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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Forehead?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Forehead

Development of Subtle Capacities

This development of the subtle capacities occurs specifically through the activation of the Black latifa, at the center of the forehead. The arising of this essential aspect means the opening up of this center, which we experience as the essence of peacefulness—a quiet and still presence, satin-smooth and luminously black. It is the presence of consciousness as stillness. Our mind becomes quieter, and at times completely still and clean. The totality of our consciousness—the whole experiential field of the soul—is stilled. This is the experience of Peace descending in our inner world. The descent of Peace brings up a new quality of Essence, with all of its properties and capacities to support our inquiry, but it also activates the subtle centers, the subtle capacities of perception. The primary perceptual center is the Black latifa, at the center of the forehead. It is also the center of the operation of the Diamond Guidance itself. During inquiry, the Guidance tends to operate as a presence at the center of the forehead. That is why you get clear and crisp in your head when you understand something.

Experiencing the Diamond Guidance

This Diamond Vehicle can be of any size. It can descend and fill a whole room or a whole valley. It can be experienced as arising in the soul. Its mode of operation in inquiry can be experienced at the forehead as an illumination, a pulsation, a tingling, a dancing of presence. But the Diamond Guidance may also descend into the heart or the belly. It can be very tiny or as big as a galaxy. Space doesn't bound it. It is amazing that there is such a presence. The experience of the Diamond Guidance itself is that of a presence, an awareness inseparable from the sense of hereness. There is a subtlety and a refinement in this presence, a purity and a gentleness. It is both full and delicate, with a gracefulness to the delicacy, a flowing ease that is inseparable from a peaceful quietness.

Opening of the Forehead by the Diamond Guidance

Usually the Diamond Guidance operates as a presence in the center of the forehead. When it arises in support of discrimination and understanding, we become aware of an expansion as space opens up in the forehead. With that expansion comes a sense of peacefulness; the Black aspect at the center of the forehead opens and we feel stillness and spaciousness. When the Diamond Guidance arises in this peacefulness, we feel a delicate presence, a pulsating energy that possesses a sense of clarity and transparency, an intelligence, an illumination. This delicate, pulsing, breathing presence appears as understanding, as insight, as intuition. As the forehead opens, we feel the Diamond Guidance as a tingling, an energetic throbbing—but very delicate, very soft, very subtle. If we are not attuned, we might dismiss it as just a physical twitch. Or if there is a lot of blockage, as is often the case in the early stages of our development, the diamond might feel hard. Due to the blockage, it can't get through, so it feels almost like a rock. But if we are relaxed and open, we feel it as a softness, a delicacy.

The Capacity for Subtle Perception

The third major capacity for subtle perception is that of seeing, connected with the head center in the forehead. This capacity provides information about color and shape, so necessary for understanding essence, for discriminating the various aspects, and for the aesthetic appreciation of the beauty of essence. The popular expression "I see," meaning "I understand," is probably rooted in the fact of this capacity for perception. Here seeing is tantamount to understanding. The capacity for subtle seeing can be developed to the point of being freed from limitations of space and time. One can see inside the body, can see the anatomical parts of the body, even the cells and the molecules; one can see the emotions, the subtle energies, the essence. One can see things at a distance or in other times.

The Diamond Dome

The diamond dome is so called because it has the shape of a dome composed of variously colored diamonds. Its descent in the soul appears first in the form of a delicately faceted and transparently clear dome of clear light, of various beautiful colors, crowning the head. Its manifestation is frequently accompanied by a diamond dorje at the forehead.16 The state has extreme clarity and lightness, with an amazing sharpness and precision in experience and perception. Its central teaching is objectivity in regard to knowledge of true nature in its various essential aspects. Each aspect manifests as a colored diamond, but each diamond is both the presence of the aspect and the wisdom of its epistemological mode, of how to know it. We refer to it then as the diamond body of knowledge, or of noesis, diamond gnosis.

The Fourth Latifa

The fourth latifa is at the forehead between and just above the eyebrows. It is called khafi, meaning "hidden," and the color is a shining black. The consciousness is a state of peace and absolute stillness, related to the activity of intuition and objective understanding. It is connected to the black death, which is the state of annihilation of the sense of identity of the ego, which is the false self.

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