Painful Emotions and Creating Real ChangeSeptember 19, 2022 | 6 Comments
Dear Open Heart Project,
The recent series of videos about working with strong emotions struck a chord with so many of you. Understandably! There are so many painful situations on planet earth right now. At the same time, there is so much possibility.
The great writer and thinker Catherine MacCoun, author of my favorite book in recent memory, On Becoming an Alchemist, points out that the alchemical process of turning a base substance into gold begins with introducing the base substance into a state of volatility.
Whether literally or metaphorically, that which we wish to change has to first begin to fall apart.
For the ancient alchemists that may have meant liquifying one metal to turn it into another (whether this was ever accomplished is unknown). For those of us who wish to change anything from unhappiness in our personal lives to calcified social systems, we need the courage to fall apart.
Our painful emotions, anger, grasping, shame, jealousy, anxiety, distrust, hatred, and despair could be indicators of volatility. In no way am I suggesting that this should feel good. IT DOES NOT. We could feel anything from lousy to broken and we need to give ourselves (and others) plenty of room to heal and rebalance. But if we want to explore the journey from being trapped to being liberated, some examination of the volatile state can be useful.
The enneagram (a system that describes nine ways of being) plots nine alchemical journeys, nine ways to transform the base substances of anger, grasping, and so on into powerful qualities of wisdom, compassion, and power.
One of these ways is yours.
The enneagram is far more than a personality parlor game or even a psychological instrument for self-improvement. It is a spiritual system that points the way to liberation.
I’ve spent the last three years wrestling with thoughts about the enneagram and Buddhism with the hope of writing a book about it all.There were weeks and months when I thought I was simply not up to it. However, last week, The Buddhist Enneagram: Nine Paths to Warriorship, was published. The publisher is…us. The Open Heart Project. We created an in-house publishing division about four years ago so that we could offer books to you without any gatekeepers.
Please check out the book when you can. All the details are here. And, if you are inspired to do so, please leave an honest review with the online bookseller of your choice. In the absence of the marketing machines of a big publisher, these reviews mean everything–they are what creates awareness.
Thoughts? I always love to hear from you. Please leave any comments, questions, or feedback in comments.
Next week, we’ll resume with meditation videos!
With love, Susan