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  1. #1
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Default Mindfulness and the Enneagram

    Some writers and teachers of the Enneagram system encourage its use in conjunction with the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, including Don Riso and Russ Hudson. How has anyone here found the combination to work? Personally, I'm actually thankful to the Enneagram for introducing me to mindfulness, because I think it's been the more revolutionary of the two for me, as much as the Enneagram has provided new helpful insights for self-understanding and relationships.

    I think the two complement each other very well: the Enneagram describes particular habits and processes that novices to mindfulness like me might not notice as soon or often otherwise, and points to the changes we should notice in our lives if we're making progress. Mindfulness shines a torch on the phenomena depicted by the Enneagram, in action. Once captured and illuminated, they appear as misguided or out of place to us as they really are.

    I'm loving my first experiences of the Quiet Mind. I don't remember ever experiencing it before. Important or worthwhile thoughts and ideas can actually get through to me now when appropriate and be noted and remembered, and the rest of the time I have no sense of inner franticness, or tension between the inside and outside world. I've also stopped snapping on autopilot at sudden intrusions, and people can't make me jump even when they try, now. It usually doesn't take much.

    My cravings for isolation and disengagement have also been lessening rapidly, partly as a result of the above, but these are early days yet. No one else seems to have mentioned this so far, yet it's central to Riso and Hudson's view of how the E personality is formed and maintained and what to do about it.

  2. #2
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. Is there such a thing as a beginner's guide to mindfulness, of a few good links to get someone who's interested started? I remember there was a link to total mind/body relaxation that I think Victor posted awhile back. I used that to relax each night for a month, and it really helped. I need to get back into that habit.

    I read about grounding techniques and those seemed to help quite a bit also.
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGeq5v7L3WM

  3. #3
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speculative View Post
    Thanks for posting this. Is there such a thing as a beginner's guide to mindfulness, of a few good links to get someone who's interested started? I remember there was a link to total mind/body relaxation that I think Victor posted awhile back. I used that to relax each night for a month, and it really helped. I need to get back into that habit.

    I read about grounding techniques and those seemed to help quite a bit also.
    Well, I first read about it in The Wisdom of the Enneagram, which does explain it in terms suitable for beginners. After that I've just been googling it, finding articles by Enneagram specialists and Buddhist monks and others. From what I've seen some people do misunderstand it at first or struggle a lot, so I recommend reading around to make sure you've got it.

    For example, I've read people's complaints that it means they're not allowed to daydream or think laterally any more, which I've seen only one (Western) monk strongly suggest. Becoming grounded in the body and senses to start with is widely suggested, because it helps bring awareness to the present moment, however, the goal is to become equally aware of what the mind and emotions are doing in the present moment. If you're aware of what's going on in and around you, then when you find yourself daydreaming or automatically tuning out to start, you'll be able to make a much more informed decision about whether the daydream is worth having right now. In my experience it doesn't even feel like a 'decision' as I'm used to making them, I just stop feeling like doing it and become aware of what I'd rather do. I have found mention of research that suggests that people who aren't aware that they're daydreaming when they're doing it aren't any more creative than people who don't daydream much, anyway. It goes to waste.

    Also, something that bothered me personally was struggling to believe that you could cultivate this 'inner observer' without limiting your ability to enjoy your experiences, but by now I'm noticing the opposite, as promised. It seems you don't actually have to 'get lost in' (lose your sense of self and context) an experience to have it richly and rewardingly.

  4. #4
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Someone on here has recommended the Enneagram author Sandra Maitri, for reading more about this. I hadn't heard of her before, but she has a very interesting background in the subject.

  5. #5
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    Interesting find! It looks like she focuses more on the spiritual aspects than other authors.
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGeq5v7L3WM

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    I have found that developing and bringing Ti to dominant position, creates a very useful tool in achieving Mindfulness. Ti can be the doorman, that quickly sorts through thought processes determining the usefulness of each and discarding many before they are fully formed.

    I have found that many false assumptions (flawed FJ's) that pull us from the present moment into turmoil, can be quickly sorted and dispersed with active Ti.

    The great thing about developed and controlled Ti, seems to be that it can lay dormant until needed. A great tool for use in the art of living in the moment.

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