PEARL QUESTIONNAIRE: Johanna Holloman
How did you find the Diamond Approach?
As a young psychologist from Germany I moved to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA in 1990 to explore the human potential movement. In one of the Gestalt sessions I experienced what felt like a “hole” inside. Staying with associated feelings and sensations, I ended in a sense of immense joy. After the session my facilitator (who I later found out was a DA teacher in Training) referred me to Hameed’s chapter on a “Theory of Holes”. I could not believe how someone had articulated the exact process I had just gone through. I knew I had found my path!
When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?
When we first learned about the superego/inner critic, I felt I had a whole collective of those coercive influences, some of which were acting in non-verbal ways, directly affecting my body and sense of self and hence were difficult to track and effectively work with.
Just as a parent can stop or control a sensitive’s child’s behavior with just a disapproving gaze or a dismissive body language, I felt like part of my Superego went straight into my nervous system. There it created a sense of low level anxiety, as if I carried an enemy within the home of my own skin. On top of that, anxiety was not part of my ideal self-image. So after a while the whole mechanism went underground leaving me with a vague and familiar sense of vigilance and unease. It was some time until I learned how to tease the various layers apart and become aware of what was actually happening.
What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?
It never became boring! Initially, a big factor was the support and shared dedication to the practice of inquiry within my first DA group in Europe. I couldn’t wait for the retreats to come around and dive into the teachings together. Several group members became friends for life, and having friends who are oriented towards presence and truth is a huge treasure. The love both for and from my teachers has touched my heart deeply. The journey of being in a true Mystery school, moving through a well thought out curriculum step by step while at the same time developing as a human being has felt like an exciting, well rounded Jedi training!
What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now?
Playing with the notion of being free to be anything, everything or nothing at all. Such freedom for someone who thought she had to be someone special!
What has been the most surprising discovery for you?
The compassionate and precise attunement of True Nature providing from within exactly what is needed when I open to my direct experience never ceases to amaze me.
What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone ‘on the fence’ about attending an Intro event?
Just do it! The Intro Weekends provide foundational material of the approach, which are applicable and useful right away for one’s life. You get to explore the material for yourself through the experiential inquiries and and then you can feel directly whether you resonate with the teachings and teachers.
If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?
To wake up to our underlying unity, preciousness and love —and live accordingly!
Johanna Holloman has been a student of the Diamond Approach for 25 years and has served as a teacher in the school since 2007. She assisted in various groups in Germany and US and is now part of the lead teaching team in CADH10, the newest Diamond Approach Academy group. The group is currently open for enrollment and offers introductory weekends. These weekends introduce the basic practices and some foundational elements of the Diamond Approach with no prior experience required. For more information please refer to our website: www.cadh10.org