Free Talk

The True Spirit of the Enneagram

with Russ Hudson and Sandra Maitri


Explore a New, Deeper Perspective on the Enneagram

More than a tool for finding your personality type, the Enneagram actually developed within the context of contemplative, spiritual practice.

In this talk, Enneagram thought-leaders, Russ Hudson and Sandra Maitri, explore the nature of inner work, the original intentions of the Enneagram, and some of the ways it has gone “off track” over time.

Register for this FREE talk and learn...

How to really understand and unlock the sacred tool of the Enneagram

The deep, spiritual qualities of each Enneatype

How the Enneagram can open up the true capacities of our souls and transform our lives

How the Diamond Approach took Russ and Sandra’s journey with the Enneagram to a new level

Based on A.H. Almaas’s recently published book, Keys to the Enneagram, this teaching reveals a unique perspective on the Enneagram: that by understanding the deeper spiritual qualities each Enneatype is attempting to express, we can unlock the gift in each type, transform fixations, and access a powerful tool for spiritual awakening.

We hope you enjoy this journey into the ultimate freedom of consciousness available to us as we understand The True Spirit of the Enneagram.

“An inspiring, high-level offering... for people who truly want to know how to use the Enneagram to liberate them from their ego and find the key to attaining a lived experience of eternal spirit.”

Everything You’ll Receive When You Register...

Access to a 90-minute recording of the talk led by Russ Hudson and Sandra Maitri.

Responses from Russ and Sandra to common questions.

A bonus teaching from A. H. Almaas on the spiritual gift of each Enneatype.

Meet Your Teachers

Russ Hudson

Russ Hudson

Over the last three decades, Russ Hudson has established himself as one of the top teachers and developers of the Enneagram personality typology in the world today. He has been writing and teaching full-time since 1991 and has co-authored with Don Richard Riso five best-selling books on the subject, including The Wisdom of the Enneagram and Personality Types. These books are widely considered to be not only groundbreaking contributions in the field of Enneagram studies, but also important contributions to the literature of psychology. He recently released the audiobook The Enneagram: Nine Gateways to Presence and has more books on the way. Actively involved in the Enneagram community, Russ is the co-founder of the Enneagram Institute as well as a Founding Director and former Vice-President of the International Enneagram Association — a global organization advancing knowledge of the subject.

Sandra Maitri

Sandra Maitri

Sandra Maitri is an artist, an author, an enneagram teacher, and a long-time teacher of the Diamond Approach to Inner Realization. She was among the first group of students to whom the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo presented the enneagram system in the United States in the early seventies. She has been teaching the enneagram as part of the larger work of spiritual transformation for over four decades. Sandra leads Diamond Approach groups and enneagram workshops for hundreds of students each year in the United States and Europe. She has also studied with various Eastern and Western spiritual and psychological teachers, focusing especially on Insight and Tibetan Buddhist meditation. She is the author of The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul and The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home.

Receive free video excerpts from the first four live teachings to get a taste of the Keys to the Enneagram course:

Keys to the Enneagram - Opening

Keys to the Enneagram

Available Now

Keys to the Enneagram - Point 8 - True Strength

Living Life as a Lionhearted Adventurer

Available November 3

Keys to the Enneagram - Point 6 - Personal Will

Landing in the Grounded Support of Being

Available December 15

Keys to the Enneagram - Point 2 - Merging Love

Embodying the Melting Sweetness of Being

Available January 12

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From the Foreward to Keys to the Enneagram
by Russ Hudson

“...When I began attending meetings and retreats of the Diamond Approach, I noticed that [A. H.] Almaas and the school in general had the distinct flavor of a Fourth Way teaching. In that sense, it felt in great alignment with what I had already been studying and with what most awakened my heart. At the same time, some of the practices were distinctly different from what we had done in the Gurdjieff Work. At the center of these practices was the orientation of inquiry, which for me was a Fourth Way approach of bringing the full intelligence of the centers to whatever phenomenon was arising in our consciousness. It entails grounded presence, open heartedness, and a willingness to experience with an open, receptive quality of mind. We learn not to reject our experience, and when we can bring the fullness of presence to anything arising in us, consciousness itself, or Grace, if you will, transforms the experience into something more profound and helpful. Like all inner practices it takes a while to get the sense of inquiry. But I soon realized and appreciated what Almaas had discovered: that bringing this inquiring awareness to the patterns of personality described in the Enneagram typology could open us up quickly and powerfully to new experiences of what we actually are.

