Essence and the Enneagram

What is Essence?

“Essence is not alive; it is aliveness. It is not aware; it is awareness. It does not have the quality of existence; it is existence. It does not love; it is love. It is not joyful; it is joy. It is not true; it is truth.” A.H. Almaas

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is the name given to a 9 pointed symbol brought to the west by Armenian mystic, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. It’s exact origin is a mystery, but its meaning and application have evolved over the years, becoming one of the most powerful tools for understanding how and why our personalities have developed. The Enneagram is more than just a symbol with 9 points to it. It is a map that shows us the flow of creation and how our human journey takes us away from the source of Being, our True Nature – and also, how to return home.
For a brief explanation of the 9 personality types click here.

Essence and the Enneagram

It wasn’t until I began to see and experience the role of Essence in the Enneagram that my understanding of how to truly transform the personality began to emerge for me. At the core of each of the 9 personality types of the Enneagram there is an essential quality, that got dis-owned, distorted or diminished in some way as we were growing up. The enneagram is like a mirror that reflects back to us not only our personality, but all of the different dimensions of our True Nature.
While it’s valuable to see how our personality operates and the constellation of beliefs, fears and strategies that keep us fixated in an unending cycle of suffering – when we are able to connect to and experience the undistorted essential qualities that the personality is out of touch with, we begin to experience that at the core of every difficulty or issue that we face – is Essence. Because Essence is who we are, transformation must come from once again seeing and experiencing directly the truth of Being, our True Nature.

The 9 Holy Ideas

The Enneagram of Holy Ideas is the name given to a map of 9 particular ways that we perceive Reality when we are seeing it free of the distortions of the personality/ego. Another way of saying this is that when we are in touch with the depth dimensions of our “divine nature” there are nine sacred truths that reflect the ultimate, unchanging characteristics that imbue everyone and everything, including ourselves.


The theory of the enneagram is that each of us comes into life sensitive to one of the 9 Holy Ideas. Sensitive in this case doesn’t mean that we are particularly in touch with it. Rather,that we are unconsciously attuned to a distinct lack of connection to something that we know is vital but out of reach to our consciousness. This leads to the formation of one of 9 personality types which tries to resolve this dilemma by shaping itself and the world in a way that will make up for the inner sense of deficiency.

The Work

There are two parts to our inner Work.

The first part involves the cultivation of new pathways of awareness through the transmission of wisdom teachings that open the doorway to the depth dimensions of ourselves.

The second part of the Work involves penetrating the structures of the personality/ego with awareness through self-inquiry and direct contact with the barriers that veil our ability to see and experience our True Nature.


All Souls Interfaith Gathering
Meditation Sanctuary
291 Bostwick Farm Road
Shelburne, VT 05482

who should attend?

These classes are open to anyone who has a sincere love for the Truth and a desire to realize their deepest nature. A basic understanding of the enneagram of personality types is useful, but not necessary.

dates and times

10 Wednesday evenings – October 2nd through March 5th 6:00pm – 9pm
October 2 & 16
November 6 & 20
December 4 & 18
January 15 (no session New Years Day)
February 5 & 19
March 5


October 2 – Introduction and Overview of the Enneagram and the Holy Ideas
October 16 – Holy Love
November 6 – Holy Perfection
November 20 – Holy Will, Holy Freedom
December 4 – Holy Law, Holy Hope
December 18 – Holy Origin
January 15 – Holy Omniscience, Holy Transparency
February 5 – Holy Strength, Holy Faith
February 19 – Holy Wisdom, Holy Plan
March 5 – Holy Truth

registration and fee schedule

$100 non-refundable deposit holds your space. Balance due by September 15, 2013.
$450 if registered and paid in full before September 1, 2013.
$500 if registered and paid in full after September 1, 2013.

*Payment schedule is available – $100 deposit with registration and 10 payments of $40 automatically deducted from debit/credit card 1 week prior to each class.)
Pre-registration required. Limit 15 participants.