The Mindful Enneagram – 9 Meditations for Personal Transformation CD is ON SALE for the holiday season so I thought this would be a good time to tell you the story of how and why I created it.
I wrote and produced the Mindful Enneagram CD because it combines two passions that inform my counselling practice. I’m passionate about understanding personality differences and I’m passionate about the benefits of mindfulness meditation. The CD is a collection of 9 guided meditations designed to help develop awareness and release the habitual patterns of our personality.
When people decide to come for counselling they generally want to feel better about something that’s going on in their life situation. This usually involves understanding themselves or others and becoming more conscious of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
After 30 years of counselling people of all ages I continue to be struck by two things.
- The personality differences between people
- The profound effect of conscious awareness in the present moment.
Finding ways to bring these elements together gets me excited to go to work every day.
The Enneagram (pronounced Enee a gram) is a system of understanding personality differences. It describes 9 different archetypal ways of experiencing and expressing oneself in life. I’m a passionate, sensitive and creative person. These qualities have been gifts and challenges in my life. Years ago when I first discovered the Enneagram, I was stunned at how this system of understanding personality described me. I regularly hear this from people when they first encounter the Enneagram. Somehow reading the descriptions that so match their experience both validates and explains it.
Most of us live quite unconsciously repeating habitual patterns over and over even when the results bring us pain. For me understanding the motivations and habits of my personality type was the first step in becoming truly conscious. And as I studied and learned more about the Enneagram, I began to see the differences between people with more understanding and compassion. This was a game changer for me in my counselling practice. I was able to better understand the underlying motivations behind different types of defensive and destructive behavior and develop a deeper compassion for people I previously didn’t work well with.
The key principle of the using the wisdom of the Enneagram for personal growth is to develop the “inner observer”. This is the part of the mind that is able to watch the other parts of the mind thinking, feeling and doing. When we pause and separate having an experience and watching our experiences we become more and more conscious. This is where mindfulness meditation comes in.
I have meditated on and off my whole adult life, from the early days of learning Transcendental Meditation at the University of Guelph to my regular mindfulness meditation practice today. Every form of meditation at its core has the principle of learning how to “watch” the mind’s activity. When we practice meditation we are developing the “inner observer”. Here’s where it really gets exciting….because when I understand my chronic personality habits I understand more about what I’m watching.
For many years I’ve been sprinkling in mindfulness practices into my clinical work. At some point in 2008, I started experimenting with leading individual clients through guided meditations that highlighted the habits of their Enneagram type. Clients continued to report how powerful this felt and many asked if we could record these sessions. I was struck by the connection between understanding personality and practicing mindfulness as a crucial tool for personal development.
To my surprise, I couldn’t find any recorded guided meditations that targeted the paths of growth for each type defined by the Enneagram. After attending the International Enneagram Association conference in 2009, it became clear to me that if I wanted this kind of application that I would have to produce it myself!
The Mindful Enneagram CD grew out of my commitment to bring a ready application for people who really want to develop conscious awareness. The project was all-consuming and one of the most creative times of my life.
I was blessed to work with a wonderful sound engineer, and a talented graphics and duplicating team. I am grateful to my dear friends and colleagues who gave me excellent feedback and vetted the wording of the meditations from the perspective of their own experience.
The Mindful Enneagram CD was released in March of 2010. I am thrilled that it is selling to Enneagram and meditation enthusiast all around the world. I continue to receive positive feedback about the tangible results people experience from using these meditations. I invite you to give the gift of mindfulness to yourself or your loved ones this year.
To hear audio samples or buy The Mindful Enneagram CD click here
To learn more about how I work with the Enneagram click here
To work with me in person or on Skype to understand your personality and begin a mindfulness practice click here to contact me.
If you have used The Mindful Enneagram meditations and want to share your experience please leave a comment.