Last summer, I wrote about a book by A.H. Almaas which has become a sort of Bible for me. I promised to write more about the Enneagram and its lessons soon, and now a year has flown by – but I haven’t forgotten! Working with the Enneagram is very important for me. It has helped me to understand my many tics and facets these past 15 years, as I wondered what was wrong with me: my restlessness, fear of exclusion, of boredom and my desire, at the root of it all, to be happy and content.
Which Enneagram type am I?
My longtime friend Subhuti, author and Osho-disciple, as well as one of the best Enneagram teachers out there, helped me to identify myself as a seven on the Enneagram. The constant search for something new, something different and extraordinary is at the core of my being, which can be quite trying at times. In order to balance my seven-propensities, I’ve had to work hard to cultivate a sense of calm and contentment. Meditation has been a key for me.
Today, I consider myself a healthier seven with a few weaknesses. I still need mental stimulation and input, something to process or create. This gives me drive and direction. But I’ve learned to survive moments of doing nothing as well. Sevens also bring many wonderful qualities to the table: we can be bold, optimistic, cheerful, always up-to-date, motivated, full of energy and inspiring. Lightness is our life-goal. The Enneagram has helped me to love myself for who I am, and to understand those close to me better.
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram originated in Sufism and is made up of nine personality types. It’s represented visually as a nine-pointed star which illustrates the cosmological processes and development of human consciousness. Working with the Enneagram is a structured process, similar in many ways to working with the Kabbala. The Enneagram was introduced to the West through the spiritual teacher Gurdjieff.
I’ve been working with the contemporary Enneagram teachings by Helen Palmer, which are a compilation of many different spiritual teachings and influences. The Enneagram supposes that humans are spiritual beings through whom, in mysterious ways, the will of the creator is manifest – whatever that may mean to each of us. All of us are guided and filled with divine light, and the Enneagram serves to reconnect us with this light and to live by it.
We often see ourselves in a distorted way, which keeps us from expressing our true potential, and from seeing the truth of ourselves. This, in turn, severs our connection to ourselves and leads to us to feeling restless and dissatisfied.
The Enneagram is not connected to any religion or specific spiritual practices. It is simply a tool for deeper self-reflection without which we can’t proceed farther on our spiritual path. The Enneagram is one of the few tools which attempts to connect our personality with spiritual pursuits, allowing all of our many facets to become gateways to these higher levels of consciousness.
The nine Enneagram types
Those interested in identifying their type should be prepared for a bit of a shock as well – the truth can hurt. A good teacher with Enneagram experience is advisable to guide and facilitate this process.
It is also important to avoid dogma or abuse in the context of one’s Enneagram type. Let’s consider the Enneagram a tool for recognizing our own entanglements and obstacles on the way to our true nature – a tool for working on these challenges. It supports us in finding our place in this complex world. For an overview of the nine types check here; an Enneagram-type test is also available.
How to begin?
My advice is to seek out a teacher or a class. My own teacher, Subhuti Anand, offers Skype-sessions to identify your Enneagram type and the corresponding topics and themes to work on, including concrete tools for approaching this work. It might also suffice to simply identify your type with him and then to find your own way in processing the information via books and the internet. I highly recommend his work. Otherwise, check to see if there are offerings of this type in your local area.
Enneagram books in my shelf
„The Wisdom of the Enneagram“* by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson
„The Enneagram“ by Helen Palmer
„Das Enneagram in Love and Work“ by Helen Palmer
„From Fixation to Freedom: the Enneagram of Liberation“* by Eli Jaxon-Bear
„ The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul “* by Sandra Maitri
(a perfect book to start your Enneagram journey)
Working with the Enneagram can be a deep process, a wonderful tool to support you in your spiritual and day-to-day life. I wouldn’t miss it.
Afflilate Link *