Living the Wisdom
Living the Wisdom is now OPEN for enrollment! The first round begins January 5th, 2021. Reach out directly to or fill out the application survey.
"Living the Wisdom" (LTW) is a five-month online course for Enneagram students who wish to deepen their lived experience of the Enneagram among like-minded seekers. The Course, originally created by Jenny Campbell of Enneawake.com, follows the path laid out by Don Riso and Russ Hudson in their groundbreaking work The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Most participants choose to enroll for at least two semesters, which gives a comprehensive yearlong grounding in Enneagram knowledge and practice.
The Enneagram of Personality is surging in popularity these days, which is an amazing thing, but it also creates problems: there are now an abundance of Enneagram "experts," memes and fast-facts graphics all over social media, and the general trivialization of what was originally a unique and demanding path for human transformation.
So if one has a genuine wish to do the Work, it can be difficult to discern where to go, who to trust, and what to actually do. "Living the Wisdom" addresses those problems through a group-based program that provides accountability, motivation, and structure. It is the college-level Enneagram course that I wish universities would provide, complete with class hours, peer groups, readings, office hours, and private mentoring sessions, and always with a focus on transformation: knowledge is great, but so what?
One of Gurdjieff's primary teachings was of The Fourth Way: the idea that the most powerful transformational work you can do is to Work to be Present to your own life. Sure, you can go live in a monastery or a cave somewhere and you might eventually reach enlightenment, but how much more difficult, powerful, and meaningful would it be to bring that same devotion to the life you already have? "Living the Wisdom" is designed to be such a Fourth Way School: we use our own lives as the raw material for transformation.
In this way the Course will demand your full devotion, but it will not demand that you turn away from the life you already have. On the contrary, it will support you in actually living that life; in showing up for yourself and your loved ones in new ways. That is the devotion this course asks of you—the devotion to show up, with all of your gifts and messiness and complicated baggage that we all carry but that is unique to you. And in return, the course is here to support you in that purpose. Every reading, assignment and call will be based on this central idea: to support you in showing up for your life as it is right now.
Live and Location-Independent
LTW is a live Course, but conducted entirely over video-conference (Zoom) and telephone, so you can join us regardless of location. All calls are recorded so if you can’t make it or you want to go back and review to deepen your learning, you can watch the call at your convenience.
-Weekly calls every Tuesday evening from 6:30pm - 8:00pm Eastern time
-Weekly reading assignments from Wisdom of the Enneagram (included in tuition)
-5 private Enneagram mentoring sessions with Ben per semester
-Twice monthly office hours with Ben
-Bonus Calls with Ben to explore tangential or deeper topics
-Occasional integration with my School for Seekers course
-Peer support (including "pods") and inquiry practice
-"Mighty Networks" online group to interact, share, collaborate, and get support
As you scroll down, keep in mind that while this Course is packed with value, you do not need to do everything! “Living the Wisdom” has been designed to offer you multiple points of entry and multiple sources of insight, support, encouragement, and inspiration. Because all the group calls are recorded, you do not need to be live on every call. You can absolutely pick and choose what works for you and your schedule! (Calls are confidential and recordings are only available to the group members.)
Weekly Tuesday Calls
Every Tuesday from January 5th to May 25th, and again from August 3rd to December 21st we will meet via video-conference call (Zoom) to discuss the next chapter in The Wisdom of the Enneagram, ask questions, practice meditation and inquiry, share our struggles and breakthroughs, and receive guidance on the practical application of the teachings in our daily life.
Readings from The Wisdom of the Enneagram
Don Riso and Russ Hudson’s The Wisdom of the Enneagram serves as the backbone and the source material for the Course. Each week from January through June, and again from July through December, we read one chapter and bring our questions, reflections, insights, and challenges to the group calls and private sessions. Past members report that going through the book the second time has tremendous value; they “get it” on a deeper level and are often pleasantly surprised at how much has changed for them since the first time around. This is why it's strongly encouraged to sign up for the full year! Going through the book twice also eases the feeling of overwhelm; you can just take in what you are ready for and let the rest wait until next time.
