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The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence Paperback – June 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Second Printing edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590305590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590305591
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Almaas is a genius at revealing both the core qualities of Essence and the veils that obscure it, always in language that helps peel away those veils, always holding open the door to the unfolding presence and awareness that remains when the veils have dissolved. The Unfolding Now leads the reader through a masterful series of inquiry processes, invitations to sense and know ourselves at increasing levels of subtlety, gently walking us deeper and deeper into Truth."—Sally Kempton (Durgananda), spiritual teacher and author of The Heart of Meditation: Pathways to a Deeper Experience


"I love the unfolding Almaas! His clarity never diminishes, yet each book brings an increasing simplicity and gentleness. As I worked with this latest material, I felt like I was receiving a transmission of pure compassion. His strong, true voice reminds us that beyond the endless self-improvement projects and idealized mystical states with which the spiritual path is strewn lies the simple but exquisite taste of our own being."—Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening

About the Author

A. H. Almaas is the pen name of Hameed Ali, the Kuwaiti-born originator of the Diamond Approach, who has been guiding individuals and groups in Colorado, California, and Europe since 1976. He is the author of Spacecrusier Inquiry, The Pearl Beyond Price, Facets of Unity, and other books. 

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Customer Reviews

Some of his books have just been hard to read unless you're an intellectual.
Tony Bertauski
While words alone can be supportive of practice, this work also provides a very clear introduction to the practice of inquiry.
Mike in the Middle
In the Unfolding Now, Almaas provides remarkably lucid and practical guidelines for discovering your "True Nature".
P. L. Notermann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By David M. Bell on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read, or at least attempted five or six of this author's books. This was the only one that I found completely relevant for practice. With my Zen background, I tend to have a problem with teachers who talk up metaphysical abstractions and over intellectualizaions, (Although many Zen teachers can go too far in the other direction) and people like Ken Wilber who write massive works and seem to have everything figured out for you.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that this author stands out from every other independent teacher. He dares to question the status quo in conventional spiritual practice. He emphasizes essential development, or awakening for the everyday person for everyday life. And his philosophy that there is no dichotomy between spiritual and psychological practice, that psychological practice is a leverage on awakening that the ancient practices did not have or understand. I have read and re-read the Elixir of Enlightenment and found that line of questioning to be utterly genius.

This book is a collection of talks about how students of his school can inquire into their direct experience while also practicing a sitting meditation. And the talks have been edited for book form.

The author already has a book on inquiry but I found this one to be much much more direct and coherent. Through him and another teacher or two, I learned the missing practice in traditional spiritualities, "direct INQUIRY into one's present experience." I found that this inquiry is very difficult because it is organic and creative. But each inquiry session at the end of each chapter is a great starting point, before letting go of form for one's inquiry. As another teacher said, without inquiry, meditation can become disassociation from reality.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Mosley on July 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
We spend so much of our lives trying to get somewhere else. This book revealed to me how this habit of striving interferes in my inner experience of what is happening now. Learning to truly experience what is happening now does not mean being passive. It does not mean that I refuse to take action. It means that if I am sad, I experience that sadness, rather than rushing to cover it up with wishing for a different inner experience. I can take action to change circumstances without denying what my experience is with the current circumstance. Wanting my experience to be different is subtly different from wanting external change. I can work to improve communication and understanding in my family or community without denying my own inner experience at each moment whether it be frustration, anger, fear or joy. Almaas teaches with great clarity the "how to" of being present and tells us that being ourselves, being real, means being our True Nature.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Maxwell T. Brandel on July 14, 2008
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Rarely do teachers reveal the essence of practice in incredibly clear and simple words which penetrate the veils in those of us who are still deeply longing to understand the truth of our nature more. For me this book has quenched a profound depth of that thirst. The quiet nature of this teaching in the diamond approach reveals itself incredibly slowly, but as it does, if one is sincere enough, the unmistakable feeling of finally being at home abides. As I see it this book is Hameed's attempt to reach out to a wider audience with the core of this diamond approach path. Beyond any means that I can understand Hameed, a man of incredible intelligence and mind boggling spiritual sophistication, speaks to us newer students with remarkable clarity simplicity and 'in-touchness'. Never have I heard a teacher communicate so clearly and gently about the task, from the beginning, of the soul learning to find itself again via; this practice of learning how to be real, letting go of judgments about 'real-ity', and then simply existing, calmly, as yourself unfolding now. It seems as though Hameed is saying all suffering is caused by us not simply being where we are, as we are. Various mind conjured resistances, unconscious and conscious, keep us from Reality, which is all the time displaying itself right under our noses. This is a step by step guide in learning to start, stabilize and deepen the being philosophy which the diamond approach offers. A manuscript of value I have trouble putting in to words. A clear, simple, spacious and detailed talk about this journey, told by a man, who if listened to, can not help but awaken ourselves.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mike in the Middle on July 4, 2008
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Most of those drawn to practice have had the experience of being moved by the open perspective of a teacher's words. While words alone can be supportive of practice, this work also provides a very clear introduction to the practice of inquiry. The reader who is willing to spend time with the questions at the end of each chapter will have the opportunity to gently shift their perspective with regard to self and life.

Broadly speaking, Almaas has written two kinds of books. His Diamond Heart series is an easy to read survey of the practice perspective of the Diamond Approach. His Diamond Mind series provide a detailed and scholarly examination of critical aspects of practice. In terms of flavor, this book is as approachable as the Diamond Heart books. For those who are unfamiliar with this approach or perhaps even new to any kind of practice, this book is a wonderful introduction. In addition to mindfulness and meditation, the Diamond Approach uses inquiry as a support for practice. While inquiry isn't the subject of this book, the short chapters are followed by a series of gentle questions. Working with these questions individually or with a partner not only gives a flavor or this form of practice, but also allows the reader to move beyond the tightly held assumptions about self and life that we all embody. Even those who are familiar with Almaas should find freshness in this work that is supportive of their practice.
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