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The Narrative Tradition

What is the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition?

The "Narrative Tradition" is an extraordinary teaching method that offers a unique and personally transformative experience of the Enneagram.

By listening firsthand to representatives of each Enneagram type share their personal stories, you'll witness, as they reveal their particular inner worlds and realities, the Type itself, from body language to common themes. This all takes place as individuals of the same type participate on an Enneagram "Type Panel." You'll learn to recognize personality differences from direct experience, rather than learning about the Enneagram and the nine types solely by listening to a particular “authority" talk about the types or by reading an explicit book.

Narrative Tradition Panel 2006 led by David Daniels M.D.

The Narrative Tradition - once known as the "Oral Tradition" - promotes an open, collective exploration of each personality type. In our view, there is no better way to explore, learn, and teach than through this interactive method practiced through Type Panel interviews. Thanks to a sophisticated inquiry that's been developed over the years, the Narrative Tradition demonstrates the types' style, their struggles, dilemmas, strengths, and separate and self-revealed paths of development. The types continuously teach us about themselves at ever-deepening levels of awareness, and we learn from engaging along side them.

Ultimately, the Enneagram is an “inside job” of determining your type and coming to know and understand your own focus of attention, core beliefs, coping strategies, and paths of development. The value of the Enneagram does not come from identifying your type based on more obvious external behaviors, but its power lies in understanding how behavioral patterns relate to each type’s internal-often-hidden-at-first focus of attention, deeper belief systems that drive motivations, and perceptual experiences of the world. The active role each participant plays in noticing his or her own "patterns" helps create conscious awareness of the self, which leads to conscious conduct and less interpersonal suffering, across life.

The panel interviews bring the Enneagram alive through meaningful conversation and the sharing of insights. The panels are masterfully embued with a rich context of self-observation practices, practical exercises for each type, directed meditations, movement exercises, and facilitated interactions between the types.

Watch video clips of the nine Enneagram types speaking for themselves in the Narrative Tradition.

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