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johannaholloman@hotmail.com

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

One of the deepest and ongoing lessons of the Diamond Approach has been to release the attempts to meddle with my experience. One of the main agencies, the inner critic had so many ideas about what I should or shouldn't do, be or experience. Additionally, there are many other maneuvers of the ego endeavoring to change, improve, push and reject one's own experience with the intention to get away from pain and move towards bliss. However, learning to be kind and open towards myself and developing the resources to meet my experience directly, whatever it is, has been such a liberation in my life. Nothing needs to be rejected, avoided or left out, everything can bubble in the cauldron of the inner alchemy. The cooking process of inquiry has revealed itself as such a meaningful, interesting way of life and continues to surprise me with increasing freedom and reality beyond my wildest dreams.

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

I am currently only accepting new students who are either in an ongoing DA group or intend to join a group in the near future. In my work I place particular attention to the intelligence of the body and the process of embodiment of our deeper nature. Learning to sense into our experience instead of thinking about it is an important opening into the felt sense of our essence. Otherwise spiritual concepts can stay abstract instead of becoming the rich textured tapestry of our actual experience. Of course what we feel as "our body" will go through many changes, which is part of the excitement of the journey.

What attracted you to the Diamond Approach?: 

In my late 20s, while I studied at Esalen I looked for a Gestalt teacher and started sessions with her. One day I experienced and explored something I had never quite felt before: a hole. After inquiring into it, working through the biographical material around it, space opened and a profound state of joy pervaded my consciousness. My facilitator, who was a teacher in training in the DA at the time, recommended Hameed's article on the "Theory of Holes". Reading it I could not believe how someone articulated my own experience in such detail, delineating the whole process of retrieving our essential nature. I knew I had found my path! I had studied Tibetan Buddhism, Christian Mysticism and Zen, but never felt comfortable just believe in a faith or doctrine. The path of open-ended inquiry with heart, body and mind included in the journey felt like a perfect fit, like home.

What is most important for people to understand about the Diamond Approach?: 

In the DA we enter into our essential and true nature through the window of our actual experience here and now, no matter how mundane. There is no need to push our consciousness beyond our actual experience into a transcendent state. By bringing presence to our situation, being curious about it and inquiring into it with heart, belly and mind, our experience will open up and transform on its own. In this process, who we think we are and how reality appears, will be transformed. The DA has a wonderfully precise map of aspects of our true essential nature, which come like messengers from our True Nature to help us realize who we are and at the same time help us with everyday life. Those aspects show us how to be strong, compassionate, steadfast, courageous, alive , powerful, loving and joyful. On the way we will learn to understand our inner life, our emotions, habit patterns and relationships, developing maturity and wisdom. The DA is a path of realization but also of actualization, living a full and deeply satisfying, enjoyable personal life. All you need to start is a flame of wanting to know what is true and curiosity to find out. The rest is a thrilling journey of adventure, insight, guidance and revelation. The best part: there is no end state, no ideal of what enlightenment looks like even though many dimensions for example the non-dual awareness are included. The Mystery is inexhaustible and generous.

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