How did you find the Diamond Approach?
My husband was a student in the Ridhwan School five years before I started, and I could really sense how the work changed him. He taught me inquiry. Right from the start this became a powerful practice for me. It made me feel guided. The presence of basic trust became very palpable and important; I started to sense the deep unconditional loving holding in the work and then I knew where I needed to be!
When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?
A real challenge and relief for me was finding space from the superego. Superego had always kept me on the go; fueling the ego will to go after all sorts of things and thinking in terms of good and bad. I was so struck by the open and curious attitude that I met in my teachers and in the teaching. I had never experienced that in my life! To this day teachings on openness, the will, and basic trust are very precious to me.
What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?
In all those years there has not been one moment that I’ve felt I could or wanted to stop. The teachings are so much part of my beingness, like they are me, doing me, manifesting me and dissolving the structures bit by bit. It is interesting to feel the aliveness in this; the teaching is a living beingness working in my soul all the time.
What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now?
Recently my husband died. After having lived together for 33 years this loss is affecting me very deeply. I don’t know how I could digest this without the teaching, without inquiry, without the extended map of the Diamond Approach! Michael physically died on a certain day; I’m still dying out of our relationship. The process of grief takes me into unknown territory. The reality of impermanence is shattering my deep tendency to attach to someone or something. What is the point if it is impermanent anyway? Attachments were such a powerful fuel in my heart. Right now I often experience a heartless and lifeless space, which brings meaninglessness and aloneness. It is clear to me that this is not a depression but rather that all the layers of attachment and identity are being deeply affected by the reality of death. It feels like the soul is slowly being emptied out of all I knew to be.
These experiences would be very frightening if I didn’t have some clue of what this is all about and what it is pointing to. I’m very grateful to feel held by the teaching so this slow and extended process of dying can take place in its own mysterious way.
I know that all I need to do and can do is surrender out of the way so the grief, healing, and transformation can do themselves. It has been an exceptional luxury to be in retreats with my ongoing Europe 2-3 Diamond Approach group; the field of our joined work for over 20 years has become such a strong body of presence and is a very important support.
What has been the most surprising discovery for you in the past year?
As I started answering these questions I discovered, actually realized, how the teaching and ‘me’ have become one manifestation. This really surprises me and is also a little frightening. Something so much bigger and more powerful than the familiar self is settling in my consciousness. I don’t usually experience vehicles or diamonds so often but as they’re now manifesting there is no denial about their reality. There is nothing to do but be it and let it take its course.
I’m also still surprised by the power of inquiry. Time and time again, in all its simplicity, it shows the way with such clarity, precision, love, wisdom, and authority. I love the practice deeply and am in great awe and gratitude for it.
What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone ‘on the fence’ about attending an Intro event?
What I really love about the Diamond Approach is its openness. This feels very inviting. Working with students I’ve been very surprised how some are very strongly aligned with the logos right from the start. For others this is different. And all of it is fine. So if you’re curious just stick in your toe and see how it affects you. I’m sure your soul knows which path is the right one for you. There only is one way to find out!
If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?
That people find inner peace!
Odile van Eck (1957) worked for many years as a violinist in classical orchestras. Being faced with an existential crisis in her life she became interested in the spiritual journey. It took her through training in Voice Dialogue, Focusing, Enneagram, and System Centered Training. In 2001 she became a student in the Ridhwan School. Her love for truth and strong curiosity have been guiding her on this path and inspired her to also become a teacher in the Diamond Approach. She loves teaching the art of inquiry and teaching about the superego.
Odile is an assisting teacher in the UK4 group. She is leading "Art of Inquiry" weekends in Norway in April and Switzerland in September and the "Leven Zijn" series in the Netherlands September to April.