One of the most profound realizations that Almaas shared with us, and that he describes elegantly in this book, is that essence manifests in different qualities—one might even say different tastes, colors, and textures. Some esoteric literature I had explored in the traditions of Sufism and Tantric Buddhism touched on this topic, but Almaas had found ways to make this teaching explicit and central in his approach to inner work. And more importantly, he had been exploring and mapping the relationship between various psychological states, defenses, and barriers with the perceived loss of the direct experience of specific essential qualities. In other words, he had been developing the very idea explored by the Desert Fathers but was seeing into the cause of these psychological patterns. This was profound knowledge about the core inner relationship upon which I had become convinced the Enneagram types were formed. This was an earthshaking discovery. I suspect over time, spiritual seekers around the world will come to understand how helpful and powerful this perspective on human nature can be.

In Keys to the Enneagram, Almaas delivers on the title of the book. He elucidates the specific inner relationships between core essential states of the soul, their perceived loss in childhood, and the psychological defenses and difficulties that arise to cover over the apparent loss of essential qualities. These patterns are specific and really do constitute the core of any real Enneagram work. Of course, the more you acquire a dedicated practice to cultivate presence and the capacity to observe the activities of your inner world, the more this book will come to life and be a tremendous friend to you on your journey. I feel these teachings are an enormous gift to anyone engaged in the process of awakening, regardless of your path or faith orientation.”

From the Afterward to Keys to the Enneagram
by Sandra Maitri

“To really make use of the material you've just finished reading, it needs to be moved out of the conceptual realm and become experiential. That’s the only way that the keys Almaas is offering will indeed become transformative.

The material in this book is the product of over fifty years of in-depth inner exploration both personally and with Almaas's students. Such sincere inner engagement is what it takes to truly understand the territory that the map of the Enneagram charts. Otherwise, it remains simply information—albeit fascinating information. It’s only in the past forty-five years or so that the Enneagram has been taught on its own, outside of the context of spiritual endeavor.

It was in the context of deep inner work that Almaas and I both learned the Enneagram, and it is still the context in which we teach it in the work of the Diamond Approach, the spiritual path that came through and has been developed by Almaas. We learned the Enneagram as part of the pioneering SAT work founded by Claudio Naranjo in which he utilized psychological tools to facilitate and support spiritual work. It was the primary psychological tool that he taught. Almaas has carried on that orientation of working with our psychology to loosen up our ego structure, making access to our deepest nature more possible. And he has dramatically expanded upon the use of the Enneagram.

One of the biggest discoveries Almaas made is the differentiations of the divine or true nature. He saw first of all that our deepest nature in all its manifestations is characterized by presence—that it is substantial, palpable, and immediate. And he saw that our nature is not static—it is not always experienced as love or emptiness or pure awareness or any of the other ways our fundamental nature is described in the various traditions. It manifests in different forms at different times in our lives and at different stages of spiritual development. Additionally, he observed that each differentiation of true nature is obscured by specific sectors of our ego or personality structure. Working with those sectors, he discovered, allows access and stabilization of access to each of these qualities of Being. He also discovered that there is a typical order of access to particular qualities and their associated issues when we take a deep inner dive, and this has become the logos or overarching framework of the teaching Almaas developed….

In this book, Almaas has fully developed his understanding about the idealized aspects and indicated the link between them and the holy ideas. He shows how the idealized aspects characterize the shell or outer layer of each type and that penetrating the shell allows us to more easily work with the core of each type, the holy ideas, and the tendencies that arise in the wake of their loss.

