The Journey of Growth Workshop is about harnessing an understanding of the vertical dimension of the Enneagram, with all the dynamic inter-relationships of the types, to help us in our journey of psycho-spiritual growth. We explore how the Levels of Development, which provide a vertical dimension to the personality types, make clear the “inner logic” of each type and reveal how the various type traits and motivations as well as the movement along the arrows form an interrelated whole. All of these complex inter-relationships weave a subtle and profound web of inter-connections between the types which gives us guidance for our inner growth.
At their most profound, the Levels are the measure of each person’s degree of fixation within his or her own type, that is, the degree with which they are able to be Present vs. being swept away by past conditioning, reactivity, and defenses. Working with the Levels and internal dynamism of the Enneagram not only provides recognition for where we are in our journey of growth, but also guides us toward greater health and transformation.
The Levels were discovered by Don Riso in 1977 and subsequently further developed with Russ Hudson. The Levels provide a way of tracking each type’s movement along a continuum toward more freedom, consciousness, expansiveness, and Being in the higher Levels—or toward more reactivity, mechanicality, and self-destructiveness in the lower ones. By introducing this “vertical axis” to the types, the Levels explain some of the most important things that we find in human nature—fluidity and change, resistance and conflict, freedom and compulsion—among many human qualities.
In this Workshop, we explore how people “move” from one Level to another, along with other complex “horizontal” movements predicted by the Enneagram. We also see how the main characteristics of each type are related to the degree of contact with Essence as seen in the Levels. Exercises, music, and meditation are used as a way of grounding the information in our personal experience and to deepen our understanding. This Workshop is particularly valuable for those who wish to have more clarity and insight for using the Enneagram in personal growth.
The Levels of Development innovation is the only Enneagram work to be specifically endorsed by Ken Wilber, who has stated that only with this vertical dimension taken into account, does the Enneagram system move toward being a complete psychology. Don Riso and Russ Hudson are the only Enneagram authors to write and teach about the Levels, thus giving their work an extraordinary explanatory power and making a wide range of practical applications possible.