In June and July there are no assigned readings, and members are invited to take turns facilitating the Tuesday evening calls. I will show up occasionally also. The Mighty Networks group stays open and the group can continue to connect and support each other there, as well as over the phone and/or in person. Summer is a great time to slow things down and integrate our experiences, while still staying connected to the work and each other.
1-1 Private Enneagram Sessions with Ben
Your enrollment in LTW includes one private Enneagram session with me per month for the duration of the course (5 per semester). Private sessions are an opportunity for you to explore whatever is arising for you as you participate in the course. As we do this work, it is inevitable that we will start to experience our lives in new ways, and it can be disorienting without a teacher to check in with. Private sessions are a chance to find a place to “ground,” to get feedback on your process, to ask questions, and to deepen the integration of the Work with your life.
Twice per month for the duration of the Course I will be available for "office hours," which is another opportunity to connect with me and the other participants, and an opportunity to ask questions, find support, and explore topics that are personally interesting to you.
I will occasionally offer Bonus Calls on tangential topics. These will almost always discuss ideas that are either not present at all or only briefly in The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Bonus Calls follow a different format than the weekly Tuesday calls: they are much more lecture-based and include an experiential inquiry, so if you are yearning for direct learning, the Bonus Calls are a great opportunity to satisfy that. Bonus Calls will also be recorded and shared with group members only. If you have a request for a Bonus Call, you are welcome to bring it to my attention.
Integration with School for Seekers
School for Seekers (SFS) is my advanced Enneagram course that focuses on the Call to Adventure. Members of SFS have either gone through LTW or taken significant Enneagram training elsewhere. There will be opportunities during LTW to interact with the SFS group and I will offer shared Bonus Calls and Office Hours that members of either Course can attend.
Essence Friendships and Peer Support - "Pods"!
One of the greatest parts of being part of an Enneagram-based Inner Work group is that we are really invited to drop all of the usual personality nonsense that we tend to get up to. When you're in a group where everyone is fluent in the Enneagram types, everybody already knows all of your "tricks"--and they love you anyway. So then you're free to stop acting, and to show up in a new way. Some of my most authentic friendships have arisen out of a chance meeting at a weekend Enneagram workshop, and the possibilities for those connections to develop over the course of an entire year (if you sign up for two semesters) are many.
To support the development of Essence Friendships, at the beginning of each LTW semester you will be assigned to a "pod" of three to five students. It is up to the members of each pod to find a time to meet. Pods are an additional opportunity to deepen friendships, to discuss course work and do inquiry exercises together.
Dynamic Group Evolution
We will enroll two groups each year, with everyone invited to the same calls on Tuesdays, Office Hours, and Bonus Calls. New members will benefit from older members’ experience, and older members will benefit from the fresh perspective of the new members. Over time, the combination of readings, weekly calls, office hours, Mighty Networks group, private sessions, and peer support will come to feel like solid ground beneath your feet: a place to come home to, a place where you can be yourself, and the launching pad for your expansion into the beautiful mystery of who you are becoming.
Mighty Networks Online Forum
LTW uses Mighty Networks as a place to gather online. Similar to a Facebook group, our Mighty Network allows us to share posts, media, personal wins and struggles, ask questions, collaborate, and so on. Past members found the online group to be an invaluable source of connection, support, and information, as well as fun (we love to post images, gifs, and videos that help illuminate the types). It is also a more connecting and genuine form of social media, and Mighty Networks does not have the ethical issues or addictive quality that Facebook suffers from.
How to Apply
First, complete the LTW Readiness Assessment Survey. The survey is designed to get you curious about your own journey, and it should take about 15-20 minutes. Give some thought to the questions and you will have a good idea of whether SFS is a good fit for you.
At the end of the survey, you will be asked to schedule a free phone conversation with me, during which we can discuss your responses, answer your questions, and talk about pricing for SFS. If we both decide that SFS is a good fit for you, you will be invited to join the course.