Enneagram Studies at the NCMC
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is thought to be the oldest human development model in existence – its roots go back five thousand years.
Like all timeless wisdom, the Enneagram transcends its ancient origins and is forever contemporary in its incredible accuracy and practical application.
The Enneagram typology consists of nine different world views through which we see the world. There are nine sets of ‘blueprints’ that make up personality and ego – our reactive defensive patterns.
Equally the Enneagram represents a map of nine distinct qualities of the soul. These are the ‘higher’ transpersonal gifts and aspirations we are born to realise, and in turn offer to the world, called the ‘Holy Idea’ or the ‘Holy Virtue’.
The tension between our ego types and the gifts of the soul is essential to our transformation into the unique gifts of the nine different souls. The Enneagram is a psychological model depicting our mechanical behaviour that largely runs our lives - its medicine is a spiritual practice.
How can it be used for contemplative practice?
We will be continuing to study and work with the Enneagram, always in the context of contemplation and meditation. The most important thing in this study is 'practising presence' through inner attention. This involves simple meditative body practices enabling attention, so as to 'connect' with the inner observer. The underlying premise being that we can't study the ego with the ego itself. In other words we need to be able to stand back and observe more impartially with no judgement as judgement comes from the type itself.
Much of our work with the Enneagram is led by Gordon Melvin. He originally trained as an artist and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1988. He worked for many years as a senior chaplain in the NHS and then left in 2004 to teach the Enneagram.
He now runs Enneagram classes in several different countries - always in the context of spiritual practice and meditation.
He is passionate about his work, and is a wonderful teacher and guide.