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What have you learned as a result of studying the Diamond Approach?: 

When I was in grad school at CIIS, before a gestalt class one morning, I saw friends pouring over the Esalen catalog discussing a 5-day event there on the "Diamond Approach". Hmmm ... what was this? I researched a bit and found the "Pearl Beyond Price" book by A. H. Almaas (the pen name of Hameed Ali, founder of the Diamond Approach) and started reading. I quickly came to realize that this "Diamond Approach" path contained most of the spiritual methods and teachings I was already working with but all in one place. Like many, I was actively working with many other spiritual paths while getting my masters in clinical psychology -- things like: vipassana meditation, Hakomi body work, Holotropic breathwork, transpersonal psychology, Enneagram, improvisational music and shamanism. I wanted a practical path that addressed functioning fully in the world "but not of it" as the famous saying goes. The Diamond Approach used depth psychology, while keeping its view on the much larger cosmos and how to live both in the everyday world. The Diamond Approach was clearly a precise and detailed path of spiritual realization but its experiential orientation kept it focused on the actualization into everyday life which really appealed to me - I wasn't wanting to leave the world I loved but live more fully in it. Its method included meditation, breathwork, elements of bodywork, Enneagram study, socratic inquiry and depth psychology, all in an intricately balanced and synthesized way. I felt it could be a potential home base for me so I jumped in and signed up for that Esalen workshop and so it began ... I loved the way the path unfolded and being with my friends in expanded new ways. Over time, I realized the Diamond Approach path was leading me home . I realized that the DA was a 4th way school - a clear and deep path for those who want to continue to live full and rich lives in the world, while exploring and living the extraordinary, spiritual truth of the ever unfolding cosmos. In other words, "to be in the world, but not of it" - to embody our essential nature while dealing with all the usual elements of normal life in a deeply free way.

What would you like your potential students to know about you as a teacher of the Diamond Approach?: 

I also practice as a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist (MFT) in San Francisco for over 30 years and have developed a unique integration of the two areas; spirituality and depth psychology. One of the beautiful and most compelling elements of the Diamond Approach is its appreciation and use of depth psychology in working with historical personality structures and the spritual freedom and liberation that comes when we work through these historical patterns and identity. So, I felt a natural fit and integration between these two orientations. I also found I could include my lifelong interests in contemporary culture, music, the natural world and cutting edge science - all of which creates a balanced approach to spiritual work while living a regular life as well. Ahhh ...

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