“I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.”—Ken Wilber (via samsaranmusing)
Keeping on our topic of dealing with negative and painful emotions let’s take a look at fear. Anxiety, anxiousness, worry, fretfulness, uneasiness they are all just fear. Chronic or “free floating” anxiety results when our fears are hazy and unresolved. We find ourselves feeling anxious with no…
A really really good technique for both therapy and panels (if your panelists are comfortable with this sort of thing!) If you start to worry about something, ask yourself: “So?”
I can’t go to that party!
Nobody will like me.
I want people to like me.
So what if they don’t?
You can do the same thing if your panelist expresses a negative opinion towards something. For example, “I wouldn’t want to be seen as weird.” “So what if you were?” “People might not take me seriously” “So what if they didn’t?”
As Sam said: The key is to accept that you cannot change the universe- In almost every situation you will be OK no matter what happens.
“I’m afraid that I’m destructive. That if I have something good, I feel compelled to destroy it.”—Bette Porter, from 5x09 “Liquid Heat” when Tina imitates Dan and asks, “What is it that you’re afraid of?” (via themagic8ballknowsall)
How do you keep yourself from internalizing pain and anguish when you know how to solve someone else's problem, but they don't want to solve it themselves?
This is ego talking. Our egos love to fix other people. When we discover that we cannot we feel this anguish. Understand that everyone walks their own path. Everyone is at differing stages on their path. Accept this and rid yourself of this attachment. Then serve as an example. You may find that if you are the calm one, the serene one, the kind one and the compassionate one then these people may search you out for counsel. Do not offer counsel unsolicited. Especially in teaching the dharma. All teachers must vow not to teach until the pupil is ready. Sam.
“Spend a few days simply observing what attracts your attention (conscious energy)…do not judge good or bad, simply note where your consciousness naturally goes. After a few days of simple self observation…then the meaningful work starts. Ask yourself why such and so grabs your attention consistently or you kneejerk a response to it. Unraveling the ‘whys’ of it will take while longer…sub-conscious triggers avoid the light, but with persistent self-questioning they will come out and answer…they must. They simply want to ascertain your honest willingness to know.”—Duane Townshend
Hi Sam, I'm not exactly a "busy" person. I go to college, attend classes. Socialise every now and again (not very sociable but then again not exactly a hermit or an anti-social person)...what I'm trying to say is that I seem to have more free time than many others around me. But these days, I'm constantly filled with this feeling that I just don't have enough time in the world to achieve even half of the things I'd like to, learn things, see things, feel things, I just feel this impending doom.
This feeling of impending doom is known as “free floating anxiety”. It is most often caused by unresolved inner conflict or fears which are undefined in our minds. A fear that we can pin down is a fear that can be resolved. To do this make a “fears” list of everything that is causing you anxiety. Work, school, relationships be specific and detailed and make sure you get them all. This very act will diminish this feeling of doom. Then, take steps to address these fears and solve the problems which are causing them. You don’t have to solve them all to feel better. You simply need to start. Blessings, Sam.
Remember! Improvement is a difficult thing that takes lots of time and practice. Sometimes it might seem like you aren’t making any progress at all but that’s not true as long as you keep going! I believe in you, keep your head up!
I came up with some simple mantras for each enneagram type. The first verb is usually the thing that a type is apt to do anyway. It’s often a good or neutral sounding verb. The next sequence is what healthy types are more likely to do. Hence, each mantra gives a type something to “graduate” towards
2 — Give and appreciate self 3 — Achieve and inspire/motivate others 4 — Create and live by creations 5 — Gather and present 6 — Scrutinize and rest assured 7 — Survey and focus 8 — Challenge and assist others 9 — Make peace and grow 1 — Know ideals and live them all
I remember in the early days of discovering the enneagram, I was quick to spread the system to all of the people I knew so they too could all gain insights into themselves and everyone else. For some this was an enlightening process. Unfortunately for others, they were quick to dismiss and reject…
Aptly on the topic of trying to share the Enneagram with others…..
When I first started working with the Enneagram, I typed everybody: friends, family, strangers on the street. It was a puzzle, a way to keep myself entertained, and I was good at it. For about three or four years if I had an interaction with someone you could be pretty sure that I was running through types in my head like a lock-picker, waiting for the tumblers to click into place.
