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The Ridhwan School Envisioning Document

The Ridhwan School Envisioning Document

[updated August 1, 2023]

This document addresses certain fundamental and strategic questions about the Ridhwan School. It represents many hours of contemplation and discussion by the Obsidian Synod, together with input from various other bodies within our school. As an evolving document, it will continue to develop to reflect the nature of the School, providing guidance for its unfoldment.

The Purpose of the Diamond Approach Path

The purpose of the Diamond Approach Path is to realize, actualize, and develop the potential and essence of human beings as expressions of True Nature. Its aim and orientation are the development of students so that they attain spiritual maturity and completeness—an open-ended, on-going, unlimited unfoldment. Its larger aim is to contribute to the evolution of humanity in the service of our True Nature.

The Purpose of the Ridhwan School

The School is the living field of interaction between the teaching, the members of its spiritual community, and the various organizational and legal structures needed to support its functioning. In this way the School expresses the Diamond Approach teaching in the world. Our intention is for the School to function in the world in the most refined, evolved, and mature manner possible.

The School’s core purpose is disseminating the teaching of the Diamond Approach, while supporting, preserving, and safeguarding the integrity of this teaching. The School fulfills this purpose by:

1) Making available the teaching of the Diamond Approach through structures and forms that are accessible to those who have an affinity and resonance for this path.

2) Training, supporting, and ensuring the quality and integrity of qualified members of the Ridhwan Foundation to assume the position and responsibilities of spiritual teacher/ministers.

3) Publishing and disseminating Diamond Approach teachings.

4) Forming and supporting a community of individuals who feel a deep connection with this path.

5) Contributing to the spiritual knowledge and methods of humanity, something that may benefit individuals following other paths in other traditions and disciplines.

Guiding Principles

The core principles that orient and guide the operation of the School and our behavior as individuals are implicitly informed by True Nature in all its aspects and dimensions and by the freedom that ensues from realizing it. However, as people interact together in the field of the organization, the following essential guiding principles are particularly relevant: Truth, Freedom, Life, Heart, and Discriminating Intelligence.

We want these principles to be expressed according to the needs of the time, the place, and the people. This includes all parts of the organization: Synod, Board, Teacher Body, Academy, directors, administrators, staff, and Student Body. While it may not always be possible to express these principles in their fullness, we are committed to doing our best to live, act, and operate according to them.

Truth – Love of truth and a steadfast commitment to it are fundamental values of the Ridhwan School. We want to function and interact with truthfulness, openness, sincerity, and integrity, while maintaining appropriate transparency in our structures and operations. In serving the truth we want to consider the total truth of any situation, including all aspects and levels of reality.

Freedom – We want to support and respect the personal and unique qualities each individual has realized and naturally expresses as an outflow of their freedom and autonomy. This includes taking personal responsibility as well as acting in ways that express one’s true individuation, authentic creativity, and unique contribution. We also want to function in ways that are respectful of the freedom and well-being of others and the whole field of the School.

Life – The School is a living system that expresses a living teaching, and hence we respect and appreciate the dynamic evolving transformation of both individuals, our school community, and the organization itself. We recognize and honor each individual as a manifestation of the same Living Being. We want to live and operate responsively in life-enhancing ways according to the true needs of the situation, thus embodying and manifesting life’s vibrancy and optimizing creativity.

Heart – Expressing heart means bringing love, care, kindness, empathy, and understanding into our actions: communicating, collaborating, and acting in considerate ways that promote harmony and support the functioning of individuals and the whole organization. We want human heartfulness to inform and guide our interactions and decision-making, so that we function with love, courage, compassion, sincerity, attunement, and selflessness. We value working with and through disagreements and conflict, while aspiring to express, appreciate, and safeguard that which is most true and precious.

Discriminating Intelligence – Discriminating intelligence helps us to discern what it means to actualize the principles of truth, freedom, life and heart in a given situation. It brings intelligent precision, elegance, economy, and effectiveness to our functioning and decision making. It leads us to value differences and to appreciate subtlety and creative discovery. It is also important in finding a dynamic balance within the natural tensions that may arise between these guiding principles. Our central practice of inquiry is fundamental to accessing and developing our capacity for discriminating intelligence.

