A.H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali who has written more than 14 books including his most recent The Unfolding Now. In 1976, he founded the Ridhwan School, an organization with members in North America, Europe, and Australia that is dedicated to promoting the Diamond Approach®. Almaas resides in the San Francisco Bay area.
A.H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali, a veteran spiritual teacher who founded The Ridhwan School in 1976 to spread The Diamond Approach®, his particular path of spiritual inquiry. He has written many books, including The Pearl Beyond Price, The Unfolding Now, and The Alchemy of Freedom. With Sounds True, he will soon be launching Presence—an eight-week online course devoted to exploring the always-available consciousness underlying all of reality. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Almaas about approaching Presence as “the elixir of enlightenment”—the central key to understanding our spiritual nature. Almaas explains the experiential feeling of touching Presence and provides examples of other teachers who have attempted to explain it. Tami and Almaas discuss the possible meaning of enlightenment and why body-based practices are essential to discovering Presence. Finally, they consider why the spiritual path is essentially endless and what it means to be a “complete human being.” (64 minutes)
A.H. Almaas is the pen name of of Hameed Ali, the author of more than 14 books, founder of The Ridhwan School, and creator of the “the Diamond Approach” of spiritual inquiry and development. With Sounds True, Hameed has created a new online course called Endless Enlightenment: The view of totality in the Diamond Approach. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Hameed converse on the markers one can recognize on the path to enlightenment—and beyond. They talk about how nondual realization isn’t the endpoint of the spiritual path, and how setting goals for that journey may do more harm than good. Finally, Hameed explains his teaching of the view of totality, its development over a span of 20 years, and why he’s decided to share it now with the world.
A.H. Almaas—renowned as the creator of the “Diamond Approach” for spiritual and psychological inquiry—has published more than a dozen books on seeking wisdom and the true nature of reality. Most recently, he and his teaching partner Karen Johnson have released The Power of Divine Eros, which explores the pure energy behind physical desire. In this episode, Almaas is joined by Karen for a fascinating discussion with Tami Simon about how to fully connect with one’s desires. The three also talk about working with the body’s energetic centers as part of spiritual inquiry. Finally, they spoke about divine union and what it means to be a “sexy angel.” (69 minutes)
While holding a mirror to our own organizational accountability, Sounds True unequivocally stands in solidarity with the Black community, the family of George Floyd, and the many others who have been victims of police brutality and ongoing racial injustice.
We stand with and for our Black employees, our Black authors and colleagues, our Black customers, and all of the protestors and social change activists—past, present, and future— who are working to put an end to racism in every corner of our society.
And we are committed to not just stand in solidarity but to step up.
Since George Floyd’s murder, we have been having many in-depth discussions among the 125-person staff at Sounds True about the most meaningful actions we can take as a transformational learning company to help educate ourselves and our community and contribute to the dismantling of racism.
We have been asking ourselves questions such as:
How can we best use our platform to better amplify the voices of wisdom teachers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)?
What’s in our Shadow, as individuals and as an organization? What unconscious areas must now be brought into awareness?
And how do we actively address these areas so that we can evolve as an organization and be a force of genuine service in the world?
The answers to these questions are not simple, quick, or easy. It has taken me a while to write this email to you, our beloved customers and Sounds True community, because we have felt as a team the need to listen carefully and look deeply within in order to lay out an action plan moving forward that will contribute to meaningful and substantive change.
Anything less falls short of what I believe this moment is asking of us.
We also want to learn and evolve in partnership with you. We are learning and growing together as a community, and it has been important for us to create a moving-forward action plan that invites engagement from our entire audience.
With arms wide open, I invite you to witness, support, and step up with us in the following ways:
Over the next two years, Sounds True will be undergoing an in-depth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training in the workplace. This training initiative has been in development for over a year, and will be provided by TMI Consulting, led by Dr. Tiffany Jana. Dr. Jana is coauthor of the books Overcoming Bias, Erasing Institutional Bias, and Subtle Acts of Exclusion. As part of the training, we will be uncovering how unconscious bias, microaggressions, and micro-acts of exclusion show up in the workplace, in our personal lives, and even in our products. The training also includes a thorough audit of Sounds True’s hiring practices, HR policies, marketing materials, and more.
Sounds True also wants to include our customers, authors, and partner businesses in the introductory phase of this training process that we will be embarking upon. With that in mind, we are hosting a three-part webinar series on “Healing Racism” with Dr. Jana, beginning on Wednesday, June 24, at 8:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm PT. The series is free, and we are inviting our customers, authors, and business associates to join the Sounds True staff for this online training and to walk this part of our journey together. As someone on our email list, you will be receiving all of the details in future emails.
It is clear to us at Sounds True that we need to publish and otherwise amplify the voices of more authors and presenters who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. If you have ideas about new BIPOC authors you would like to see published at Sounds True or included in our summits and online offerings, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sounds True Foundation, formed in 2018, is increasing its efforts to raise scholarship funds for BIPOC students to attend our Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and become trained as mindfulness teachers who will bring this practice to diverse communities all over the world. We will be hosting a virtual fundraiser on June 30 for this initiative and will be emailing you with more details.
As I mentioned, working to dismantle and heal racism—in ourselves, in our organization, and in our world—is not a flash-in-the-pan effort at Sounds True. This is a long-haul commitment to the creation of a different world that is just, kind, and equitable. And we have a heckuva road to travel with you to get there.
And we are committed. We don’t want to simply talk about spiritual awakening. We want to embody it … as individuals, as a company, and as a force in the world. Humbly and boldly, we are going to give everything we have and invite you to do the same. This is the time for us to step up, together.
Dr. James Hollis is a Jungian analyst, a former executive director of the Jung Society of Washington, DC, and a professor of Jungian studies for Saybrook University of San Francisco/Houston. He is the author of 16 books including Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Living an Examined Life, and, most recently, Living Between Worlds. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Hollis about his latest work and the increasing sense of importance for many people around living more meaningful lives. They also discuss how to find resilience during difficult times, how our souls let us know when we’re not on the right path, the difference between “meaning” and “purpose,” and more.
Establishing a place for regular outdoor meditation and nature observation is often referred to as a “sit spot” or “medicine spot”. Like the Buddha, who found his own tree of awakening, we too can go to nature and practice being awake to the reality of the present moment. This practice can also help us become more intimate with all the qualities of the land we live with.
“If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see it but don’t really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way.”
Guided Sit Spot Practice
Go to a place in nature that is close to where you live and that you can visit regularly.
Take a few moments to center yourself, breathing in and out, and arriving fully in the present moment.
As you are ready begin to walk mindfully with an intention to find a spot that calls out to you, a place you can sit and deepen your relationship with this place. The spot should feel welcoming, safe and comfortable. It could be under a tree, beside a boulder or in an open space. Often, east facing spots can be nice for early morning sits.
When you find a spot that feels good, in your own way, ask permission of that place and wait to see what comes to you. If you feel invited, sit. If not, keep looking.
Once in your spot, sit comfortably and become as still as you can. Imagine that you are melting into the earth, becoming a part of the land. Sit for at least 15-30 minutes, noticing any movement, sounds, or other sensations and activities.