HAMEED AND KAREN - Co-Founders of the Diamond Approach
“Awakening through the joy of discovery and the love of truth opens you to Ridhwan – the essential quality of heart which is expressed as total contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment and arises when you’re liberated. It is also the name of our school.”
The Ridhwan School is home to the Diamond Approach and a community of travellers on this path of self-discovery who feel a deep connection and affinity with this teaching.
Every student in a Diamond Approach group and those working individually with a Diamond Approach teacher are members of the Ridhwan School. Currently, there are approximately 4500 students in the school worldwide.
The Ridhwan School supports and encourages the establishment of Diamond Approach groups by making available the teaching in ways that are accessible to those who have a resonance for this path. There are Diamond Approach students in ongoing groups from 42 countries.
The Ridhwan School is the living field of interaction between the teaching, the members of its spiritual community, and the various organisational and legal structures needed to support the school’s functioning.
The school community manifests a field of trusting presence and deep learning based on many continuous years of shared personal inquiry, dedication to practice, love of truth for its own sake, and joy in its revelation.
The Ridhwan Foundation
The Ridhwan Foundation is the non-profit organisation established in 1983 to preserve the integrity of the Diamond Approach teaching. The Ridhwan Foundation is the umbrella organisation of the Diamond Approach.
The Foundation has oversight of the Ridhwan School as a whole. It has responsibility for training, supporting, and ensuring the quality, capacity and integrity of qualified members of the school to assume the role and responsibilities of Diamond Approach teachers.
Meet the founders of the
Hameed Ali, whose pen name is A.H. Almaas, and Karen Johnson are the co-founders of the Diamond Approach as taught by the Ridhwan School based in Berkeley, California.
This path has been revealed primarily through the shared exploration of Hameed and Karen who have been friends, colleagues and fellow travellers of the inner realms for over 40 years.
Hameed observed that in the midst of ordinary living the teaching emerged through a wide range of shared inquiries, awakenings, discoveries and revelations. While each supported the other in the process of the teaching revealing itself, Karen notes that Hameed was its main messenger and “a conduit for this fine gift that was beyond either of us.”
Hameed Ali (pen name A.H. Almaas)
Being has been continually revealing to me its many facets and dimensions, always in spontaneous and unexpected revelations. This has transformed my consciousness and life in ways I never dreamed of and led me to states of realization I never imagined existed.
The moment I say ‘yes’ to my experience, with all my heart, regardless of what it is, the waves start to subside, the clouds begin to dissipate. Calmness, peace, gentleness, an exquisite contentment.
Such a unifying and vivifying experience of life is our rightful inheritance as human beings. And it is only a glimpse, a flavour of the potentiality of human experience.
Our friendship, rooted as it is in the exploration of Being, has traversed depths and domains unknown in most friendships. Our school is like an island of goodness in a turbulent world.
In recognition of this living truth, I said “yes” in a whisper that shook my world.
There was nothing to move toward, nothing to try and attain. I was immersed in the simple pleasure of Being that is found in the middle of now.
The real question was no longer “What else is going to fulfil me?” but “How am I choosing to function and serve with the gifts that I have”
We were discovering that practice done in a state of contentment, abundance and settledness – rather than from dissatisfaction and striving – made it natural to feel plentiful and find ways to share the bounty with others.
Our shared delight in the wondrous universe of discovery – this was the real bond of our friendship.
A.H. Almaas - The pen name of Hameed Ali
Curious to know more about the story of the Diamond Approach path?
Read, The Jeweled Path by Karen Johnson. This book tells the inside story of how the Diamond Approach path came about and offers a context for the emergence of this teaching.