The guiding principles are also articulated within the School’s guidelines for community conduct as they specifically pertain to our personal actions and interactions. You can read more at

Dissemination of the Teaching

All spiritual paths speak to the needs and inclinations of particular people. Many kinds of individuals come to this path and engage it in different ways and to various degrees. We see that contact with our logos can benefit many, according to their needs and situation.

The School can be seen as offering two general levels of the Diamond Approach. The deepest core of the teaching is esoteric in nature, and happens by full involvement in ongoing groups and the practices of the path. Because we value any contribution this path can make to individuals and humanity, portions of the teaching are also offered in more public ways. Our primary intention, however, is to reach and serve those who resonate strongly with the Diamond Approach and have the maturity and development to be deeply transformed by this path. We want to ensure that these individuals have contact with the deepest, most subtle parts of the teaching.

The qualities and capacities needed to learn and embody the Diamond Approach are developed through engagement with the teaching. By fully engaging in our path and practices, these individuals can become living vessels for the teaching, keeping it alive through their embodiment.

We are open to new forms or modes of teaching that truly express the Diamond Approach. Integrating new practices, methodologies, and technologies could conceivably be developments in the future dissemination of the teaching. However, the particular structures and methods are less important than the fundamental nature and quality of the teaching itself. We do not want to adopt new forms if they compromise our logos, orientation, integrity, or quality of teaching in any way. At the same time, we do not want to hold back real evolution of the School’s forms. There is an invisible, essential core of the teaching that needs to be preserved, while the modalities that convey the teaching may change over time.

Integrity of the Teaching

Ensuring the integrity and quality of the teaching is essential. In addition to training and developing teachers, the Ridhwan Academy specifically safeguards the purity of the teaching and disseminates the teaching in its integrity through their Diamond Heart groups and programs. This explicit responsibility distinguishes Academy offerings from other groups and programs within the school.

The School has a responsibility to be sure that when a student comes to a Diamond Approach group or teacher, they receive the Diamond Approach teaching in its fullness. The realization and capacity of teachers will impact the quality of the teaching, the quality of students in the School, and the depth of students’ realization. To this end, we are committed to doing our best to training and supporting good teachers.Thus our ordination standards are rigorous and we apply these standards consistently in the process of ordination and approval to teach at more advanced levels.

Developing and maintaining quality in teaching does not end with the basic or advanced trainings. Teachers are expected to be actively committed to their realization, their understanding of the Diamond Approach, and their spiritual maturation.

Over time there is a kind of honing process through which teachers become more and more effective instruments of this path, such that their own freedom and expression of this teaching become the same thing. The quality of their teaching is supported by ongoing supervision, mentoring, continuing education and training, collaboration on teaching teams, and peer feedback. A teacher’s effect on their students is a way to ascertain their capacity and alignment with the teaching. In addition, students have a role in safeguarding the teaching through their integrity, alignment, inquiry, and the feedback loop between themselves and their teachers.

Effective teaching teams are an important component of the School’s teaching structures. These teams can support the development and maturation of newer teachers as well as those with more teaching and life experience. The collective intelligence of the Teacher Body, in collaboration with the Synod, the Academy, and other bodies within the organization, plays a central part in maintaining quality teaching and high ethical standards.

The Teacher Body

The Teacher Body is the manifest human core of the School, the primary, essential vehicle through which the teaching reaches the world. We recognize the importance of our group of teachers becoming a strong, robust, vital, open, evolving, and integrated body. While valuing individual autonomy and uniqueness, we see that the development of the Teacher Body into an aligned and cohesive core supports both individual teachers and the work as a whole. This is ultimately what will hold the School together in the future. We want our organization to operate in a way that serves and supports the teachers in their roles, and to be something our teachers can truly appreciate and value, a place where teachers want to teach and work together in bringing the Diamond Approach into the world.

We want to encourage our teachers to coordinate and cooperate with each other in the interests of the greatest good. For example, teachers need to be aware of how their personal decisions about when, where, and how to teach might impact other teachers, students, and the School as a whole.

We want the Teacher Body, with its knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence, to become an effective and well-functioning part of the School, a body that is largely self-organizing and self-regulating as required by the true needs of the situation. To fill their particular role in the governance of the School, the teachers need to assume certain responsibilities while also operating in concert and harmony with the other bodies of the organization.

