Interrupting Automatic

neon spiralThe mind is a brilliant asset. It’s best at running our lives in almost a task oriented fashion. Get up, make coffee, kiss partner or not. This is a pretty rote example, but you get the idea. And the mind can think great thoughts, if only it could get out of its own way. The Buddhists call it “monkey mind,” chattering away in its endless cycle of an RSS feed (or tapes, if you’re old school), and streaming our emotions along with it. We catch ourselves “on automatic” and yet somehow, making a new groove in the way we respond to life seems paradoxically gargantuan and illusive. The good news is, the mind is interrupted by awareness.

In my last blog, I discussed the “law of three,” how it is embedded in all religious and spiritual traditions, and in many different ways in the Enneagram. In order to “interrupt automatic,” we have something again to learn from the law of three.

1.) The mind is part and parcel of the personality.

2.) The soul/life force is one with Essence or the Greater Life Force.

3.) The Observer, or our Awareness, is a third and neutral point from which we see, as though standing on a hilltop, not only the vast land but the eternal sky.

From this vantage point, we can differentiate the topography of our personality as separate from Eternity and simultaneously experience that Observer within us. (To be sure, though, every plane, land, sky and vantage point, is ultimately, a part of Unity.)

This is an analogy of point of view. We have the ability, if we choose to develop it, to tell the difference from the land of our unique minds and emotional habits from the freedom of the sky.

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Thoughts on the Law of Three

The laws of threeThe occurrence of the law of three in the Enneagram is of endless fascination to me. Three centers, three instincts, three triangles (if you connect the invisible lines), three tendencies of movement: Withdraw, Assert, Comply and the list goes on. I’m reading a biography of an East Indian Mahatma, Kirpal Singh, who said, ‘All religions agree that Life, Light and Love are the three phases of the Supreme Source of all that exists. These essential attributes of the divinity that is ONE, … are also wrought into the very pattern of every sentient being. It is in this vast ocean of Love, Light and life that we live…’

If this pattern of Love, Light and Life is the very existence in which we live, then identifying our individual distortions of these Essential Attributes, i.e.; our Type, is a vital and worthwhile journey. I’m glad the Enneagram shows me the pattern of how I get in my Essential way. And I’m glad this journey is leading me toward knowing who I really Am and as a part of that, loving others.

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Welcome to EnneagramWorks website and blog. I hope you find this site accessible, informative and a place to find events that foster community, education and growth. EW blog is devoted to exploring life with insights informed by the Enneagram and the mindfulness practices it implies.

My passion for the Enneagram began the day I attended a day-long workshop on Martha’s Vineyard, MA with a gifted teacher, Amy Zoll. The workshop was panel style, listening to people of the same type relay their point of view. I was jarred awake by the theme that ran through each type, even as each person was unique.

There is a phenomenon called perceptual blindness. It is the inability to perceive things that are in plain sight. That day I “saw” the types as though I should have known they were there all the time. Immediately, a whole new world opened up that would allow me to understand myself and others. Here was something with a weird name that held rationally, the paradox of individualism, thematic viewpoints and Essence all in One whole existence.

By the time the workshop was over, a passion had formed within me that has shaped the course of my life and attention. EnneagramWorks is a way for me to share, teach and learn from you as a journey of “perceptual awakening.”



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