This is a newly forming group that meets twice a year for 7-day in-person retreats in the Bay Area in CA. However, due to the pandemic, all 2020 and 2021 retreats will be done via Zoom.


The orientation of this group is the shifting over time of one’s identity and sense of self from the personality or ego to one’s deeper and ultimate nature—Being. As this experiential knowledge is integrated, one’s life becomes a lived and fulfilling expression of our realization. In the contemporary spiritual path of Diamond Approach to Inner Realization, this becomes possible through bridging traditional divisions between the sacred and the mundane, the spiritual and the worldly, inner realization and our psychology. While utilizing elements from depth psychology, the enneagram where applicable, and traditional spiritual knowledge and practices, it is a fundamentally new method for engaging in the process of radical personal transformation. A webinar with Sandra Maitri giving a good overview of the Diamond Approach is available on our webinar page.


The format of the group will include presentations of the teaching, personal inquiries done with others, private inquiry sessions with assisting teachers, process groups, and movement exercises. Through these different modalities, students will be exploring themselves in a deep and experiential way. Because the teaching builds on itself, it is expected that students will participate in all retreats, making them up when unable to attend. For those of you from the enneagram community, please note that the enneagram will be a subset of this work and not the central subject.

How to Apply: If you would like to apply for the group, please complete an in-depth application.  Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you to let you know whether we have any further questions or whether based on the information you have provided, it appears that the group will be of benefit to you at this time. If you are accepted into the group, we will ask for a $300 deposit to reserve your place. ​

The Diamond Approach


The Diamond Approach is a path of wisdom, an approach to the investigation of Reality and a method of working on oneself that leads to increased understanding and liberation. It connects us with our spiritual nature, bringing it into our life. The Diamond Approach represents a new paradigm in human/spiritual knowledge and understanding. It encompasses existing spiritual knowledge as well as presents new dimensions of our deepest nature. At the same time, it helps us understand the relationship of the entire human psyche—ego, personality, and soul—with its fundamental nature and shows us how these dimensions are inseparable.

The Ridhwan School

The Ridhwan School is the home of the Diamond Approach teaching. It was founded in 1976 by Hameed Ali, who writes under the name A.H. Almaas. It is an inner Work school devoted to the realization of True Nature. The Ridhwan School makes teachings available to the public through various programs, trains teachers, and supports the publication of teaching material through books and webinars.

More information about the Ridhwan School and the Diamond Approach can be found on the Diamond Approach website. as well as in the following:

  • Food for the Soul: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realizationby Joyce Lyke

  • Books by A.H. Almaas, notably the Diamond Heart series and Inner Journey Home

  • The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul and The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home by Sandra Maitri

Watch a video where Sandra, one of the lead teachers in DHR6, talks about the practices of the Diamond Approach.


Sandra Maitri

Sandra Maitri has been a Diamond Approach teacher for 31 years.

She leads groups in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the United Kingdom. In the early seventies, she was a student of Claudio Naranjo, MD, in his original SAT group along with Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas), founder of the Diamond Approach. She has studied with various Eastern and Western spiritual and psychological teachers, focusing especially on Insight and Tibetan Buddhist meditation.


She is the author of The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul, and The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home. In her spare time, she paints and writes.

For more information, see Sandra’s website:


Joyce Lyke

Joyce has been a presenting teacher for ongoing Diamond Approach groups for 30 years. She has led groups in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom, and Europe. She is a supervising teacher involved in training new D.A. teachers.

Prior to her 37 years as a Ridhwan student, she lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur.  During those fifteen years she was trained in Gestalt practice, deep tissue bodywork, somatic psychology, early childhood development, and various movement practices. She was one of the few teachers leading workshops in Gestalt dreamwork in the 1980’s. She also led wilderness groups involved in earth- based teachings.

She is currently integrating aspects of the Diamond Approach into the challenge of parenting. She teaches how it is possible to spiritually awaken through caring for our children, and works with parents and parent educators helping them to recognize childhood essential developmental stages.

See Joyce’s website:


Jill Davey

Jill Davey became a student of the Diamond Approach in 1999 and has been a teacher since 2014. She is currently teaching in the US, Asia and Australia, and sees students privately in the San Francisco Bay Area and with international students online. She is a part of the Diamond Approach Online team, which brings the teaching of the Diamond Approach into the broader world.


Jill has also been a yoga teacher in the Iyengar tradition since 2000, and has an experience and interest in many forms of movement and body awareness, which she brings to her teaching and to retreats. 


Blanchefleur Macher

Blanchefleur Macher has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1993 and a teacher since 2009. She has been a presenting teacher in California Diamond Heart 10, has assisted in groups in the US and UK, and has served on a subcommittee of the leadership council of the School. She has a private practice in Marin.


Prior to becoming a Ridhwan teacher, Blanchefleur served as a teacher and guide in the Sufi tradition for over 30 years. A former midwife and interior designer, she has 3 sons and 4 grandchildren and lives in Marin County with her husband of 40 years.


