How did you find the Diamond Approach?
I was hiking with a friend I had known for many years, and she was in the best place she had been as long as I had known her. I asked her what was happening and she told me she was working with a teacher who had made a huge difference in her life. That was when the Diamond Approach programs were new. She didn’t even mention anything about the teaching, just the impact of doing personal work with this teacher. I asked her if she minded if I contacted her, and the rest is history as they say.
When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?
It took me nearly six months before I understood I was engaged with a spiritual path. I was learning a lot about myself and understanding my history, but I was thinking of it as the best therapy ever, because I had no context for it. I had never been involved in a spiritual path before. So it took a while for me to orient to what was really happening.
What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?
I am one of those people who never seriously considered leaving this work from the first time I came to an open house. I sat in the back row, didn’t say a word, but I knew something very special was happening there. I could feel the presence strongly in the space, without having any ideas or words to use to name it. I remember early on in the group that I was late to a meeting. I fully expected one of the teachers to chastise me in some way. I hadn’t ever seen that happen, but I couldn’t imagine I wouldn’t be criticized for coming late. That taught me being on time was not for the teachers, it was for me. And having done something “wrong” and not been punished in some way for it, showed me the truth that was happening there—the teaching on the superego was being lived in the moment. I remember that having a profound effect on my commitment.
What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now?
Right now I am most aware of greater stillness and dynamism together. I continue to be amazed by how little interference or effort is needed to live my life. It feels more and more like sliding along, following the openings, concerning myself less and less about what’s coming next, or what is undone. There is increasing trust that whatever is needed will show itself, and there really is nothing for me to do.
What has been the most surprising discovery for you?
That all my concern about having enough time, space, etc., is basically none of my business. It is not up to me to organize my life. It is up to me to attend to what is needed for me to stay awake. Beyond that it is all happening, and not my concern.
What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone "on the fence" about attending an intro event?
Be curious about what is holding you back—how do you experience that reluctance? Is it through ideas your mind has? Is it through tension in your body? Are you having an emotional reaction to the idea? Go into whatever it is and see what you can about it. Maybe talk to a friend or one of the teachers of the event you are considering. Give yourself the gift of understanding what your concern is.
If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?
I deeply wish all people could know the truth of their spiritual nature in whatever way is possible for them and be able to live their life from that truth.
Anne Laney has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1989, and a Ridhwan teacher since 2002. She works with several groups in Colorado, Australia, and Boston, and assists with the Ridhwan seminary. She is currently starting another new group in Sydney, Australia.