Sometimes this skill was useful: It made me typically more compassionate towards strangers who acted rudely to me, for example- which should be a main side effect of your studies. However, it complicated my relationships with my friends. I have a bit of a two streak, and I often felt sooner or later that it would benefit my friends if I sort of….pushed them gently towards the Enneagram and their type.
If you’ve gone through the basics of the Enneagram, you’ll know that there is no sure way to check your work. An outside person typing someone else, especially without their knowledge or input, has no way of telling ‘for sure’ if they have typed that person correctly. Even the person being typed has no way of telling ‘for sure’ if they have typed themselves correctly.
My suggestions that friends look into the Enneagram often ended in cold affront, and never once did someone thank me for trying to introduce them to what I considered their ‘true self’. To be fair, I have the tendency to be pretty tactless- something I’m working on- but after enough of these interactions, I put myself under the microscope: Why was I typing people in the first place, and what made me think they needed to know my observations? What made me think my observations were right?
Someday I’ll type up the answers to those questions, but ultimately I discovered that typing my friends did me little to no service. I came to the conclusion that I ought to be able to discern things about people I cared about without the crutch of type structure. I should be observant towards friends, and if I was so unobservant as to need the Enneagram to define them, I was undermining my friendship with that person.
I also realized that most of the people I was so intent on typing were people I was forced to spend time with. Now that I have much more choice over my friends and cohorts, I think that incessant typing was originally a way of dealing with people who bored me, but became a habit involving people who interested me.
Obviously, I haven’t given up the Enneagram altogether. I still think it is the most valuable thing I ever learned, and continue to pursue teaching it to those interested. Sometimes I even break the friend rule if I meet a particularly intense Eight or a Three who just won’t sit down and connect with me damnit.* But these days I am much less aggressive about assigning people numbers. I get to know someone and a Five becomes a Nine; it is easy to mistake two types of quietness.
I still immediately type people who I don’t have a desire to know personally- a lab partner who I dislike, or my superiors. I keep these observations to myself, but they remind me to breathe if a One gets very nit-picky or to appreciate the rare moments of solemnity with a Seven.
So if you’ve been wondering why this blog is so quiet, it’s largely because my life is going very well interpersonally lately. I rarely interact with people whom I feel a need to type. In parting, I urge you to ask yourself the same questions I did:
What do you get out of typing people?
Do you share your observations, and how to people react to that?
If so, why do you need to share those observations?
In what situations is it useful or appropriate to type people? When is it not?
*Please always take the following with a grain of salt:
Any time- ever- that I type someone. I am wrong about things all the time.
Any time- ever- that someone types themselves. Other people are wrong about things all the time.
Anything that you are taught about the Enneagram (or anything else!) Teachers are wrong about things all the time.
“I’m not sure how one begins to meditate, and I am absolutely clueless as to what yogic concentration is. Many thanks.”
Hi! Just a bit of an overview. First, the talking in your head. The self critical, self harming voice is a part of your psyche called the “ego”. It evolved in human beings to be the voice of our desires and our internal taskmaster which makes us do the things “we”, that is, our “self” do not want to do.
You must cease to identify with this voice. It is not you. This is the voice that tells you to drink or to use, this is the voice which tells you to cut or even to harm yourself. You see, sometimes this internal voice, stops being a useful survival mechanism and turns on us. Why? No one knows for sure but it does.
The first step then in the process is to recognize ego. Listen for the voice. Does it say “you are unworthy”? Does it say “nobody will ever love you”? Does it say “you can’t do that why even try”? Does it say “you are a failure”? Does it say “you are weak”?
Remember that there is nothing unusual about being anxious since everyone is anxious and much more often than you might think. Learn to be more present to your anxiety, to explore it, and to come to terms with it. Work creatively with your tensions without turning to excessive amounts of…
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptable, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.
Basic Fear: Of being worthless
Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: “The Professional”
Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.
I often see people reject the Enneagram at a glance because they think that they are either not enough like any of the types or too much like all of them. David Daniels discusses the dichotomies of a few types as example and affirms “atypical behavior” as healthy and real.
"Over the years I have found that every Two has a “secret” connection to type Five where they pull back, restore, conserve energy, and reflect mentally.
And Fives can be giving with heartfelt generosity. They just want to know for how long, essentially that there is a beginning, middle and end to the claims being made upon them.
Also I have seen many Sevens confused because they have times of strong feelings especially as they awaken and allow in a range of feelings that include the “darker” feelings.
