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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Steadfast?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Steadfast

An Attitude of Being Steadfast in the Truth Does Not Require Any Action

If you are attached to something, you are rejecting the possibility of it not being there. If you are attached to a person, you are rejecting the absence of that person. There is a holding on, which is a rejection of openness to experience. An attitude of being steadfast in the truth, an attitude of non-rejection, does not require taking any action. It is not seeing attachment and trying to get rid of it, it is not a matter of getting somewhere. If you simply accept what is, release and freedom will follow. In the attitude of acceptance itself, there is no desire even for freedom. If you feel hope, then your hope is simply a part of the rejection that needs to be seen. When the confidence in ourselves and our organism is implicit there is everlasting happiness. We aren’t trying to be confident or self-conscious about it. We don’t have to feel confident about ordinary functions like walking; we know our feet will take us where we want to go without hoping that we will get there. We know we can do it. That is the kind of confidence we are talking about, the kind of confidence that can happen in our consciousness when there is complete acceptance.

Approaching the Process Without Prejudice, Without a Position

The commitment to the truth that appears as determination manifests as a steadfastness in all the principles of inquiry. We are committed to remaining open and finding the truth. And we are committed to this openness through approaching the process without prejudice, without a position, without a preference about the truth that arises. This attitude will protect us from the tendency to manipulate our experience in order to accommodate a prescribed goal. So we are steadfast not only in the sense that we continue investigating, but we also continue to be interested and open in our investigation. Even though our experience might be difficult sometimes and the truth may be slow to reveal itself, we will stay with the inquiry. We might stop and rest, but we will come back to it from another angle, willing to experiment and curious about what we find. 

Our Work is to Be in Harmony, Steadfast in the Truth

Our work is to see the truth. It is to be in harmony with the truth, to be steadfast in the truth. Ultimately you will regain your trust and confidence in the truth. That confidence is regained just by seeing the truth; that is a miracle by itself. It becomes as implicit as it was when you were a trusting infant. When we allow what is there in our experience we are not rejecting the pain as we did when we were babies. It can become like it was before the pain and rejection, when you were a very young baby and were confident that when the pain came it would go away at some time. Even more than this: it is the regaining of original innocence through the development of confidence and basic trust. It is a return to the natural process: I eat, my belly is full, I digest the food, I shit it out. There is no desire, no hope, no rejection; the feelings and sensations come, they are experienced and assimilated, and what’s left over is discharged, washed away. Then there is spontaneity. Our work is learning how to be in the truth, how to surrender to the truth. You see, although we see acceptance in terms of washing away of tensions, which is a washing away of the personality contractions, it must begin with accepting the truth of those very contractions. So the attitude of complete acceptance and complete perception of the truth coincide. You cannot understand an experience if you are rejecting it, or rejecting part of it.

Practice Attaining the Possibility of Becoming Persistent, Steadfast and Impeccable

When the drive toward enlightenment expresses itself through the belly center, then the impulse and drive to practice attains the possibility of becoming persistent, steadfast, and impeccable. We begin to understand our true responsibility for ourself, not in the sense of something that we have to do but in the sense of recognizing with happiness what our responsibility is. We see, “Oh yes, this is what I ought to do and it is the same thing as what I want to do.” The belly center augments the sense of “It is important to practice” and “I love to practice” with “I practice.” So the direct expression of the enlightenment drive in the belly center is continual practice—continually putting into practice the practices that we know, the understanding that we have, the realization that we have attained. There is simultaneously the impulse to practice and the doing of practice. In other words, there is a drive. We call this impulse toward enlightenment a “drive” because it is innate and dynamic. The dynamism appears as a flow, as a movement, as a powerful force that moves and is moving things. 

Remaining Steadfast in Inquiry

The meaning of curiosity and discrimination changes as our investigation into who and what we are proceeds. At the beginning, our inquiry is full of ego. In time you question whether the egoic perspective and its accompanying effort are needed in order to remain steadfast in inquiry. The curiosity that fuels your investigation becomes more spontaneous and free. Your questions elicit increasingly subtle responses. Everything I’ve talked about manifests on different levels of subtlety and refinement. Loving the truth, openness of mind, courage to be where you are, joy of discovery, and steadfastness of will introduce us to the essential dimension. You first have to see how your ego, your personality, your fixed point of view engage with these qualities. As you explore further, the balance keeps changing. That balance that keeps changing is what we call going through the various levels and dimensions. As each level dissolves a certain idea, a certain way of looking at things and doing things, who you are and what the world is become more real and defined and refined. 

