Over the past twenty-five years A. H. Almaas—widely recognized as a leader in integrating spirituality and psychology—has been developing and teaching the Diamond Approach, a spiritual path that integrates the insights of Sufism, Buddhism, Gurdjieff, and other wisdom traditions with modern psychology. In this new work, Almaas uses the metaphor of a "spacecruiser" to describe a method of exploring the immediacy of personal experience—a way of investigating our moment-by-moment feelings, thoughts, reactions, and behaviors through a process of open-ended questioning. The method is called the practice of inquiry, and Spacecruiser Inquiry reveals what it means to engage with this practice as a spiritual path: its principles, challenges, and rewards.
Readers of Almaas' previous books will not be disappointed. This new work is intended as a practical guide to applying the methodology of the Diamond Approach to personal inquiry. The true power of this book lies in its ability to address 'a part of us that does not inhabit the words in our mind but lives disguised in the varied content of our life.
PART ONE: Mystery and Inquiry
The Diamond Body Series
This series of books is an attempt to outline the methodology of the Diamond Approach, a contemporary spiritual teaching with its own direct understanding and view of reality. The Diamond Body series refers to the practice and embodiment of the Diamond Approach.
The Essence of Intelligence
Intelligence is one of the defining characteristics of human beings: an inherent ability to respond to the world with awareness, knowledge, learning, and insight. Most considerations of human intelligence are based on the notion that intelligence is a product of brain functioning. A. H. Almaas introduces here a radically different viewpoint, one that recognizes an actual quality of consciousness as the source of intelligence. He calls this source the Brilliancy of our true nature.
The presentation of his understanding of intelligence is followed by in-depth dialogues with his students on the various barriers to recognizing and embodying this essential quality. In particular, an unresolved relationship with one's father is found to shape the experience of Brilliancy. Using a Socratic method that draws upon techniques of body-centered, Gestalt, psychodynamic, and cognitive psychologies, Almaas helps participants work through their defenses and conflicts surrounding this issue and then, diverging from pychotherapeutic practice, guides them in discovering their own Brilliancy.
Almaas’s work evidences its own brilliancy in its capacity to ... [guide us in that inquiry and] help us to contact the subtlety and power of intelligence as a presence in our experience. With great depth of insight, he articulates both the sychodynamic and the phenomenological barriers to this aspect of our true nature. In addition to the talks where Almaas shares this understanding, Essence of Intelligence offers us a unique glimpse of the power of the method of inquiry that Almaas has developed. Transcripts of the author’s work with his students make up the latter half of this book. And it is here that we witness his students discovering the blocks to their own essential intelligence. Through Almaas’s open curiosity and the guidance of his questions, they confront their conditioning, and in that process begin to experience intelligence directly. (from the preface - Brilliancy: The Essence of Intelligence)
A.H. Almaas is one of the foremost spiritual teachers of our time. His methodology for realizing true nature is precise, teachable, and remarkably clear. This book gives the reader a sense of what it is like to do "The Work" of the Diamond Approach, incorporating both lecture material and transcripts of interactions with students. His insights on intelligence as a fundamental aspect of our innate essence rather than as a mental activity-- the Absolute unfolding as creation-- provides a framework and a method for experiencing the reality that underlies ordinary perception.
— Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.
In this potent and luminous work, the master teacher A. H. Almaas brings clarity concerning the spiritual ground of Intelligence which evokes and quickens the reader into a remembrance of her true nature. The teachings of the Diamond Approach are at once evolutionary and experiential. The once and future gnosis offered here reveals both the journey of consciousness and the quality of brilliancy that is its realization. Throughout this astonishing work, the presence of the teacher is evident in actual facilitation with his students as well as in words that themselves are transparent to transcendence.
— Jean Houston, Ph.D.
Brilliancy and Intelligence
Presence and Time
Read an extract
Order on Shambhala
Order on Amazon
The Unfolding Now:
Realizing your True Nature through the practice of Presence
The hidden richness that rests in our life, in our heart, in our experience is here—not over there, in some better life, in some other house, in some other career, in some other relationship or country or spiritual school. One time, perhaps, we actually knew that—and then we forgot. From time to time, we are reminded by others of that richness, or we rediscover it ourselves. But over and over, we forget.
When we lose touch with the fullness of who we really are, when we ourselves cannot recognize or appreciate it, when it is invisible to us or seems inaccessible, the knowledge that we are the location and source of what we are seeking is only abstract information, irrelevant to our personal situation. It cannot affect who we are or how we live if we can’t find this richness in our immediate experience, can’t feel it or taste it or sense it directly. In fact, what we find is that most everything in our life works against our turning that knowledge into the currency of personal inner richness.
The keys to self-knowledge and deep contentment are right here before us in this very moment—if we can simply learn to live with open awareness. In The Unfolding Now, A. H. Almaas presents a marvelously effective practice for developing the transformative quality of presence. Through a particular method of self-observation and contemplative exploration that he calls inquiry, we learn to live in the relaxed condition of simply "being ourselves," without interference from feelings of inadequacy, drivenness toward goals, struggling to figure things out, and rejecting experiences we don't want. Almaas explores the many obstacles that keep us from being present—including defensiveness, ignorance, desire, aggression, and self-hatred—and shows us how to welcome with curiosity and compassion whatever we are experiencing.
Almaas is a genius at revealing both the core qualities of Essence and the veils that obscure it, always in language that helps peel away those veils, always holding open the door to the unfolding presence and awareness that remains when the veils have dissolved. The Unfolding Now leads the reader through a masterful series of inquiry processes, invitations to sense and know ourselves at increasing levels of subtlety, gently walking us deeper and deeper into Truth.
—Sally Kempton (Durgananda), spiritual teacher and author of The Heart of Meditation: Pathways to a Deeper Experience
I love the unfolding Almaas! His clarity never diminishes, yet each book brings an increasing simplicity and gentleness. As I worked with this latest material, I felt like I was receiving a transmission of pure compassion. His strong, true voice reminds us that beyond the endless self-improvement projects and idealized mystical states with which the spiritual path is strewn lies the simple but exquisite taste of our own being.
—Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Loving the Real
Learning to Be Real
Hands Off Your Experience
Making Space for Everything
Opening to Ourselves
Cultivating a Bold Vulnerability
Following Truth to Meaning and Harmony
Finding True Acceptance
Hatred and the Power to Be
Ignorance and Direct Knowing
Freedom from the Filters of the Mind
The Trap of Identification
Lighting Up the Now
A Mercurial Sense of Self
The Personal Thread of Meaning
Being without Mind
To Be and Not to Be
The Preciousness of Each Moment
Read an extract
Order on Shambhala
Order on Amazon