Meditation And The Enneagram: The Flourishing Dream Team.
The impulse to grow and evolve into our future best selves is within us. But, the challenge for many folks is that they don’t know how to go about it. Current research and ancient wisdom validate that the Enneagram of personality combined with meditation is the dream team for flourishing on the path of awakening to our true selves.
An increasing number of people are responding to the spiritual awakening call. The process begins when people realize that we have a dual nature- our conditioned self, which includes our personality and true self.
This time of transition is often unsettling for many people.
I hear from people worldwide spinning their wheels trying to answer questions that leave folks feeling lost, confused, and empty – Who am I? How can I feel more peaceful? What’s missing in my life? How can I live with more meaning and purpose?
These powerful spiritual questions arise when our souls are saturated with the material aspects of life, and we’re ready to awaken to our true selves.
It was asking these questions and feeling lost that triggered my search for deeper meaning, purpose and connection several years ago.
After many years of soul-searching and navigating the awakening journey, I’ve learned that meditation and the Enneagram of personality are the dream team if you feel called to shed your limiting and conditioned beliefs so that you are free to grow into your true self.
Meditation includes powerful practices that physically, emotionally, and spiritually shift things inside you. The Enneagram of personality provides a map for understanding yourself and learning about your motivations and habitual ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Combining the two gives you a streamlined and intentional way to navigate your awakening journey.
The Enneagram helps you to see your true self, and meditation enables you to be your true self.
Let’s start with meditation.
Like many folks drawn to meditation, I was stressed, suffering and looking for relief to feel happier and more content.
I wanted to feel more peaceful, resilient, and like I was fully thriving and not just getting by.
After practicing meditation daily, I noticed plateauing in my growth. My body, mind, and heart seemed more peaceful, but I still couldn’t answer; Who am I? What’s missing when I have so much to feel grateful for? What does my future best self look like?
I wondered whether I needed to get deeper into my meditation practice and considered attending a multi-day meditation retreat. I had already committed to a sitting practice of 20 minutes twice daily.
Something was inside me; however, I didn’t want to do that. It’s like my inner knowing sensed that sitting longer in silence wouldn’t give me the answers.
My gut wisdom was validated when I listened to a webinar with Ken Wilbur, an American philosopher and writer on transpersonal psychology and integral theory. Wilbur was talking about the science of self-actualization and explained that human beings are evolving and that meditation and mindfulness didn’t account for this.
Meditation and mindfulness will help you with many things. Still, it doesn’t enable you to look inside and see your level of development or personality type that results in your habitual thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Meditation will help you work with your body, emotions, and mind but doesn’t get to the root of why you have a habitual pattern that ultimately causes stress and suffering to arise in the first place.
We can meditate for hours or sit in a silent retreat for a month, and we won’t be able to look inside ourselves and see our evolutionary path. Who am I meant to become? What is holding me back from becoming it? What does my future best self look like?
All this is to say that meditation and mindfulness are powerful and valuable practices that aren’t meant to stand alone. They’ll only take us so far on our awakening journey.
On the spiritual path, we need to learn how to discern the difference between our small self or personality and our soul, which is connected to the spirit.
How do we discern the difference between our personality and soul?
The answer to this question came from learning about the Enneagram personality map.
What is the Enneagram of personality?
The Enneagram is an ancient symbol that has evolved into a psychospiritual soul map that an increasing number of spiritual teachers, psychologists, coaches, and counsellors use for personal growth and client work.
According to the Enneagram, nine different personality types are motivated by different things. The path to self-actualization is different for each type. For example, we have three intelligence sources – the head, the heart, and the body. Depending on your type, you’ll have different things to work on. It’s why a one size fits all approach to meditation doesn’t work.
We can structure our practices based on knowledge gained from understanding our personality. For example, a head type needs silence, a heart type needs solitude, and a body type needs stillness. This helps explain why a heart-type client needs solitude to connect with their deeper needs. The focus of their attention is always outward toward other people, so they lose touch with themselves.
Knowing our Enneagram personality type, we can structure our meditation, mindfulness, and inner growth practices to meet our unique needs.
Understanding our personality type and who we are not, in turn, helps us see the prison of our soul and provides the key to getting out. Each type has unique gifts AND its flavour of suffering that trip them up from fully thriving and fulfilling their potential.
The Enneagram is all about self-awareness. Without awareness and the ability to witness our personalities, they are like a straitjacket, causing inner turmoil, relationship troubles, and limiting fears that prevent us from living a more authentic and fulfilling life.
If curious, you can take the free Riso & Hudson Enneagram Personality (RHETI) sampler test. Please note that it is only a sampler meant to spark your curiosity. Understanding ourselves and using the Enneagram as a tool for growth is a life-long journey.
How the Enneagram can guide us in becoming our true selves.
Understanding our personality is vitally important because our personality is not who we are. We have a personality, but we are not our personality.
Our personality that at one time in our lives helped us survive, over time, becomes our prison – causing all sorts of symptoms that result in health, relationship, and vocational problems.
When we are called to awaken spiritually, we are essentially beginning to wake up to our dual nature. We bring awareness to who we are not (our conditioned self) to connect more deeply with our true selves.
For this reason, the first step in awakening is, as Plato said, “Do thine own work, and know thyself.”
Meditation and the Enneagram are a dream team for providing the way forward and the necessary tools to grow into our true selves.
As we enter into the right relationship with ourselves, we can flourish fully in our lives. We begin to thrive on the inside and create lives on the outside that feel vital, connected and meaningful.
If you feel called, please leave a comment below. Our community would love to hear from you!