A. H. Almaas (Part 1) – Nondual Love: Awakening to the Fundamental Benevolence of Reality

A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) Nondual Love

Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), founder of the contemporary spiritual path the Diamond Approach, beloved spiritual teacher, and author of many outstanding spiritual classics, has written a trilogy on the subject of love, and in this conversation the focus is on the recently published second book, Nondual Love. Hameed explains that most wisdom traditions target various ultimates: pure emptiness, pure consciousness, nondual awareness, being, non-being—each of which is sufficient for liberation, but fails to include the qualities of nondual love: goodness, sweetness, abundance, benevolence. Hameed brings these dimensions of love to the table, asking what does divine love feel like, look like, what is it made of? 

Listening to Hameed is a beautiful, rich experience, due to his extraordinary lucidity, gentle humor, and the profound understanding and assurance that pervade his words from his long experience swimming in the waters of which he speaks. He tells us we all have the potential to experience nondual love, although there are significant obstacles along the path that are inherent to being human. Hameed describes the different stages of opening to nondual love, from the first glimmerings of “unearthly sweetness” to the realization that we ourselves are love. And he outlines the nature of the barriers we face, like the beast of anger and hatred that arises in us when we perceive that reality has abandoned us. Hameed explains that by re-establishing basic trust, and feeling the presence of benevolent love, we can regain the sense that things will be okay and unfold ultimately for the good. Recorded April 12, 2023.

Without love there would be no reason for the universe to exist.

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Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1

  • Introducing Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), spiritual master, creator of the Ridhwan School & Diamond Approach, and Hameed’s new book Nondual Love (01:07)
  • What does Hameed mean by nondual love? It’s similar to nondual awareness but it includes the goodness, the sweetness, the heart that is inherent in our spiritual nature (03:00)
  • In Plato, the main idea is the good, which is almost synonymous with love (06:05)
  • What does divine love feel like? Does it have a color, a texture? (07:57)
  • The fundamental benevolence of reality—without love there would be no reason for the universe to exist (09:10)
  • The Sufis say, God created the universe out of love so God would be known—known through the human being (10:59)
  • Rumi writes all the time about how love and God are inseparable: most poetry, most songs, most literature are about love, but we rarely hear about the very beingness of it (12:30)
  • Beyond gratification: for someone who is awakened, the practice of sexual encounter is to bring out more love, the goodness of love (14:24)
  • Stages of opening to divine love: our usual understanding of love is limited, but then comes a fullness in our hearts, a softness, an unearthly sweetness (16:47)
  • The next stage is recognizing your full heart as just one wave of the ocean of love that comes through your individual heart (20:07)
  • The next level is recognizing yourself as the ocean of love: I am love; this is the self-realization of nondual love (20:49)
  • Basic trust: feeling the presence of benevolent love tends to evoke trust, a sense that things will be okay and unfold ultimately for the good (21:19)
  • We are born trusting, but what happens in childhood determines if we will expand or be limited; our basic trust may go underground, but love and basic trust are inherent to people (24:24)
  • Hameed teaches how to regain basic trust by dissolving the history that limits it (26:04)
  • How many ultimates are there? Each teaching talks about a different ultimate—pure emptiness, consciousness, being, non-being—each of which is sufficient for liberation, but love includes also abundance (26:30) 
  • Spiritual teachers tend to think their teachings and practices are it, and even though they may experience and radiate love, they don’t speak about love (32:09)
  • 5 fundamental dimensions of our true nature: divine love, presence, emptiness, awareness, and change/dynamism; what is the difference between presence and awareness? (34:38)
  • Creative dynamism is the dimension that shows how things change, because saying everything is one doesn’t explain movement and change (38:57)
  • There is a reality that is truly unmanifest (40:25)
  • True nature is a potential and will manifest to whoever is open to it (42:48)
  • The truly unmanifest is unexperienceable: I don’t know what I am, but I am That (47:09)

Resources & References – Part 1

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Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas) Nondual Love Basic Trust

A. Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) was born in Kuwait in 1944. At the age of eighteen, he moved to the U.S. to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his Ph.D. in physics when he reached a turning point in his life and destiny that led him to inquire into the psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature rather than the physical nature of the universe. He left the academic world to pursue an in-depth journey of inner discovery, applying his scientific precision and discipline to personal, experiential research. This included study with different teachers in different modalities, extensive reading, and continuous study of his own consciousness in an effort to understand the essential nature of human experience and reality in general.

Hameed’s process of exploration led to the creation of the Ridhwan School and, with his colleague Karen Johnson, resulted in the founding and unfoldment of the Diamond Approach. He is the author of 20 books, including Nondual Love: Awakening to the Loving Nature of Reality, Love Unveiled: Discovering the Essence of the Awakened Heart, Keys to the Enneagram: How to Unlock the Highest Potential of Every Personality Type, The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence, and more. 

Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell

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