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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Technique?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Technique

Developing the Capacities of the Soul

We can develop the capacities of the soul by understanding that the various techniques of religion, spirituality, and science are based on certain functions and capacities that the human consciousness possesses. For instance, the technique of meditation is based on certain human capacities. The technique of prayer is based on certain capacities of the soul. The technique of scientific research is based on certain capacities. Although we usually don’t investigate or discriminate among those capacities, it does not mean that they don’t exist. If we are to realize the various aspects of the Essence realm or the God realm, we need to exercise and develop certain capacities of the soul. It’s not just a matter of being a good person. That’s what I mean when I say this path of inner work is a science. The various realms of knowledge work according to actual laws that we can discern. So the work we do here has to do with the activation, development, and evolution of the soul, so that it in turn can actualize the various realms of knowledge. The various spiritual techniques we employ are not oriented only toward the experience of Essence or God. Most spiritual techniques are primarily oriented toward a certain education that corresponds with the development of the organ of evolution. That education is a matter of learning how to approach experience. So the spiritual education, which is a central part of our work, is not a matter only of having experience, but also of learning how to relate to and understand the experience. How we approach our experience is what will bring resolution, what will bring actual fulfillment, what will bring the awakening, what will bring the reduction of suffering. The generation of new experiences, no matter how sublime, will not by itself resolve anything. What matters is the attitude with which we approach our experience.

Inquiry Will Not Work if We Don't Love the Truth for Its Own Sake

This also teaches us that techniques and practices on their own are not that effective. Merely having a method or technique for accessing Being is not going to be very effective because the unfoldment has to do with love. At some point, which practice we use is not that important if we don’t have the devotional energy. Some practices might help open the heart and put us more in touch with that love of truth, such as prayers and invocations. But whatever practices we do, what’s needed is to develop our love for the truth. This is something innate, inherent in us, not something we impose on ourselves. It is something we discover, nurture, and allow to grow. The heart is love, and love means appreciating what is real. When I say that techniques or practices are not effective on their own to activate the unfolding, this applies equally to inquiry. Inquiry will not work if we don’t love the truth for its own sake. It just becomes an intellectual exercise. If we are disengaged from our heart, we might understand something but it won’t bring about the revelation or unfolding. Our experience won’t evolve.

Interplay of Self Images

A crucial aspect of our technique is holding both images -- the conscious self-image and the newly arising unconscious self-image -- simultaneously in one's attention for the space to appear and for the affects to become conscious. Evidence suggests that if that person becomes aware of a previously unconscious self-image without contrasting it with the conscious one, not much happens, or rather resistances against affects seem to stay in force.

The Void, pg. 49

The Practice of Being in the Present as a Developmental Technique

Over the past few decades in the human growth movement, the practice of being in the present has been used as a developmental technique, but it has been understood and used in a somewhat incomplete way. To be in the now is understood to mean to think about just what is in the here and now, to have emotions only about what is present in this moment. Basically it has been used to situate your awareness in the present moment. In Gestalt therapy, for example, to be in the present is not taken further than that; it is not taken as far as letting go of your mind. Gestalt therapy does not understand that being in the here and now means that you will eventually recognize yourself as a presence independent of the mind. In Gestalt you still think in the kinds of categories that you learned in the past, so you are bringing the past with you into the present. However, Gestalt moves you toward the present because it asks you to look at what is right now. So as I said, one way to get to the experience of the pure state of presence, the already liberated state, is to focus on whatever helps bring you more and more into the here and the now—to disengage from the past and the future and be in the moment. This focus is an important element in our work here, and the techniques of Gestalt therapy can provide an effective entry into the experience of presence.

Brilliancy, pg. 49

There is No Technique that Will Precipitate the Perception of Oneness

I am talking about the objective perception of reality. I’m not saying that it is easy to perceive. It is difficult to come to a place where you perceive it, because of the accumulated ignorance that is based on the belief in separateness. Although we say that it is difficult to come to a place where we perceive the Supreme reality, we also know that there is no method to achieve this, because employing a method assumes that there is someone there, someone who is trying to get somewhere. By its very nature, method indicates a belief in separateness. So there is no technique, no method, no understanding that will precipitate the perception of oneness. If you do anything to get there, then you must be seeing yourself as a separate person, acting according to that separateness, and trying to get oneness—which is impossible. Still the perception of oneness does happen, because it is a fact, it is the reality. It happens when we relax, when we abandon our beliefs and our ideas and our defensiveness and our fears, when we do not need to constantly be protecting ourselves and pushing away the outside, when we are not busy enhancing ourselves and thinking of ourselves.

Understanding is Not a Technique

But, we’re talking about understanding, and of course, everything leads to the unknowable. The process of understanding is what’s important. It is the actual method of the path, it’s the path itself and it’s also the fruit of the path. It is life itself. Human life can be seen as understanding. It can also be seen from other perspectives, such as love or will. But, today we’re looking from the perspective of understanding. I’m saying all this so that we know that understanding is not just another little tool that we’re using to get to some goodie. There are all kinds of techniques for trying to get goodies: positive affirmation, meditation, various spiritual and physical exercises. There’s this tool and that technique, and then there’s understanding, unique in its relationship to reality. Understanding is not a technique. Understanding is the organic process of living itself. It is the unfoldment of Being as it reveals its mystery and beauty.

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