Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Enneagram Europe website.
Friday, 31 August 2012
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
It's less than two weeks away, so book now for the "Nine Kinds of Angel" one-day Enneagam workshop at Oldham Unitarian Chapel on Saturday 7 July. You can book online here or contact me for further information. The chance to take part in a workshop like this for only £15 may not come up again, so make the most of it!
Friday, 13 April 2012
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On Saturday 7 July a fantastic opportunity is coming up to attend a one-day introductory workshop on the Enneagram for the amazingly low price of &15 per person. It will take place at the Oldham Unitarian Chapel Connaught Street, OLDHAM OL8 1EB. You can book online on the Enneangel website or contact me on 01942 681206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, 24 January 2011
Image by Nod Young via FlickrI was always a big fan of the Monkey! series when I was a kid. If you don't know it, it's the dubbed into English version of a Japanese series based on a Chinese classic of literature. The hero Monkey is a monkey god (or demon or spirit) born from a stone egg called thought. In the first episode he is punished for running amok in heaven by being buried under a mountain for 500 years and is released on condition that he helps the monk Tripitaka travel to India to collect some holy scrolls. Pigsy (a pig spirit) and Sandy (a water spirit) have also been thrown out of heaven for bad behaviour and are likewise given a chance to redeem themselves by helping Tripitaka on his journey. The fifth member of the party is a dragon in the shape of a white horse. The rest of the first series and the second one are mostly about them fighting and overcoming demons, which is often made more difficult by Tripitaka's inconsistent pacifism.
I recently watched the whole two series again on dvd and still love it. It's not high art by any means but it is charming and entertaining. The plots are usually quite simple and often inconsistent. The costumes and special effects are reminiscent of early Dr Who (it can't possibly be the same quarry though). The wise Buddhist sayings that are thrown in and the unexplained sex changes also add to the strange and fascinating mixture.
One thing that is repeated every week is that they are on a journey as long as life. The series is full of metaphors like that. (Yes, I know it is a simile, but the journey is a metaphor for life as well.) They are travelling towards enlightenment by overcoming their personal demons (and the demons do quite often come out of their own heads).
But what does all this have to do with the Enneagram? I'm getting there.
After I watched the series again I decided to buy the book that it was based on, Journey to the West, in English translation of course. It had already struck me as I watched Monkey! this time round that Tripitaka's three disciples represented both the good and bad side of the three centres of intelligence.
Pigsy, representing the gut or body centre, is immensely strong and powerful and does most of the carrying. But he also gives in easily to his monstrous appetite for food and the opposite sex.
Sandy, representing the heart centre, is the one who looks out for Tripitaka most, and is concerned for him when he suffers from tiredness and hunger. He also acts as a go-between when Tripitaka has fallen out with Monkey. But he tends to mope and complain and drown his sorrows in wine.
Monkey, of course, represents the head centre. He is clever, is a master of illusion, and can always think of a way out of their problems. But he is always looking for the easy way and prefers tricks to hard work. His tricks and deceptions always lead to his downfall.
Having started reading Journey to the West, their names also fit in with the Enneagram centres. The bodhisattva Guanyin gives Sandy and Pigsy Buddhist names (Monkey had earned his earlier). Pigsy is Zhu Wuneng, or Pig Awakened to Power. Sandy is Sha Wujing, or Sand Awakened to Purity. And Monkey is Sun Wukong, or Monkey Awakened to Emptiness.
So, bearing in mind the centres that they represent, Tripitaka sets out on his journey as long as life with a body awakened to power, a heart awakened to purity and a mind awakened to emptiness. What else could he possibly need?