Hameed Ali, whose pen name is A.H. Almaas, and Karen Johnson are the co-founders of the Diamond Approach as taught in the Ridhwan School.
Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) was born in Kuwait before moving at age 18 to the USA to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his PhD in physics, where he was studying Einstein’s theory of general relativity and nuclear physics, when he reached a turning point in his life and destiny that led him more and more into inquiring into the psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature.
Karen Johnson was born in the USA where she was educated as an artist before receiving an MA in psychology and training as a therapist. Karen’s meeting with her long-time friend and colleague Hameed ignited her life of dedication to the discovery of inner freedom and the sharing of these treasures with humankind. She has trained teachers and taught students around the globe for over 30 years. Karen continues to serve the teaching with Hameed in the revelation of the Diamond Approach as it is taught in the Ridhwan School.
Hameed and Karen have been colleagues and fellow travellers of the inner realms for nearly 40 years. During this time Hameed (A.H.Almaas) has articulated in 17 books the spiritual path of inner realization called the Diamond Approach. This path has arisen mainly out of Hameed and Karen’s shared exploration.
Each Quasar retreat covers a different topic that addresses “the perennial hunger in the human soul for authentic depth and fundamental realness in personal experience” (Divine Eros p. xii). Hameed and Karen co-authored the book The Power of Divine Eros: The Illuminating Force of Love in Everyday Life, which is based on the two Quasar retreats held in Amsterdam (NL) and Boston (USA) in 2008. They have participated together and individually in numerous video interviews and conferences over the years.
Each year since 2007, Hameed and Karen have taught the five-day Quasar retreat together as a public event in a different city in the world. The 2016 Quasar retreat held in Sydney Australia will be the first time the event has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
Commencing with his first book in 1984 and continuing to the present, researchers and thinkers, particularly in the field of psychology, philosophy and other disciplines, have been drawn to consider the original discoveries and insights A.H. Almaas has brought forward. To highlight the scope of scholarly interest in his work, an edited list of English language citations of the writing of A.H. Almaas can be found here.