The Enneagram is “a map of the soul,” laying out the path each type can take from the outer layers of the personality to the inner core of its True Nature.
Russ Hudson and Don Riso
Russ Hudson and Don Riso
Through meditation, spiritual inquiry and dialogue we will explore:
We come into greater harmony with reality when we flow through the opportunities and challenges life presents us. Embracing change leads to an evolution of consciousness that allow us to know what we have known all along in new ways.
Learn how to more fully embrace and utilise the process of change that will enable you to realise your potential in:
Learn to respond from your essential wholeness
Break free of habitual emotional reactions that perpetuate unnecessary suffering
In his book Pearl Beyond Price, an integration of spirituality and psychotherapy, A.H. Almaas delineates nine essential qualities of being: Consciousness, Compassion, Strength, Forgiveness, Space, Acceptance, Joy, Will, and Peace. Although not spoken about anywhere in the Enneagram literature, these qualities correlate with the Enneagram personality types. Each type favors and overly identifies with an idea of the essential quality, which separates them from the actual experience of the wholeness and emptiness of being. Only our ego, with its concepts of itself as separate from the wholeness of being needs to search for, or grasp at that which we are imagining ourselves separate from.
For example, type TWOs identify with compassion. To prove they are compassionate (as opposed to just being compassionate), these people take pride in thinking they know what others need better than others know for themselves when they lose touch with the oneness that connects us all.
In this workshop you will learn two simple yet profound methods to help yourself or someone you are counseling to relax out of the fixations of ego that maintain suffering into direct experiences of the essential qualities of your being. These methods are based on classic methods of spiritual inquiry, but have also been codified within the Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) therapeutic repertoire. They are known in NPL as the Core State Process and the Drop Through Method. What both of these methods reveal to us is that each problem situation that we find ourselves getting stuck in, there is an essential quality that we are seeking for, rather than trusting in. By following our longing back into the depths of our being we connect with the unconditional experience of that quality that we can then bring with us into the challenging situations of our lives.
Using the example to Type Two again. TWOs can get caught in the compulsion of giving to get. They are trying to give compassionately with the hope of receiving compassion from others. By using the Core State Process we can reverse this tendency by inquiring into what they are trying to experience by giving so much. We keep tracking back their hopes and desires until they identify their longing for an unconditional quality of being, rather than merely the conditions they are trying manipulate in order to get what they want.
The Drop Through Method is based on powerful practices of Vajrayana Buddhism and works by reversing the conditioned response of aversion to painful emotional states and instead mindfully leaning into and opening up to them instead. Once immersed in the emotional experience a person is asked to drop through to whatever is inside or beneath that state. The process continues through layers of emotion until often they come to what Almass refers to as deficient emptiness. This sense of deficient emptiness tends to be the gateway to what the Buddhist would call the Emptiness of Being and where people tend to get in touch with their essential qualities of being. You then become free of old fight or flight reactions and respond to life’s challenges with more grace, wisdom and creativity.
Joseph Campbell’s model of transformation can be mapped onto the Enneagram using Buddha’s journey to enlightenment as a prime example. When integrated with a new systemic understanding of the Enneagram it can guide you through life’s challenges more heroically.
Through experiential exercises you will discover how to shift from victim consciousness that underlies your Enneatype fixations to the heroic consciousness of your essential wholeness. You will see how each of the nine personality types, because of trauma and/or neglect tend to get stuck in vicious cycles of avoidance and attachment in the associated phase of their journey of self-realization (type ONEs get stuck at phase ONE, etc). You will receive a map of the journey consisting of questions that help you and others navigate your ways through these phases:
From Freud to Ken Wilbur there are many models of how people evolve through stages of development. If we turn the Enneagram on its side it can be viewed as a spiral of growth. With each journey around the circle from NINE to NINE a higher level of awareness and functioning emerges that transcends and yet includes aspects of the previous level.
The numbers around the circle of the Enneagram describe nine-phases of a cycle of change from NINE––one level of relative stability, full-circle to a new more complex level of stability at NINE. Joseph Campbell maps out these phases in his description of the Hero’s Journey of transformation. In this archetypal process each of us must leave the stability of our ‘Ordinary World’ in order explore opportunities and face life’s ordeals before bringing the ‘Elixir of our Enlightenment’ back home to be incorporated into a new ‘Ordinary World’.
By understanding how the Buddha moved through these phases on his heroic journey to enlightenment we can gain more trust in this universal process that is encoded in the DNA of our essential Buddha-like nature.
Neuro-psychiatrist Dr Dan Siegel refers to this process as the ‘River of Integration’. When caught in the compulsion of personality people tend to resist the next phase of change in an attempt to maintain a static self-image that is identified with one phase of the journey. So instead of flowing with the river of and life realizing our full potential, we tend hold ourselves back in whirlpool-like vicious cycles. We do too much of what we are good at, while resisting life’s invitations into uncharted realms of new possibilities and the realization of the richness of our true nature.
In this model of the Enneagram we realize we are not fixed separate entities, in reality we are inseparable from life itself. And life is eternal cycles of birth, growth and death. So rather than holding onto fixed notions of ourselves that leave us with a sense of separation from our true nature we learn to more easily trust and surrender to this journey of awakening. Who we really are cannot be defined by one number on the Enneagram, our true evolving nature is better defined as the movement through the qualities of attention and self-organization associated with all nine points.
For example, at phase NINE we are focussed (as type NINEs are) on maintaining the stability of our in our ‘Ordinary World’. At phase ONE we become aware (as ONES are) of the limitations of our world, which initiates what Campbell refers to as our ‘Call to Adventure’. At phase TWO we do all we can to adapt our behavior to live with the limitations of our Ordinary World, which is what Campbell refers to as ‘Refusal of the Call’. And so on…
Participants will be given an opportunity to guide one another through an experiential exploration of how they be more trusting of their heroic journey along the River of Integration of their life.