How did you find the Diamond Approach?

I had met my first teacher John G. Bennett, who was a well-known student of Gurdjieff, while still quite young. I felt it as a huge inspiration and in some way it ‘put my feet on the Path’. After his death it gradually became clearer to me that I needed more guidance and teaching. Some of my old companions recommended the Diamond Approach in the US, and when I read the “Diamond Heart” books I felt the ‘ring of Truth’ in the words. On my first introductory weekend and engaging my first exercise I felt very clearly: ‘This is what I need! This is reaching a place in me that has been stuck for so long’.

When you first started, what was your greatest challenge?

Actually, for a long time I just loved it. I was so happy to sense and feel the reconnection to a living teaching. The attunement, the grace and transmission in the field, and the sense of inspiration and personal empowerment it gave me for my everyday life.

However, in hindsight I would say it took me quite a while to really appreciate the inevitability of going through the various psychological hurts and woundings of childhood again. As I later understood, I was what we call ‘jumping over the holes’ going straight for the boundless states, with a tendency of avoiding old painful feelings that could lead me more deeply into my heart.

What has kept you engaged with the Diamond Approach teachings?

Becoming more settled in the experience of Presence opened me up more and more to appreciate what a profound and mysterious condition it is to be a human being. And how challenging it is to live an ordinary life ‘in the world’ from the perspective of the realizations I was experiencing.

From the very beginning, each retreat has at some point opened up something new and surprising for me and brought out some new understanding in my soul that I felt grateful for.

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

Becoming a Ridhwan teacher has greatly intensified my inner process and also the wish to ‘walk my talk’.

I feel thankful to be able to serve the work in this way, and for instance to steep myself again in different segments of the teaching in preparation for coming retreats. But in terms of my own process it is also a challenging and humbling process, in some way ‘staying on the burner’. Like Viktor Frankl said: “What is to give light must endure burning.”

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

Well, as a student before my own retreat, I have caught myself thinking: with all these teachings I have been through in the Diamond Approach, and the sense of completeness they have given me, how can there still be more?

And then again there are new surprising discoveries in unanticipated ways. Recently that was the utter simplicity of it all. It just felt so stunning. Such relaxation into freedom.

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

Let your heart guide you. Trust that something in you knows what is right for you and when. But to also remember, if we don’t engage the world, if we don’t try things out, we won’t find out what life is really about and what fulfillment is actually possible for us.

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

Hmmm. Interesting question. To love humankind and not give up on it. We seem to be in the middle of some kind of big transition. I hope we will all learn from what we go through. Our collective Ego-Selves cannot do it. The Grace of Presence is our true hope.


Stefan Haarhaus has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1989 and has served as a teacher in the school since 2007. He has assisted in various groups in Germany, Holland and the UK including the RISNG teacher training. He has been in the lead teacher team of DHE2 since 2012 and recently launched the German speaking RAD2 group with Florentin Krause, which meets in Southern Germany twice a year and is still open for enrollment,