Next Enneagram course: March 2018. See events page for details.
At various times in our lives we seek to know ourselves more deeply. A disturbing event can make us seek help. Sometimes a friend suggests a course such as the enneagram and doesn`t want to go alone. That was my introduction to the enneagram in 1995. It came at an important juncture in my life. I feel people discover the enneagram at just the right time for them. I certainly did.
The enneagram (from the Greek ennea, nine, gramma something written) is based on the work of three 4th-6th century Christian spiritual writers: John Cassian, John Climacus and Evagrius who formulated the list we know as the Seven Capital Sins: a list which still holds a potent energy today. Through the pioneering work of several modern enneagram teachers this tool for transformation is now available to all regardless of background. It is taught workplaces, in hospitals, parishes, retreat houses and to assorted groups throughout the world.
“I would love to live
Like a river flows
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.”
“Fluent”, Connemara Blues by John O`Donohue.
There are three centres on the enneagram:
And within them nine spaces, each one having a different emotional and mental approach to the world. This can result in automatic habits of feeling and thinking that we are hardly aware of.
Unless we work on our personal and spiritual development they can rule us. When we look for help we have many tools to choose from. The enneagram is one of those tools.
As adults we know we are not all the same, even members of one family can vary enormously.
The enneagram is based on the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers and has been brought into our age by various teachers such as Helen Palmer in California and Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest.
Come to an introductory course and learn about the nine spaces through the narrative tradition, a method that relies on you sharing stories from your life in pairs, small groups and the main group. We are not talking about deep wounds: the enneagram is not therapy. The stories you tell will be about your attitude to ,for example, authority, anger, image, conflict etc.
Once you discover your space you can see how you have already moved beyond it. In your spiritual life you learn what forms of prayer, devotional practices have always suited you and why.
Here are two prayers,quite different in character, for two of the spaces on the enneagram:
Daily Prayer for someone in the space of the Six
Lord God, I thank you for giving me a great respect for the law and the gift of loyalty to friends.
Help me to understand more deeply how much you really love me.
Safe in the knowledge of this love and relying on your tender care,
may I have the courage to overcome my fears and become
more trusting of myself and others. Amen
Daily Prayer for someone in the space of the Eight
Lord God, I thank you for giving me a tremendous passion for life,
a powerful sense of justice and the energy to get things done.
Help me always to protect the weak and champion the oppressed.
Give me a heart filled with compassion so that I may experience the strength
that comes through gentleness and the respect that comes through love. Amen
The enneagram runs over three days beginning with an evening session,which is vital because you take the basic information regarding the nine spaces and sleep on it. This is followed by two days:10-4 when you can explore the Three centres and Nine spaces.
Before you come select a personal item you can share with the whole group on the first night as you introduce yourself.
1. Enneagram Studies in the Narrative Tradition
2. Rohr gives a five-minute introduction to the enneagram: The Enneagram as a tool for spiritual discernment.