Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Diamond Approach a religion?
No. The Diamond Approach is a framework for inner development, not an ideology or belief system. Students are welcome from all walks of life, religious and spiritual traditions. Many students continue to deepen their own religious or spiritual traditions. Men and women of all nationalities, creeds, generations, abilities and sexualities may participate at any level of DEA and the Ridhwan School.
Is the Diamond Approach a form of psychotherapy?
No. The Diamond Approach is a spiritual path that can lead to the realisation and actualisation of our true nature, the greatest possible achievement in this life. Many additional benefits may arise from such development, but the Diamond Approach is not intended to provide benefits of a material, psychological or healing nature. Any gains in these areas are incidental. Rather, this work supports open-ended inquiry with Presence into our unfoldment, without goals or objectives.
What is the goal of the Diamond Approach?
The Diamond Approach does not have one goal for everyone to achieve. It maps reality in all of its dimensions and helps each individual get to the place he or she is interested in, and capable of, at any given time. An attitude of openness is central to the Diamond Approach. The most important tool used in this approach is inquiry. This inquiry is open ended, and is used to reveal and develop the Truth at its many levels and dimensions.
If we can say the Diamond Approach has a goal it is to realise the truth at progressively deeper levels until one reaches the ultimate Truth, the Absolute, and to become integrated into that truth so that we are a living presence and embodiment of that truth. This integration is not intended to be merely transcendent but rather to be applied in the world of daily activities. One perspective of the Diamond Approach is to be in the world but not of it. This means to participate in human society, and contribute to it. At the same time, it also means to not be of the world, to not be a product of the conditioning and influences of the world, of society, but to be of the real world, our true nature, the spiritual dimension.
What is a spiritual path?
A path implies the connecting of one point with another. It is an experiential process to be traversed, not a philosophy to be learned or accepted. It involves the personal transformation of the person on the particular path. A spiritual path is one which can potentially lead to the realisation and actualisation of our true nature. To realise true nature means to have experience of it, and to be able to discriminate between that and our ordinary states. To actualise true nature means to achieve a level of integration that permits the embodiment of that deeper dimension of our being.
What is the time commitment for being a DEA student?
Becoming a DEA student involves a significant commitment of time. There are three retreats each year totalling 13 days. In addition there are small group meetings between each retreat (usually six meetings per year lasting three hours each). Students also attend individual sessions with a teacher (approximately eight to ten 55 minute sessions per year). Beyond these basic requirements students develop individual practices such as daily meditation, engage in inquiry processes with fellow students and pursue personal reading. These additional activities are self-directed and dependent on a student’s life situation and stage of development.
What happens at each DEA retreat?
Each retreat has a particular theme associated with a core teaching of the Diamond Approach. The same teaching is provided to all students no matter where they are in the world. In all its meetings DEA uses an experiential approach that includes talks, spiritual practices (e.g. meditation, sensing, movement and life practice), experiential exercises in pairs, triads and small groups, large group discussion and personal exploration. Usually a retreat day commences at 9.30am and concludes at 5.30pm. The day is divided into two three hour sessions with a 90 minute break for lunch. Each session starts with some form of meditation and is followed by a specific teaching related to the theme of the retreat. Students deepen their personal inquiry through experiential exercises usually in pairs or triads before re-joining the large group to process any personal and group experiences that have emerged in response to the teaching and the experiential exercises.