The Diamond Approach© to Living Your Realization
By Sanjen Miedzinski, Ph.D.



Many of us have had wonderful moments of spiritual opening - through meditation, movement practices, chanting, ritual or by the grace of a wonderful teacher. Sometimes these moments arise instead in the midst of an intense life experience - giving birth, running a marathon, or being with a dying family member.

Sadly, after a period of expansion, we often find ourselves suddenly "snapped back" into our usual personality - in the heat of an argument with a partner, at home alone and feeling lost and lonely, or frightened in the face of a financial or a health challenge. It's as if we never had those spiritual moments.

How can we sustain the wisdom we have? Why do we so readily "lose it?" The Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas is a spiritual path that works with that question. Integrating the perspectives of modern psychology with ancient spiritual wisdom, Almaas provides us with three answers.

First, Western psychology can help us understand how qualities of Essence or Being such as Love, Joy, Compassion, or true Will, Strength or Power, can be blocked, limited or distorted by early childhood conditioning

For example: You have an experience of Love, but what it triggers is how unloved you felt as a child. You have an experience of great Joy, but it brings up your deeply depressed mother who couldn't tolerate such aliveness. An uncommon Strength arises but you become frightened because such strength was punished when you were a child.

Next, the Diamond Approach recognizes that childhood conditioning is reflected in the body, in patterns of chronic tension, in interrupted or in limited breathing and sometimes in full trauma patterns. It is not enough to simply remember childhood experiences, one has to work with the body to open up patterns of contraction. Only when these patterns are released, can the body be transparent to, and an expression of, our True Nature.

Finally, spiritual openings challenge our commonsense view of what it means to be a person, what Reality is, and what is of value. It's one thing to dissolve into boundless awareness at a meditation retreat. But it's another to drive the car home, talk with family members, and go to work the next day. We need new understandings, support from others, and practice to go through the radical transformations needed to BE that boundless Awareness functioning as a person in the world.

The Diamond Approach is a path designed to both open students to their depths and help them work with these three types of issues. Sometimes that work involves exploring psychological issues that have been triggered by a particular spiritual experience, often it involves doing gentle breathwork to help the body open to the experiences, and finally it frequently involves working with new views of Reality and how to understand and function from them.

The Diamond Approach students belong to an ongoing group that typically meets on about eight weekends a year. Groups are limited in size and the teaching is geared to the progress of each group.

A typical weekend begins with meditation followed by a Diamond Approach teacher presenting on a particular spiritual quality or dimension. Through the teachers' presence, their talk, and other spiritual practices, a particular state is evoked. The teacher then discusses the psychological issues and/or the challenges to our normal world-view that can block that specific quality or dimension.

Students then explore their reactions to the talk by being present with and inquiring into the images, body sensations, feelings and thoughts that are arising in the moment. They do so in small groups in which fellow students support each other's inquiry with their silent presence. Over time, students also begin work with a private teacher in sessions integrating bodywork with the practice of inquiry. Gradually students will work through obscurations and increasingly make deep contact with their True Nature.

The Diamond Approach teaching unfolds over many years, exploring essential aspects such as Love, Joy, Peace, Compassion, Power, Wisdom, Strength, Will and our blocks to them, followed by teachings on the Boundless, Formless dimensions: Divine Love, Pure Presence, Non-conceptual Awareness, Creative Dynamism and our home in the Absolute.

Each new dimension stirs up conflicts and issues to be worked through. As the inner work progresses, increasingly students integrate and express their realization in a fully engaged, unique human life, which is personal and embodied, yet grounded in and arising from the vast Mystery of the Absolute.

The Diamond Approach has been flourishing in many locations in the United States, Europe and Australia. A Diamond Approach Group is now forming in San Diego and will meet on seven weekends in 2009, beginning in January.

Sanjen Miedzinski, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and ordained Diamond Approach teacher, will be leading the group. While directing the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program at John F. Kennedy University, she began using the writings of A.H. Almaas in teaching graduate courses. Eighteen years ago, she became a student in the School, and later completed their nine-year teacher training. Since she has worked with Diamond Approach groups in Holland, New York, California and Seattle.

Interested persons are invited to attend several weekends to decide if they would like to join the group. For more information, visit: ,  and Feel free to contact Sanjen at or (510) 524-1633.

The Diamond Approach© and Ridhwan© are registered trademarks of the Ridhwan Foundation.


Return to the January/February Index page