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Pearl Questionnaire: Sarita Chawla

Pearl Questionnaire: Sarita Chawla

How did you find the Diamond Approach?

I think it found me! I had always been drawn to the “something beyond.” As a child, I was drawn to temples and the sacred, although my family was not. My graduate studies included research on the religion of villages in Kulu, in the Himalayas. I felt a quest and a longing for something I could not name.

Years later, a dear friend and colleague, Pam Weiss and I worked together as faculty for a coaching school. As I got to know Pam, there was something about her way of being and presence that both moved me and had me curious about its source and nature. She was a student of the Diamond Approach. One day she enthusiastically announced that a new group was opening up that would be the last one that Hameed, the founder, would be teaching. My husband and I had been in search of a spiritual path that would work for both of us. We both joined California Diamond Heart 6. My quest seemed over and my flame has only grown since then.

When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?

As I looked around, there was almost no person of color. It was at first a challenge to feeling a sense of belonging. There was some cognitive dissonance in hearing Hindu concepts and deities referred to that were pronounced incorrectly! I transferred to the Hawaii group when we moved there. I kept wondering where the Hawaiians were. There were many white faces that had Indian names that were also pronounced in ways that were not Indian! This orientation towards diversity, which is an essential part of me, is at times still a challenge. I long for more.

What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?

A deepening love of truth keeps me engaged. The joy and sobriety of the inquiry. The dynamic, unending unfolding of reality, and the dedication of my teachers have me hooked. The humanness of the pace of the teachings without any specific goal seems to be in concert with reality itself. Maybe most of all, the felt sense of coming closer into who and what I really am, True Nature.

What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now? 

Acceptance and the magic of the ordinary. A simple turning towards what is here right now and sincerely examining makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland. 

What has been the most surprising discovery for you?

Again and again I am surprised by recurrences of old structures in seemingly fresh guises. And then I smell the “stale.”

What advice/encouragement would you offer someone “on the fence” about attending an intro event?

Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It is a portal to worlds unknown.

If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?

To discern with kindness what is real and true. To awaken again and again.

Sarita Chawla has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2001. She was ordained as a teacher in 2015. She sees private students in Marin and is also a Master Certified Coach. She immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1969 and is part of the Diamond Approach Asia team.

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