How did you find the Diamond Approach?
I first discovered the Diamond Approach through A. H. Almaas' books. I had been studying and teaching the Enneagram for several years when my search for its deep spiritual connection was finally satisfied in Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas. As I read more Almaas books, I became increasingly aware that the profound transmission I received in these works was exactly what I had been seeking throughout my life. I joked with my friends that I wanted to “sit at the feet of this man.” My first Diamond Approach retreat focused on Truth as the fundamental orientation of the school and the compass to our most essential selves. Since Truth had been my guide throughout my inner journey, my soul recognized this path as "home." Waking up to deeper levels of Truth, through open-ended inquiry, has transformed my soul and ushered me into continually unfolding spiritual dimensions. This path is indeed open-ended. As such, my journey continues without end.
When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?
One of the biggest challenges for me when I first started was the invitation to commit to the daily kath meditation. My personality was focused on doing. Even my meditations were mostly active imagination and Shamanic journeying, so being asked to simply focus on the kath often translated into an invitation to sleep. Difficult though it was, I committed to daily meditation, faithfully counting my breaths until one day I experienced my kath open. I even began to look forward to sitting, affording myself the time to simply be without accomplishing anything. The second most difficult aspect was the financial investment. Soon, however, I realized that following this path was worth more than money could buy. Not only I but also my closest relationships began to reap its benefits as the shell of my personality split open. It’s been a long process that is so worth the investment of love, time, and, yes, money! Everything has been returned “a hundredfold.”
What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?
When I signed up for my first Diamond Approach weekend, I thought I was committing to a year of study. I never imagined that it would become a way of life for me. Originally, I would listen to the recordings after every weekend, continuing to let them penetrate my consciousness, digesting their wisdom, and allowing them to slowly transform me. To this day, when I hear an early teaching in the curriculum, I always hear something new, immediate, and nourishing. At every level, the teaching is alive for me and continues to impact me wherever I am and whatever work I am doing, whether working with private students, small groups, or book/inquiry groups.
What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now?
Having just turned 75 years old, what is most alive for me in my current life is how the teachings of the Diamond Approach impact us as we age. While it has been my experience that whatever is needed essentially is exactly what arises in the soul, I am aware that the essential qualities have a specific differentiated flavor that meets one precisely where one is. This awareness led to a curiosity about how they precisely rise to meet and to support our realization throughout the aging process. I have had the pleasure and blessing of working with an elders’ inquiry group for the past few years. About a year ago, I felt a strong invitation in meditation to begin an online group for both present and long-term former members of the school to explore the fundamental teachings of the Diamond Approach through the specific lens of aging. As a result, along with Lou Weir, who will team teach with me, I will be launching an online group in October of this year.
What has been the most surprising discovery for you in the past year?
Last fall I had a serious leg injury which, while being one of my most challenging life experiences, has opened a window of understanding in the most surprising ways. This “accident” has offered me the opportunity to directly experience the precise support of the essential qualities, vehicles, and dimensions in an aging body. I have experienced a freedom I could never have imagined.
What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone ‘on the fence’ about attending an Intro event?
I would share something that attracted me originally to this path. “In the Diamond Approach you are not asked to believe something because someone told you. Believe it because you experience it.” I had come from a long history of being told what to believe, from my family to my education to my church. Being met with Truth as the compass and direct experience as the needle to Truth is the most trustworthy guide in discerning whether or not this path is for you.
If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?
My wish is that we could all wake up to the exquisite Reality of who we are. All the rest would then fall into place.
Dorothy Landry works with private students and small groups in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and online. One of her greatest loves for the past thirty years has been teaching the Enneagram from its fundamental psychological aspects to its most profound spiritual wisdom. For nearly twenty of those years, she has also facilitated A. H. Almaas book/inquiry groups. In addition, Dorothy is part of a teaching team that conducts retreats on mystical and earth centered spirituality. She is currently spearheading the new online series, "Aging in Realization," for present and long-term past members of the Ridhwan School. This ongoing program will launch in October, 2018. Dorothy is a retired psychotherapist and former psychology adjunct professor. She has been married for forty-nine years, has three grown children and three teenage grandchildren.