This penetration allows us to realize experientially the qualities that each Enneatype mimics. But, like everything else on the path, this penetration has to be rooted in our direct experience. Almaas’s methodology for this aspect of our journey is that of the Diamond Approach.”

Praise for Keys to the Enneagram

“I am profoundly moved by and highly recommend Keys to the Enneagram. As one of the foremost spiritual leaders of our time, Almaas brilliantly illuminates the spiritual depths underlying the surface patterns of the nine Enneatypes. Offering approaches to attain those depths, this powerful, impactful work provides a valuable missing piece in our current Enneagram understanding and serves as an excellent guide for those who truly seek to use the Enneagram for spiritual awakening.”

“A. H. Almaas offers a new path for understanding the spiritual nature of the Enneagram. In this book, Almaas answers many questions you may not have known to ask, and he does so with a generosity that allows each of us to find our way. If you are a serious student of this ancient wisdom, this book is for you.”

“With writing that is rich, yet accessible, A. H. Almaas provides a deep exploration of what is possible through engaging with the real work the Enneagram is inviting us into. Keys to the Enneagram is written from a place of authority born of true spiritual experience and will be a welcomed companion for anyone looking to travel the lifelong journey of spiritual transformation.”

“There are few teachers of consciousness, let alone Enneagram teachers, who can perceive, embody, articulate, and transmit the simultaneous arising of equal facets of spaciousness and singularity, expansion and particularity, personal love and emptiness, and personal will and surrender—all while focused on the vital need to awaken to our essential nature and potential. Like the Enneagram, A. H. Almaas himself is a tuning fork for this possibility of development and living. And somehow in Keys to the Enneagram he gently and firmly guides us onto that precise and expansive authentic path, beyond our fascination with personality. Before we know it, we have been initiated into a lineage of truth and Presence.

I have had the honor of being the curator and host of the annual Enneagram Global Summit on the Shift Network since 2014 and have had meaningful, cutting-edge conversations with over a hundred Enneagram teachers. With absolute certainty, I can say that Almaas is among a very few teachers whose constant aim is to awaken themselves and be in service to others’ awakening. He never approaches the Enneagram with the slightest bit of derision toward, or reification of, personality, and he is unparalleled in this in my experience. His compass never wavers from its direction home—to real self and to reality—that, by the way, supports the emergence of each individual’s true purpose and offering to this life.

This book is perhaps the first to so keenly and clearly articulate a growing realization among some of us who teach the Enneagram for awakening that the transformational power of working with all nine fixations and journeying on all nine paths of essential qualities is paramount. If you want to awaken to your true self and follow a North Star to wholeness and liberation through compassion and learning from your ego, pick up and read Keys to the Enneagram. You will have a North Star in your very own hands and eyes.”


What is the Ridhwan School?

“Ridhwan” is a Sufi word. It means “satisfied and satisfying.” Our school, home to more than 4,000 students across the globe, has the potential to both help you to be fulfilled and to help others be fulfilled. Students learn to ground, sensitize, recognize, and trust the inherent guidance of Being.

What is the Diamond Approach?

The Diamond Approach is the core teaching of the Ridhwan School, a spiritual path that approaches our ordinary experiences, emotions, and sensations in a friendly way of understanding. This radical acceptance of our situation allows something to come through that puts us in touch with our spirituality.

In the Diamond Approach, everything we experience is utilized as a doorway to our spiritual nature. Rather than negating or seeking to transcend parts of our humanness that are considered barriers to realization, we learn to approach each aspect of our physical, emotional, and mental experience with acceptance and open curiosity to discover its truth. We do meditation and other exercises, but the main method is inquiry: non-judgment of what we’re experiencing, which brings crisp clarity into one’s own truth.

What if I have questions?

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    • Embodying the Melting Sweetness of Being
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