Q: What is a spiritual path?
A: A path implies the connecting of one point with another. It is an experiential process to be traversed, not a philosophy to be learned or accepted. It involves the personal transformation of the person on the particular path. A spiritual path is one which can potentially lead to the realization and actualization of our true nature.
To realize true nature means to have experience of it, and to be able to discriminate between that and our ordinary states. To actualize true nature means to achieve a level of integration that permits the embodiment of that deeper dimension of our being.
Q: Don’t all paths lead to the same goal?
A: Not exactly. Reality is one, but has many facets and aspects. If we explore the various spiritual paths, we will find that they each make one aspect of reality central to their aspirations. Some lead to a relationship with the divine, others to union with it. Some recognize the personal dimensions of existence, others consider them illusory. Some think there is a self; others aim at no self.
Q: What is the goal of the Diamond Approach?
A: The Diamond Approach does not have one goal for everyone to achieve. It maps reality in all of its dimensions and helps each individual get to the place he or she is interested in, and capable of, at any given time. An attitude of openness is central to the Diamond Approach. The most important tool used in this approach is inquiry. This inquiry is open ended, and is used to reveal and develop the truth at its many levels and dimensions.
If we can say the Diamond Approach has a goal it is to realize the truth at progressively deeper levels until one reaches the ultimate Truth, the Absolute, and to become integrated into that truth so that we are a living presence and embodiment of that truth. This integration is not intended to be merely transcendent but rather to be applied in the world of daily activities. One motto of the Diamond Approach is to be in the world but not of it. This means to participate in human society and contribute to it. At the same time, it also means to not be of the world, to not be a product of the conditioning and influences of the world, of society, but to be of the real world, our true nature, the spiritual dimension.
Q: Are there any beliefs inherent in the Diamond Approach? What are they?
A: There is no ideology, no belief system to follow, no special diets to adopt. As a matter of fact, the Diamond Approach investigates all beliefs that we hold dear and helps us liberate ourselves from the shackles of such bondage. The aim is not to have beliefs about reality, but to know reality directly and with complete certainty. Beliefs are understood as obstacles that stand in our way.
Q: Do I have to change my religion to do (participate in)the Diamond Approach?
A: No. Although the Ridhwan Foundation is incorporated as a religious organization and its teachers carry the title of teacher/minister, the Diamond Approach works toward the experience of reality, not toward the development of a belief system which must be adhered to. Many of our members continue in and deepen their understanding of the religious or spiritual tradition in which they have previously participated.
Q: What benefits can I expect to gather from the Diamond Approach?
A: The Diamond Approach is a spiritual path that can lead to the realization and actualization of our true nature, the greatest possible achievement in this life. Many additional benefits may arise from such development, but the Diamond Approach is not intended to provide benefits of material or psychological nature. Any gains in those areas are incidental and not the direct aim of this work.
Q: Is the Diamond Approach a branch or type of psychotherapy?
A: No. The Diamond Approach is a spiritual path and is not intended as a psychotherapy. Any techniques or knowledge of the Diamond Approach that resemble those of psychotherapy are due only to the broad scope of the Diamond Approach, which incorporates the whole spectrum of human experience. It is not intended for therapeutic purposes; its orientation, view, methodology and knowledge as a whole differ fundamentally from the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
Q: Who can teach the Diamond Approach?
A: The Diamond Approach is taught by Ridhwan teachers, who are also ordained ministers. Teacher/ministers are trained by the Ridhwan Foundation and the DHAT Institute, the educational arm of the Ridhwan Foundation, through an extensive seven year program, which is completed in addition to their work and participation as students of the Diamond Approach. The lengthy teacher/minister training process ensures that each person has a complete working understanding of the Diamond Approach and a sufficient capacity to teach it before being authorized to be a teacher/minister of the Diamond Approach.
Q: Are there any fees involved in studying with the school?
A: Yes. Unlike some other spiritual organizations, the Ridhwan School has specific fees for the variety of services it provides. There are fees for most services and retreats.