- What is a spiritual path?
- Don't all paths lead to the same goal?
- What is the goal of the Diamond Approach?
- Are there any beliefs inherent in the Diamond Approach? What are they?
- Do I have to change my religion to do the Diamond Approach?
The Ridhwan School
- Who can teach the Diamond Approach?
- Are there any fees involved in studying with the school?
- What is the origin and meaning of the “Hu” symbol that Ridhwan uses?
What is a spiritual path?
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.
Don’t all paths lead to the same goal?
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.
What is the goal of the Diamond Approach?
The Diamond Approach does not look at the path in terms of goals. Reality is too subtle to view it within such everyday concepts. The teaching is more oriented towards discovering the truth of reality, in as deep and total a way as possible, and then to live it in ordinary life. Because of this open view the path can unfold in us as various kinds of realization. What matters in such realizations is freedom, freedom in the many ways true nature inherently implies. The realizations basically mean integrating true nature in its various facets, dimensions, and ways of experiencing. 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.
Are there any beliefs inherent in the Diamond Approach? What are they?
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 first to recognize our beliefs about reality, and then to know reality directly and discover its immediate truth. Beliefs are understood to often reflect unconscious orientations to our life that limit our openness to what we are experiencing.
Do I have to change my religion to do the Diamond Approach?
No. Although the Ridhwan Foundation is incorporated in the United States as a nonprofit 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 to which one must adhere. Many of our members continue in and deepen their understanding of the religious or spiritual tradition in which they have previously participated.
What benefits can I expect to gather from the Diamond Approach?
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 a material or psychological nature. Any gains in those areas are incidental and not the direct aim of this work.
Is the Diamond Approach a branch or type of psychotherapy?
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.
The Ridhwan School
Who can teach the Diamond Approach?
The Diamond Approach is taught by Ridhwan teachers, who are also ordained ministers. Teacher/ministers are trained by the Ridhwan Foundation through an extensive ten-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 sufficient capacity and realization to teach it before being authorized to be a teacher/minister of this path.
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 classes.
What is the origin and meaning of the “Hu” symbol that Ridhwan uses?
The Hu symbol used by Ridhwan is a modification of the octagon design that originated with the Naqshabandi Sufis, meaning the Designers, sometimes referred to as the Masters of Wisdom. The octagon has the syllable “Hu” written four times in four directions. Hu as a syllable is from ancient Semitic languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic. Hu is the secret name of the divine in Sufism, and the same in our teaching.
The Hu symbol used by Ridhwan is a mirror image of the Naqshabandi design, and for us, just as it is for the Sufis, it expresses the complete human being who fully lives in the world while consciously realizing that one’s Being is beyond it. The reversed octagon represents the embodied manifestation of the mysterious Beyond. The background for the HU octagon, which is frequently black in our banners, represents the mysterious undefinable beyond, the formless true nature of human beings and everything else. In other words, the octagon is the human embodiment of the undefinable truth of reality, this way it is the individual form that embodies and expresses the formless truth. The Naqshabandi design has the Hu syllable reading from left to right, while in the Semitic languages it is from right to left, and that is one reason for our inversion of it.
The Ridhwan Hu is part of our trademark protections, and can only be used by ordained teachers in association with teaching the Diamond Approach, or by teachers or students with permission in conjunction with a Ridhwan-associated event.