Likewise Fours have times of the incredible lightness of being especially as they awaken and focus more upon the positives that have always been there.
Furthermore, the Harmony Triads provide a natural flow among the three centers of intelligence once attention is put on these equilateral triangles.
Those of us in the basic triad of types 3-6-9 know that there is much movement among the types in the triad with each of the types becoming a resource. Flow can occur in any direction depending upon the requirements of any particular situation once we awaken to this natural process.
When those in the other two equilateral triangles become aware, they too can experience this natural flow of movement which allows for an increase of free energy.
This may, in fact, be the most important facet provided by the Harmony Triads.”
-DR. DAVID DANIELS (David has written this piece on the Enneagram of Harmony)
Dr. David Daniels is one of my absolute favorite people. He has an MD in neurobiology and has spent many years integrating this knowledge with the Enneagram. Dr. Daniels is incredibly intelligent and compassionate, and I was privileged enough to see him speak a few summers ago- Something I would recommend to anyone who has the chance. His personal website is linked here.
Enneagram Fours and Fives may well have different interests but they appreciate different perspectives and respect the other’s intensity and commitment to following their own feelings and interests. Fives bring an inquiring, intellectual temperament, the habit of asking questions and of…
This excerpt is from one of Helen Palmer’s books- Either the Enneagram or The Enneagram in Love and Work. Can’t remember just now. Both are fantastic books and worth a read.
We have sometimes called the Nine the crown of the Enneagram because it is at the top of the symbol and because it seems to include the whole of it. Nines can have the strength of Eights, the sense of fun and adventure of Sevens, the dutifulness of Sixes, the intellectualism of Fives, the…
Sam, Can you speak alittle about quieting the mind during meditation? I find the meditative state so fragile. I’m a beginner, and enjoy the attempts at hanging onto the quiet, but I fear that effort is getting in the way of mindfulness. Thanks!
“Observe the attachment to your pain. Be very alert. Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it. The resistance will cease if you make it conscious. Stay present as the witness and initiate its transmutation.”—
Lately I haven’t been posting as much about the Enneagram as a system, but about ways to get in touch with yourself, learn to be an inner observer, and relax your ego a little bit. These are the first steps to a good practice, and any lesson in the narrative tradition would have long classes on this type of thing before you even looked at the Enneagram shape. Like wax on- wax off, get it? Nobody’s perfect at this stuff, especially me, but hopefully I can point you in the right direction.
I recently realized that I’ve been running this blog for quite a while now, but never really stopped to say hello.
Hello and welcome!
This is a blog dedicated to both the study and practice of the Enneagram. I would also like very much to start a conversation here, answer your questions, and let you teach me. Please don’t be shy about sending asks of any sort!
The Enneagram is just one of many attempts to understand where we fit in this big web of universe. It is a map of a partially-explored place, an attempt to write a language we only know how to speak, and a tool for a job we are not sure how to complete. Equal parts scientific study and spiritual practice, Enneagram study relies on intellect, suspension of disbelief, trust, and a whole heaping load of compassion. Curious or long-dedicated, you are welcome to wander here as long as you like. Namaste and blessed be.
“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”—Hermann Hesse (via samsaranmusing)
“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-more wonders.”—Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother (via samsaranmusing)
Anonymous asked:Sam i have a problem with wanting more and more, it's like an addiction. It's like i want constant attention and praise, classic ego. it's like i can't be happy with what i have i have to keep wanting more and more and at the end i end up with nothing. How do i control this crazy way of being?
Sam:This is not “like” an addiction. It “is” an addiction. Not all addictions are chemical except that they all rely on the production of certain neurotransmitters. The mechanism of addiction is always the same. We are made in such a way that when we get too much of anything our desire for it diminishes. However, with certain things this does not happen and the net result is that we require more and more to get the same “rush”. You get a burst of pleasant neurotransmitters when you receive attention and that is what you are addicted to. That and, as is generally the case, you have issues with your self image and the praise of others gives you much needed positive feed back and validation.
This is classic “attachment” in the Buddhist sense. Attachment is the craving, clinging and compulsive aspect of desire. How do you diminish attachment? Well, being aware of it is a good start. Now you must also work on ego. You will never be able to fill the emptiness with praise or any other external thing. You can only fill that empty place in your chest with a spiritual life.