PEARL QUESTIONNAIRE: Sherry Ruth Anderson

How did you find the Diamond Approach?

SRAinAlaskaI picked up a spiritual newspaper called Inquiring Mind and read a very short review of a book called “The Void.”  A line jumped out and grabbed my heart.  I don’t remember the line but I remember thinking: ‘He knows.  He can help me.’  I’d been a Zen student and then the Head Dharma Teacher in Toronto many years earlier.  I’d hit that void and stayed there.  My teacher said that I needed to practice harder but I’d already been doing just that for many years.  I ended up leaving and feeling like a great failure.  And now there was this line, and I followed it.

When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?

My resistance to just about everything was immense.  I think now that I was terrified of finding out that it was hopeless, this spiritual path stuff.  That if I really opened up, I’d just hit that void again and be in a death space where no one could help me.

What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?

The questions!  Even in the beginning when my resistance was towering, I was intrigued by these fascinating questions.  I’d think: how is this possible—I have a Ph. D. in psychology, have done intensive meditation retreats and study, and I don’t have any idea how to find an answer to these personal questions?  And I loved them.  I couldn’t stay away.

What aspect of the teaching is most alive in you right now?

What a lovely question!  It is the earliest teaching that comes most fully now, where we open to the actuality of what is here, what is true in our experience as it unfolds.  My capacity to open and to perceive;  and what I take experience to include; and who this ‘I’is— all have gone through many evolutions.  But the practice itself continues to be my exquisite teacher.

What has been the most surprising discovery for you (in the past year? Month? Week?)?

I don’t know if this is the last year.  It’s probably longer.  But the pure joy of just being here is a surprise, never expected, always new.

What advice/encouragement would you offer to someone ‘on the fence’ about attending an Intro event?

Ask yourself what makes you even consider coming.  See if you can feel into or listen to that.  Is it compelling enough to call you to give up whatever else you might be doing that night?  If not, don’t bother to come.  It’s probably not the right timing, or the right path for you at this point.

If you could have one wish for humankind, what would it be?

I wish we could have what we need to be able to open to the truth of what we are, and then we couldn’t help but love each other completely.

Photo by Marcia Wakeland