Since the teachers will be selecting a significant portion of the Synod, the School’s spiritual leadership council, it is important they remain able to make consistently mature, objective decisions about who should be selected to serve on the Synod, while holding the full view of what is needed for the School and the teaching.

The Student Body

At this time, the Student Body consists of all members in good standing of the Ridhwan Foundation, including teachers.

As stated throughout this document, an important aim and orientation of the Diamond Approach is the self-realization of students in the School so that they may actualize their own unique potential and live a true life in the world. The embodiment of each student’s realization is valuable in its own right, and their individual expression naturally brings True Nature into direct contact with others. This supports our larger vision of contributing to the evolution of humanity.

Students themselves have the responsibility to engage fully in our path and practices. At the same time, we understand that for various reasons there may be limitations and degrees to which each individual is able or willing to fully engage. We realize there will naturally be diversity in the depth of participation, in what students want from the School, and in the actual impact of the teaching. However, as the Student Body as a whole develops and matures, it can become an all-inclusive unified field that holds and expresses the view of totality, valuing all expressions of Being from the least developed to the most refined. To the extent that the Student Body can hold this view, the fabric of the School can become more and more saturated with this perspective and its implications, making it the foundation from which our community relates and our organization functions.

Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity

We recognize that human beings are influenced not only by personal history but also by their culture and social conditions. Our vision is to be a school and to offer a teaching in which all expressions of True Nature are recognized and valued as the rich expression of the whole.

We aim to be aware of the ways conscious and unconscious bias arise in our school as a result of our individual experiences as well as our societal and cultural experiences. We acknowledge that social biases and preferences can inhibit new and current students from being welcomed in our school, and may affect peoples’ ability to access our path. We seek to address such biases wherever they arise in our school. Ongoing reflection and action is necessary to make this path accessible to all who might genuinely benefit regardless of race, parental status, ethnicity, political orientation, sex, gender identity, class, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, and various other differences between human beings. We understand active work is needed on many levels - inner, collective, and outer - to open to the truth of unity and equality, regardless of difference, that is already present as our True Nature.


Expansion of our work occurs in response to people wanting to learn the Diamond Approach and because there are teachers who want to teach the Diamond Approach. Dissemination of the teaching does not mean trying to reach as many people as possible. Likewise, making the teaching available and accessible to people does not necessarily mean generating more students. We are neither for nor against growth. There may be times when the School grows larger and there may be times when the School is not growing or is becoming smaller in size. Regardless of what happens, we want to be sure the quality and integrity of the teaching is maintained. It is more important to ensure the quality of the teachers and the teaching than the size of the School. We actively monitor the growth of the organization with these factors in mind, and we are open to changing our organizational structures in response to what best supports the teaching.

Leadership Structures

Currently, in addition to the Founders, there are three main leadership structures in the School.

The Obsidian Synod is the wisdom council of the School as a whole and the leadership group of the Teacher Body. Its key focus is on the interface of the teaching and our various organizational structures, ensuring that the functioning of the School is in alignment with the principles of the teaching.

The Ridhwan Board deals with finances, legalities, physical properties, fundraising, and other organizational tasks necessary for operating in the modern world. It performs these responsibilities in consultation with the Synod.

The Academy is the main teaching structure within the Foundation and serves as the central core of the School. It includes all Diamond Heart programs, seminary programs, continuing education for teachers, and Diamond Approach Online. Hameed and Karen are the leaders of the Academy.

There is also a smaller committee, the Triune, that plays a key role in connecting and coordinating decision-making between these three bodies and with Hameed, Karen or their designated successors.

More detailed information about the leadership bodies in the Ridhwan School can be found in the Description of the School.

Succession Planning

An orderly and intelligent plan for leadership succession is important in securing the ongoing stability of the School. For some time Hameed and Karen, along with the Synod, the Ridhwan Board, and the Teacher Body have been taking steps to ensure the long term health and viability of the School as an organization. Recently Hameed has taken the step of appointing three teachers who will be his immediate successors, both in his decision-making role and his seat as the spiritual leader of the Ridhwan School. This step has secured both the structural viability of the organization, and the spiritual leadership that will be in place when he is no longer in that role. Taking this step now allows the community to connect to these successors in a way that will smooth the transition to new leadership in his absence.

More detailed information about succession planning can be found at

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