The Diamonds Within Us is a tour of contemplative psychology. If you are familiar with the work of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, you will recognize the thoroughgoing, unsparing and unprecedented account of human mind from the Trungpa canon, which is a mix of classic Tibetan Buddhism and visionary insights of Trungpa’s own. This material continues to enthrall and entrance devotees, much as the man himself did when he was with us.
For those readers not familiar with Trungpa’s work, Melissa Moore is uniquely qualified to digest it for us, having lived and contemplated these teachings since her young adulthood. She is a senior, empowered teacher in Trungpa Rinpoche’s line.
Following on from the direct transmission of Buddhist topics such as the eight kinds of consciousness, the five Buddha families, relative and absolute truth, emptiness, etc., you will find Ms. Moore’s elucidation of the nature and substance of emotions. For this you will need the Buddhist background, for without it, basic notions of contemplative psychology will sound like pie in the sky. ‘Intrinsic health’ and ‘nonjudgmental awareness’ or ‘basic sanity’ would seem unavailable outside the context of Buddhist understanding. Here the application of these radical and challenging Buddhist views defines human healing while side-stepping the entire vocabulary, assumptions, and practices of mainstream psychotherapy.
The later chapters take a deep dive into mindfulness of emotions, going far beyond where many current uses of mindfulness take us. This book is a unique offering, in that it applies Buddhist logic to the problem of psychological suffering in a modern context. Where else would you find a statement such as “Contemplative Psychology is a path of retraining ourselves to not make things up in our minds, but to rest in not knowing and learn to tolerate the intensity of the discomfort. We train to go toward emotional energy and open to it for the wisdom that is innate within the messiness of the feelings.”
The Diamonds Within Us taps into the centuries-old wisdom of Buddhism and joins it with contemporary understandings of isolation, shame, guilt, power, and the needs of individuals in modern society. The resultant methodology is invaluable.