Staying Steadfast with the Truth We See that the Organism Will Provide What is Needed

When we try to fill the holes by exerting our will, or what we call our will, we don’t allow the natural process of release to happen. When we can stay steadfast with the truth, and align the will with the truth itself, we see in time that the organism will provide what is needed. When there is a need for satisfaction, there is satisfaction. When there is a need for fulfillment, there is fulfillment. When you have real satisfaction, fulfillment and love, you discover many things you thought you needed in your life you don’t really need—you wanted them in order to get the fulfillment and satisfaction. When you are not needing to fill holes, your life will be an expression of your satisfaction. This is a true life, then: instead of trying to get satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, love, we allow ourselves to have basic trust. Then all that we do, our relationships and all our activities, are an expression of the satisfaction, fulfillment and love. The true life is a spontaneous activity that arises out of our essence, and there is no need for the efforting kind of will. You’ve got everything. You simply need to see the truth, and what needs to happen just happens. You don’t need to do anything about it. The functioning of true will causes you to do what is needed: if you need to go buy something from the store, or to talk with someone about something, the impulse will come spontaneously. You don’t need to ruminate about it. All of you have had such experiences, when everything flows spontaneously. You just do what’s right. As adult human beings, we actually have the capacity always to do what is right, for ourselves and for everyone else.  

True Nature is Always Steadfast in Its Nonmanipulation, Its Noninterference

Without careful attention, we will begin to manipulate without even knowing it. By the time we wake up to the situation, we have already tied ourselves up in knots. But even then, if we are aware, we can catch ourselves trying to hold on or trying to push away or trying to control. As soon as we feel the impulse to go after something, to orient ourselves one way or another, we recognize that and simply do not engage it. We cease and desist. True Nature is always steadfast in its nonmanipulation, its noninterference. And it doesn’t cheat. It always refrains from interfering. We learn that as well in our practice. We learn how not to interfere and to be steadfast in our noninterference. And because True Nature just is, it will simply unfold—manifesting and revealing whatever needs to be revealed to us. 

We Can’t Be Steadfast by Making a Decision in Our Mind

We will encounter a seemingly endless number of barriers and difficulties in inquiry; that is why we need steadfastness. But we can’t be steadfast by making a decision in our mind. This steadfastness depends on having the inner support to stand on our own feet. Ultimately, it is inner support that makes it possible for us to stay open and to continue being interested in the truth. Without it, we lack the solidity, the groundedness, and the internal center that make us steadfast. The Will manifests as support when you experience an immovability and solidity in yourself, as if you were a solid mountain that nothing can move. This inner solidity, this inner rootedness and groundedness, is what makes it possible for us to engage in inquiry, to commit ourselves to it, and to persevere. At the beginning of the journey, your own inner support is limited or nonexistent, so you need external supports to sustain you. A school, a group, or a teacher can keep challenging and confronting you, keep inspiring you so that you continue inquiring. But little by little, as the inquiry deepens and expands your experience, you will get more in touch with your own inner resources, your own support. One thing this means is that it will be necessary for you to become more conscious and responsible about arranging the circumstances of your life so they can support your inner journey.

You Need Steadfast Determination in the Face of Discouragement and Disappointment

First of all, you need energy, energy to work on yourself and work through the personality and its patterns. Energy is the sense that you have the capacity, the strength, the courage to do something about it, about yourself, about your life. You have the energy that makes you feel, “Yes, I can do something. I have strength, I have a spirit, I have potency.” This energy will give you the fuel to look at yourself and understand things. Many things need to be understood and experienced; tremendous amounts of energy are needed, tremendous amounts of spirit, to be able to work through all the processes, and to deal with all the illusions that cloud the perception. So the factor of energy and strength must be freed and developed. Another factor is determination. Without determination, the energy will be meaningless. You need steadfast determination and an unwavering will to go on, to continue in the face of discouragement and disappointment. Determination is what pushes you, what makes you persist. It is important to understand the personality issues around will and determination: what the issues are that make you feel castrated, that stop your determination, that block your will, that stop you from feeling, “Yes, I will do it.” You need to discover what stops you from saying, “I’m going to do it. Whatever happens —disappointment, pain, fear—I’m going to continue. I might die before I do it, but I’m not going to stop. I’ll continue after I die.” With this capacity you know you can act in accordance with the importance of what you are doing. 

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