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The Three Instincts (Subtypes) Workshop

  • 19 Aug 2022
  • 6:00 PM
  • 21 Aug 2022
  • 4:00 PM
  • Virtual via Zoom


Nan Henson

IEA Accredited Professional

Riso-Hudson Certified and Authorized Enneagram Teacher

Approved for 14 CE’s through The Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work

More Info and to Register

Using the Enneagram to Create Balance in your Life and Harmony in your Relationships

Our instinctual nature, while extremely powerful in our decision-making processes, lifestyle choices, and orientation to day-to- day reality, is often given little emphasis in many spiritual paths, and the Instincts are often treated as an inherent problem - a distortion to be eliminated. This is understandable since this part of our nature is usually little interested in our spiritual or psychological development. Yet, without a clear and viable relationship with this aspect of our souls, it is extremely difficult to maintain an integrated approach to our path.

The Enneagram deals very directly with this aspect of the Self through teachings about the Three Instincts - Self-Preservation, Sexual (Attraction), and Social (Adaptation).  Seminal ideas about the three Instincts go back at least as far as Gurdjieff's teachings about the Centers and have equivalents in other spiritual traditions. In recent years, many Enneagram students have discovered the explanatory power of seeing how their instinctual bias operates in combination with their dominant Enneagram type. Learning how their type plays itself out through one of these instincts can be as exciting as when we first learn about the Enneagram.

In this workshop, we will first clarify and deepen our understanding of the Instincts, seeing them at work in our personal experience. We will also examine how our particular instinctual "stack" - the way we prioritize our basic human needs and values - is the pattern that most keeps us locked in the repetitive habits of our personality.  (One of the quickest ways to unlock the Passion and Fixation of our type is to understand and work on the imbalance in our Instincts.) Recognizing the way we give energy to certain needs while neglecting others brings balance and helps us integrate the deeper experiences of Essence and Being that we may have had. Without such Inner Work, even profound experiences of Spirit and Oneness cannot affect our lives the way they could.

This Workshop will employ experiential dyads and triads, meditation, movement work, and music to help participants recognize the ways that these patterns express themselves in their lives.  We will also explore concrete ways in which to bring greater balance in our approach to our instinctual life.  Our approach is relaxed and conversational, with an emphasis on the development of our capacity to remain in Presence.

International Enneagram Association Southeast USA Affiliate is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Copyright 2017.

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