PEARL QUESTIONNAIRE: Bob Ball
I wonder if I found the Diamond Approach, or if the Diamond Approach found me! It seemed I was just in the right place at the right time. I was living in Boulder and still going to school when I heard about Hameed (Hameed Ali, the founder of the Diamond Approach) from friends who were already in the group. We called it the ‘group’ because this was some years before the Ridhwan School was established, and even before the Diamond Approach had emerged as a unique spiritual path.
When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?
At the time the way into the group was by engaging with Hameed in the Returning Process, a systematic piece of work that focused intensively on one’s childhood history, conditioning, and relationship with one’s parents. I was young and more or less willing to dive into the unknown, but it wasn’t easy to go so deeply into my emotions or to be confronted with my psychological patterns. The layers of resistance and defense were certainly challenging, and the letting go of long-held “truths” came with frequent headaches and heartaches.
What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?
This question could give rise to volumes, but more simply I suppose it has been the opportunity and endless blessings of discovering more and more about the nature of Reality. I’ve always loved the depth, the scope, the beauty, and the precision of the Diamond Approach. It’s been a perfect fit for my soul, so even when going through tough times there was never really a choice about whether or not to continue my engagement. The teachings and my life have become inseparable.
What aspect of the teachings is most alive in you right now?
I’m appreciating how the mystery of being “in the world and not of it” can be understood and lived in so many different ways. For instance, I’m aware of the ongoing development and maturation of the soul, while at the same time really being nothing at all.
What has been the most surprising discovery for you in the last week? Month? Year?
It has been fascinating to recognize how freedom is not only beyond circumstances, but also not dependent on being in any particular condition. I used to think of liberation as something that only came from being in certain states or situations, but surprisingly enough, freedom can be realized in any condition and any moment. Not only that, the experience of freedom seems to endlessly open and reveal itself further. There’s no apparent end to it!
What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone ‘on the fence’ about attending an Intro event?
I would probably ask first about their experience of being ‘on the fence,’ to both respect that position and to understand it. The Diamond Approach is not meant for everyone, so each individual will need to find out for themselves whether they resonate with our logos or not. Of course giving something a try is often the only way to really find out, and it might take some time to discover what is true for each person.
If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?
I wish that humankind will be able to recognize the unity of Being, to be able to live more harmoniously, and so each of us may fulfill our potential of becoming a more fully human being.
Bob Ball has been a student of Hameed’s since the mid-seventies, and a Ridhwan teacher since 1983. He is a training director, member of the Synod, and vice-president of Ridhwan Foundation. He is married to Jeanine Mamary, another Ridhwan teacher, lives in Leland, Michigan, and is involved with teaching several groups in Europe and in the US.