OPINION –The interesting thing is, before the National Enneagram Examiner which I write for now, I was a huge fan of Don Riso, Founder of Enneagram Institute. I have every book. I read and reread everything he’s given on the Enneagram. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to learn from him in person, but what I take is this. I consider him the god-father of the Enneagram. When I was reading the “Wisdom of the Enneagram,” I secretly called it my go to book on all things you wanted to know about personality typing. I felt he was the master of this system—those there are other masters and ways of teaching this typology who are brilliant, such as Helen Palmer (my introduction), David Daniels, and others students that have shaped our discussion now. I’ve learned the most from Riso’s work.
How I was introduced to Riso by way of interview
There has always been something about my Enneagram Six (The Doubter), that hates to be challenged. After all, I believe 100 percent that we all have the right to learn equally—even if we have less money or less education. I feel that the Enneagram should be taught to the masses who wanted to learn, no matter their status. I was interested in the man that I was learning from, though I could never afford workshops, or the sad opportunity I missed when he came to teach in Japan and I was living there.
I wanted to know the man behind the books. So I took it upon myself, after the shocking message I received via Facebook, “What gives you the right to talk about the Enneagram?” “Have you learned from any master such as Don Riso?” Though, I never meet Riso in person, I needed to learn (my Five wing speaking), if there was this type of elitism in the community. As an Enneagram Six, I would not give up on the idea that all persons who wanted to learn the Enneagram should—no matter their status.
So I contacted Riso, and to my great surprise, he agreed to be interviewed by me. I explained that I was very unhealthy at the time, and please note this point, and began to tell him I was in fact a 6w5 wing. In his voice, there was from my point-of-view, a feeling that he was okay with me, and could trust that I would share his story, and his point-of-view in an even light. When I talked about all that I knew, why I wanted to share my knowledge with others, and our understanding of pop culture—let’s just say, we had a very interesting conversation that was warm, exciting and overwhelming for me. I think I had the best therapy session in my life from Riso. (Laughing)
Riso was fascinated on how I was using the Enneagram as a social media tool and we talked at length about why the Enneagram needed to move along with it. We even talked a little about pop culture.
I listen to the interview recordings from time-to-time, and I have a great smile on my face, thinking about my one conversation I got from someone who trusted me to do right by him. Riso listened to how I learned the Enneagram without judgment, and became even more special, by telling me a little about who he was, what he’d learned, and why the Enneagram was such a brilliant part of his life!
Note: I never was able to finish up part 2 because of his health, but I take the memories with me on my Enneagram journey to help others explore who they are. To Don Riso! You changed lives for the better, We’ll miss your wisdom!
Don Riso’s Memorial Fund
In life and death, we all have a chance to give back to others that want to learn, but not the means to educate themselves on the possibilities. If you want to share the joy of the Enneagram around the world, please donate and make a difference to the Don Riso Memorial Fund.
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