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From the Guide - June 2016

As this newsletter is being published, Cheri is conducting an email class, “Relationship and the Enneagram.” Here are some submissions from participants with Cheri’s response:

Enneatype 1

I wonder – maybe there’s authentic sadness that I do miss my partner when he leaves, then that gets hijacked/judged as defective and not “together” like a one “should” be, and then the suffering ramps up – stuff the sadness, blame him for leaving, blame myself, angst builds weeks before he even leaves. R/L


The thing we can be sure of is that if there is such a thing as “authentic sadness” it doesn’t take the form of angst building for weeks in advance. As you cease that drama—you can’t be sad about something that’s going to happen weeks from now so you can safely drop the conversation—you’ll be able to pay attention to what you’re feeling in the moments of his departure. Big difference, huh? I project you can see that the angst/drama keeps you from seeing the beliefs and assumptions about “together” and pretty much everything else in life, yes? Gassho

Enneatype 2

By moving to compassion (tears) in reading your response, could see clearly “I” creates the projected “wall” onto father because wall dissolved (in compassion). The wall is fear of not being loved for how I am and wanting him “to vindicate my claims about myself.” I don’t want to participate in that (system) anymore. (R/L)


Interesting, isn’t it, to see how that wall is there to keep “you from you” rather than to keep a distance between father and you. It works really well in both cases, but the real point of it is to separate you from presence, from thisherenow, and allow for stories of fear, loss, unloved, etc., to continue. Gassho

Enneatype 3

It’s not in my spouse’s nature (type 5), it seems, to respond to my need for praise or affirmation. Feeling ignored, I’m usually uneasy with my standing in the relationship. Either trying to please him or being mad at him for not acknowledging me. Shut down, in parallel ruts.


Does he know you want to be praised and affirmed? Do you tell him? Do you tell him what you need to hear, how it needs to be phrased, and he won’t do it? Do you expect him to “just know?” Does he know when you’re trying to please him? Do you praise and affirm him? Does he know why you get mad at him? Does he know you shut down? Places to look…. Gassho

Enneatype 4

The fear of being unseen and misunderstood is intense and consuming. When there is a communication breakdown, I am distressed and become distrustful of the person with whom I have the relationship long after the interaction.


“Intense and consuming.” This gives us a good picture of the “dog with a bone” nature of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate on the hunt to perpetuate itself. I’m betting there are frequent enough “communication breakdowns” to keep the “intense and consuming” conversation in conditioned mind going around the clock. Is that true? Here’s the point to explore: How much evidence is there to distrust the person with whom you have the relationship, and how much evidence that you would be well-served to distrust the conversation in your head? (It’s an old “how do I know if I’m projecting” exercise. Whose head did it appear in? Or stated another way, If I’m thinking it, I’m doing it.) Gassho

Enneatype 5

I notice that I feel more comfortable when I can understand or make sense of what’s going on around me. I value competence and am disappointed when I do not perceive him as competent. Although I know it’s all conditioning, what I see is that we consistently trigger each other.


Yes, indeed, egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate is constantly on the hunt for ways to be offended, upset, triggered. That’s what it does. It scans constantly for evidence of “what’s wrong” and “what’s not enough.” You’re so right that it’s all conditioning, and what we’re doing here is seeing how it operates. What you’re getting a chance to observe is how it “takes you over” and you don’t even know it! You identify with conditioning, believe the blah, blah, blah it’s yammering away about in your head, and “you” get triggered. If you don’t let the voices talk you into taking the process personally, if you keep your eyes and heart open, you will SEE in freedom-producing clarity exactly HOW you’ve been bamboozled. Gassho

Enneatype 6

The desire for a safe network becomes I’m not safe if others are judging my partner so I need to step in and fix it which I then resent. (Do sixes become perfectionists under stress?) The whole process begins with buying that something is wrong with when/whether/how my partner did something. R/L


You are so correct! The whole suffering process begins with buying into egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate’s story of “something wrong”—PERIOD. Wrong with your partner, wrong with you, wrong with those others judging, wrong with judging those others! The conversation is always the same and with the same intention—and you’ve seen through it! Now to see how you get conned into buying that load of horsepucky. (BTW, sixes go to 3 under stress, very concerned about what other people think.) Gassho

Enneatype 7

My basic desire is to have my needs fulfilled and in my relationship with my mom “I” believes she is incapable of fulfilling my needs and tops it off by saying she never will learn, it’s useless to try. See fear about even trying, pain is too great. Run away! Gassho R/L


Help me out here? Why should your mother fulfill your needs? That’s a REALLY important assumption to see and see through—that your mother or anyone else should or could fulfill your needs. You’re right. She is incapable, she will never “learn,” it’s useless to try. That’s all true and the way it should be. Your “needs” are yours to fulfill; her needs are hers to fulfill. Even if we desperately want to fulfill someone else’s needs (and many parents do want to do that for their children) we can’t. It just doesn’t work that way. We each get to “save” ourselves. It’s how we go from suffering to joy. We have to take the steps for ourselves. It’s the great gift we have as human beings. Here’s the big spiritual question: Are you trying to fulfill your mom’s needs? Gassho

Enneatype 8

With the recognition of ekc/sh am returning to the breath and practicing Mercy melts the hardened, armored heart. A work in progress through gentleness and forgiveness. R/L


How about this? Perhaps that heart is like a soft, sweet marshmallow that egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate has built a wall around? You, intrepid awareness practitioner, are systematically breaking through that wall using the tools of gentleness, compassion, and lovingkindness? Hmm? At some point perhaps we can talk about “forgiveness,” and I will attempt to bring you over to my side, convincing you there’s nothing to forgive, no one to forgive, and no one qualified to do the forgiving?  Gassho

Enneatype 9

I inhabit an alternate reality that maintains inner stability. It shapes my experience of everything, including work. I believe I can live with simmering tension if it’s unspoken-- it’s easier to privately fret and accept separation than risk confrontation. I project no one likes it, but we continue like this anyways. R/L


So, here’s the question: When are you going to stop choosing the beliefs and assumptions put forth by the voices of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate and instead choose your experience? You’re unhappy—simmering tension, fretting, accepting separation—and no one else likes it. What in the world is this “confrontation” that could be worse than that? You might say something such as, “Is there a way you can see that would make what we’re doing run more smoothly?” Or, “I have some ideas about how what we’re doing could happen easier.” And they will what? Scream at you, tell you they hate you? What in the world are we talking about here??? What does “confrontation” mean? Gassho