlightenment.
The Ridhwan School can be best described as “a loosely-knit affiliation of ongoing spiritual groups founded in 1976 by Almaas. The school is dedicated to the teaching of the Diamond Approach. It is principally based in Berkeley, California and Boulder, Colorado with other groups throughout North America and in parts of Europe and Australia. Almaas is the spiritual head of the school and individual groups are taught by qualified Ridhwan teachers. The name of the school derives from the Arabic word for “contentment”. (Source: Wikipedia.
The Story of the Movement
In her book The Jeweled Path co-founder Karen Johnson shares her personal account of her involvement in the development and expression of the Diamond Approach. The book is a biographical account of the places, people and events that were involved as Johnson and Almass forged a close relationship resulting in the transmission, or unfolding, of the Diamond Approach teachings.
The Jeweled Path is a book that will be enjoyed and appreciated by quite a narrow and specific audience. This will include the author’s friends, students of their teachings, and attendees of one of their many schools.
Outside of this the book – being that it is specifically focused upon the circumstances that gave rise to the Diamond Teachings, will perhaps not be quite so meaningful.
Nevertheless it is an interesting stpry for those who are interested in the way that Spirit unfolds itself and reveals its teachings out onto this material plane. Like so many other examples this is not an easy process of revealment and those who are involved in Johnson’s account clearly worked hard for the right to act as emmissaries for a quite specific form of gnosis.
The telling of the tale is – in the main enjoyable and engaging. It does suffer occassionally from that sense of disconnectedness that many spiritual teachers seem to fall into – one that is caused through too many years of meditation and inner work. In addition the reader is somewhat cautioned not to take too seriously the many accounts of conversational exchanges said to have taken place over four decades ago. I guess that without them though the story might have been even drier in parts.
All-in-all this is a book that students will thoroughly enjoy; for it offers a clearer basis upon which to understand the foundation of their particular stream of spiritual teaching. For the rest of us it is a little heavy going!