A. Hameed Ali was born in Kuwait in 1944. At the age of eighteen, he moved to the USA to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his Ph.D. in 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.
Hameed’s interest in the truth of human nature and the true nature of reality resulted in the creation and unfoldment of the Diamond Approach®:
“The Diamond Approach is a path of wisdom, an approach to the investigation of Reality and work on oneself that leads to human maturity and liberation. Because of our particular vision of Reality it is not completely accurate to think of this approach as spiritual work, for this work does not separate the spiritual from the psychological, neither does it see these two as separate from the physical everyday life and scientific investigation of the content of perception. However, because we live in a society where the prevailing thought is that of the separated facets of Reality, the closest category recognized in this mentality, to our approach, is that of a spiritual path or exploration.”
Some of Hameed’s many books:
- Runaway Realization: Living a Life of Ceaseless Discovery
- The Power of Divine Eros: The Illuminating Force of Love in Everyday Life
- The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence
- Brilliancy: The Essence of Intelligence (Diamond Body Series)
- Essence With the Elixir of Enlightenment: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization
Karen Johnson is a co-founder of the Diamond Approach as it is taught in the Ridhwan School, a contemporary original spiritual understanding and path, expressing timeless wisdom on self-realization using the insights of our time. She is a colleague and friend of Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas). Her life is dedicated to the discovery of inner freedom and sharing the treasures with humankind.
In this interview, we discussed how the Diamond Approach is evolving, what differentiates it from other traditions, and the most recent developments of the past 15 years, about which Karen and Hameed have only recently begun to teach, speak and write.
Neither the depths of spirit nor the surface of the mundane world can adequately express what reality is and what is possible for each of us. How can our human lives be both the arena for spiritual practice and enlightenment, and the occasion for our true being to express its infinite possibilities?
When we realize that we are each the miracle of matter and spirit and at the same time we are neither, our everyday ordinary experiences can become doorways to further possibilities of reality, of awakening to our spiritual potential in its endless possibilities. True Being lives through the particulars of our lives, utilizing them to reveal its potentialities. The Diamond Approach explores how to use our personal situations as occasions for practice and learning, and as opportunities for expression of our finer spiritual qualities. It enables people to work with their everyday experiences of work, relationships, play, creativity, love, sex and so on to learn to be the transcendent living a human life. Its students learn to employ each particular situation within this world to go beyond it in a way that includes it. Inclusive transcendence enables our human consciousness to view reality beyond the concepts of duality and nonduality. Each particular situation affords us the opportunity to use its energies and forces to liberate and optimize our experience. Following such path, it becomes natural to be of help to others and to life in general.
Recorded 10/23/2015 at the Science and Nonduality Conference.
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
YouTube Video Chapters:
- 00:00:00 – Introduction to Hameed Ali and Karen Johnson
- 00:03:39 – Reconciling Enlightenment with Human Relationships
- 00:07:01 – Recognizing Unity in Relationships
- 00:10:27 – Non-duality and the Fabric of Reality
- 00:13:29 – The Qualities of Personal Relating
- 00:16:27 – Understanding Personalness and Relationships
- 00:19:19 – Relationships as Tools for Growth and Expansion
- 00:21:48 – Using the Relationship to Optimize Truth and Growth
- 00:24:28 – The Expansion of Non-Dual Experience in Relationships
- 00:27:13 – A Unique Friendship
- 00:29:39 – The Unconventional Bond
- 00:31:46 – The Power of Libido in Relationships
- 00:34:30 – Taking Risks and Replenishing the Genius
- 00:37:14 – The Importance of Seeing and Being Seen in Relationships
- 00:40:05 – Shifting of Gears in Relationship
- 00:42:56 – Unleashing Energies for Heart and Mind Nourishment
- 00:45:34 – Unity and Oneness in Relationships
- 00:48:00 – The Paradox of Being One
- 00:50:59 – The Rich Possibilities of Relationships
- 00:53:58 – Falling in Love and Inquiry in the Diamond Approach
- 00:56:24 – The Power of Inquiry and Love
- 00:59:26 – Dialectic Inquiry and Relationship Building
- 01:02:39 – The Practice of Self-Exploration
- 01:05:26 – Passion for the Teaching and Deep Connection
- 01:08:13 – The Discovery of Oneness
- 01:10:48 – The Dimension of Friendship
- 01:13:47 – Tele-somatic Events and Soul Connections
- 01:16:05 – The Patterns of Consciousness in Relationships
- 01:18:24 – The Diamond Approach Online
- 01:20:23 – Teaching Opportunities and New Groups
- 01:21:40 – Musical Performance