IONS Library

Publications Book Reviews

The Diamond in Your Pocket

The Diamond in Your Pocket

by Gangaji

  • Reviewed by Vesela Simic on March 1, 2006

    Shift’s recent inquiry into the mysteries of consciousness led our editor-in-chief to wonder, “If matter follows mind, what does mind follow?” In Gangaji’s recent book, she directs us to experience what happens when mind, any mind, follows a trail back to its beginning. The process of faithful, at turns unrelenting, and ultimately liberating self-inquiry that Gangaji supports throughout The Diamond in Your Pocket can lead to mind’s source—the source that is also the ground of all being and the truth of who we really are. “The truth of who you are as pure consciousness, the totality of being, is infinitely deeper and vaster than any mental understanding of it,” she writes. “The mind is an exquisite learning tool. But self-realization, as well as the deepest inspiration and creativity, come directly from the source of the mind.”

    Gangaji was so named by her teacher, Sri H. W. L. Poonjaji, a family man from Punjab whose own desire to “see God” was fulfilled in the silent gaze of Sri Ramana Maharshi, one of India’s most revered sages. By the time Gangaji met Poonjaji in India in 1990, she was ready for his instruction to “stop” all the doing—all the beliefs, the searching, the excuses, all the mental activity—and in stopping, the fulfillment and peace she had sought revealed themselves to be present all along.

    “I saw that the truth of who I am is this beingness. This same beingness is present everywhere, in everything, visible and invisible. In this realization, there occurred a remarkable shift of attention from my story of being to the endless depth of being that had always existed underneath the story.” She was free, no longer bound “by the story of ‛me’!”

    “I had thought that it couldn’t be so simple . . . Finally, I realized that whatever I thought was always only a thought, impossible to rely on because it was subject to conditioning and disappearance. In the discovery of truth, thought could no longer be trusted. Thought could no longer be master. The previous fear of not knowing was transformed into the joy of not knowing. To not know was the opening of my mind to what could not be perceived by thought . . . What profound release!”

    Upon her return to the States, Gangaji was instructed by Poonjaji to speak with others about her experience. These gatherings have grown into worldwide public meetings and retreats, from which excerpts have been edited and compiled into this book of skillfully guided self-inquiry. Each of the short, self-contained chapters serves to unravel our thinking so that we might also experience what lies beneath the surrender of our thoughts: “The only obstacle to realizing the truth of who you are is thinking who you are.” Each chapter is an opportunity to see from yet another perspective how we overlook, misidentify, fear, in some way prevent ourselves from discovering directly that “we are all aspects of, points of reference for, the one essential consciousness.”

    Eckhart Tolle’s foreword sets Gangaji’s work in the context of today’s collective awakening, “It is part of an evolutionary transformation of cosmic magnitude.” A participant in IONS Research Department’s Transformation Project (an investigation of the science of transformation in everyday life), Gangaji reminds us that the global crises challenging our planet make individual awakening “increasingly urgent. It is not just a good thing to do or an addition to our knapsack of experience trinkets. It is not even about some kind of personal pleasure or achievement. Awakening is essential if we are to recognize the patterns of hatred and blame that go on within our own minds and which in turn are reflected into the world . . . In your willingness to see the truth of that, to experience the horror of that, and finally to see what is forever untouched by that, you are at least one aspect of consciousness that knows itself to be free. In that living knowledge, which ignores nothing, it is possible to make yourself useful to all of life.”

    Review published in Shift magazine

  • Bookmark and Share

Stay in touch with IONS