Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), founder of the contemporary spiritual path the Diamond Approach, beloved 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.
“Our true nature has infinite potential of how it can be.”
Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2
- The personal nature of God is responsive; the closer you are, the happier you are (01:24)
- The personal is a spiritual quality of presence that comes from pure being or source, as an expression of it (03:59)
- Practicing surrender and recognizing our true helplessness completely (06:01)
- The practice of awakening: how do we put practice (doing) together with the importance of non doing? (08:58)
- In a dualistic way, we have responsibility, free will, intention, and effort and we have to apply these to awaken; in time this shows us we are helpless: when we truly give up doing, then things can open up (11:35)
- It is inherent to the ego consciousness that we can’t do it—it’s an objective helplessness, not the fault of any one individual (13:31)
- Obstacles on the way to divine love: settling for substitute gratifications, the separate ego self (14:32)
- The beast arises when people have suffered and reality has left them hurt and feeling abandoned—then you hate God, you hate good (17:43)
- Transformation is through understanding; we have to be nonjudgmental about everything that arises in our experience (23:28)
- Jabba the Hutt, archetypal symbol of attachment, desire, greed, is disconnected from abundance, from divine love—to heal this in yourself, you welcome it (29:56)
- The main barrier to all nondual experience is believing we are separate entities—we feel the shape of our bodies, and we have to work through this central construct of our ego (33:51)
- Ego is a stage the soul goes through; to believe this stage is the only and final stage, that is the error (37:24)
- How does Hameed experience himself? Nobody, nothing here. Basic trust is second nature (38:27)
- How does Hameed teach others basic trust? By exploring and working through the limitations that came about in people’s lives where basic trust was lost (40:14)
- The more basic trust, the more people can open up, relax, let things happen—how Hameed discovered the importance of basic trust in teaching his students (42:44)
- Volume III of Hameed’s trilogy will be The Beloved and a brief blessing (45:19)
Resources & References – Part 2
- Rigpa, the true nature of our mind, pure awareness, a central concept of Dzogchen
- Dharmakāya, the “body” or sum of Buddha’s teachings
- Ramesh Balsekar, one of Sri Nisargadatta’s disciples
- The Ājīvika school of Indian philosophy taught there is nothing you can do to awaken
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, Dzogchen teacher, and recognized by Buddhists as one of the greatest realized masters; The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse, Vol. 1: Journey to Enlightenment; Enlightened Courage; The Heart of Compassion*
- Padmasambhāva, a central figure in the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet, renowned for taming the spirits and demons of Tibet and turning them into guardians for the Buddha’s Dharma
- Neti, neti (not this, not that)
- Freud’s concept of the unconscious: What is the Unconscious? (Freud Museum London)
- Jabba the Hutt, an expression of desire, greed, insatiability from the Star Wars movie
- A. H. Almaas, Nondual Love: Awakening to the Loving Nature of Reality*
- A. H. Almaas, Love Unveiled: Discovering the Essence of the Awakened Heart*
- A. H. Almaas, The Beloved, the third book in the trilogy, is in the process of being edited
- Hameed Ali, founder of The Ridhwan School, home to the Diamond Approach
- Hameed Ali’s book page on the Deep Transformation website
- See also Deep Transformation podcast #43 with Hameed Ali, Nonduality and Beyond: The Exhilarating Adventure of Discovering the Nature of Reality and How Awakenings Can Unfold Endlessly (YouTube video)
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
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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