Steve Waldrip

Steve Waldrip has been a teacher in the Diamond Approach’s Ridhwan School since 2004 and a student of Hameed Ali and Karen Johnson, the founders of that work, since 1986. He is on the faculty of the European Seminary, assists annually in several retreats abroad and maintains a private practice from his home on the central coast of California. 

For 22 years Steve was a hospice chaplain. Together with his wife, Christine Price, and other co-leaders they host the annual workshop, “No One is Getting Out of Here Alive: Choices in Living and Dying”, offered through Full Circle, a Tribal Ground project.

He also has a background in outdoor education and was formally a senior staff instructor at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). He is interested in the practice of open-ended inquiry and appreciates how group participants bring different energies and qualities to a circle and how that evolves, creating a unique field, as they work together.


Doriena Wolff

Doriena Wolff has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 1997 when she came to the USA from the Netherlands. In 2014, she became a Diamond Approach teacher.

She started her private therapy practice in Amsterdam in 1992 and currently lives and works in San Francisco. Doriena is a certified Somatic Experiencing practitioner. Her ten years in improvisational theater and movement in her native country is a foundation and inspiration for her work. 

She loves the ignition of inquiry and how this has the potential to open us up to being more real and embodied on this planet and with each other. What it means to be a human being at this present moment in time is a question that is deeply alive for her.

More information about Doriena can be found at


Here are the 2020/2021/2022 dates:

May 24 - 31, 2020 (via Zoom)

Oct 31 - Nov 7, 2020 (via Zoom)


March 27- April 3 2021 (via Zoom)

Oct 30 - Nov 6, 2021 (Via Zoom)


March 12-19, 2022 (In person, hopefully)

Oct 30 - Nov 6 2022 (In person, hopefully)

A sample timeline for each retreat is as follows:

Check in at 4 pm on the first day

Dinner begins around 6 pm

First evening session is around 7 pm

The retreat ends on the last day with a morning session and lunch afterwards.


As an example, a schedule is attached here.


Once you are a member of DHR6, there are optional small group meetings available both in person and via Zoom.  If you are interested, contact Jill at, or Doriena at  They will let you know the schedule and cost for these supplemental meetings.



Tuition for each retreat is $1165 per person, which includes one private session. Additional private sessions may be arranged at the retreat for $100 each.


Once you’ve attended your first retreat and have agreed to become a member of DHR6, we expect that you will plan to attend all following retreats in their entirety. The material presented at each retreat builds during the course of the retreat and it is important to participate as fully as possible. 


We realize that sometimes life circumstances arise and you may have to miss a retreat. If this happens, you will be required to make up the material that was covered in that retreat by listening to the recordings and doing the exercises. The tuition for missed retreats is $800. Once you have paid the missed retreat tuition, you will be given access to the recordings so that you can make up the material before the next retreat.



We will be accepting new members to this group through at least 2021. At some point, the group will close to new members once the material is too far along for new members to make up.


Once you are accepted to DHR6 as a new member, and if you want to attend one retreat to find out whether this is the place for you, you are welcome to do that.  If you are sure that you want to continue, we ask that you listen to the retreats you have missed and do the exercises in a timing that works for you. The fee for past retreat recordings is $525 per retreat (half the original retreat’s tuition.)  If this is a concern or hardship for you, and if you are making up many previous retreats, please contact Carol via the form below.



(Prices includes three meals each day)


As this is a retreat group, we strongly encourage you to stay at the retreat venue. This will support your process and the overall field of the group. If you feel this will not be possible for you, we ask you to contact our admin to discuss your reasons why. 


The location of the 2022 retreats is unknown. Due to the pandemic, many venues are not allowing any bookings that far in advance. 



All fees for both tuition and food/lodging will be payable by check only. If it is difficult to pay everything all at once, you may send several post-dated checks that will be deposited on your desired dates. Once your lodging intentions are known by the admin, you will receive an invoice and where to send payment. 


Location TBD - Due to Covid-19, many venues in the Bay Area are closed and refraining from booking any future dates until the crisis is resolved.


If accepted into DHR6, you will become a member of the Ridhwan Foundation. The Foundation is the governing and administrative organization that is home to the Diamond Approach.



As a member, you will need to read and sign an Information Statement.  

This statement outlines the nature of the work that we do in the Diamond Approach and is a legal document required by the Ridhwan Foundation. Email your signed copy to Carol at


All students of DHR6 will need to pay dues to the Ridhwan Foundation.  All students of the Diamond Approach, once their groups are established, are required to pay annual dues, as this is part of our legal obligation. These dues help to support the administrative, communications, and legal processes necessary to run the organization. If you would like more information about them, visit the website. Ridhwan dues will be due in January of each year. The baseline dues are $125 a year.



The procedure for accessing recordings will also shift in 2020:  Once your Information Statement is on file and your Ridhwan dues have been paid, you will have access to the Ridhwan Portal.   On the Portal, recordings of each retreat will be available, as well as other information about activities that are available to you.


If you are a current new student, a staff member from the Ridhwan Foundation will send you an email about setting up Portal access. Once that is complete, the process to access recordings is:

  • Sign into My Portal

  • Under My Groups, click Diamond Heart Retreat Group 6

  • At the top right, click Teaching Library

  • Click the name of the retreat, and the recordings will populate