AEA’s Spiritual Freedom Series

Take the Class Series’ or Go on the Intensives, or Do Both!

The classes in both the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom and in the Experiencing Spiritual Freedom Series give students the opportunity to do their work, from process to mastery, in a small-group environments across a longer period of time as well as extended, highly focused off-site retreats. Having already developed skills in inner observation, students are led into the direct experience of the various focus areas that can lead to deep transformation and a noticeable change to patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

These courses provided dedicated, focused study that can lead to life-changing opportunities and possibilities.


The Two 5-Day Intensives:

Part 1 | Spring 2019 | Working with the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom focuses on:

  • Letting go of the habits of attention of Type and what holds them in place
  • Loosening the passion of Type and its defense mechanisms
  • Opening to the energy of the instinctual center and its drives for survival, intimacy and belonging.

Background needed: A working knowledge of the Enneagram model of personality type. Part 1 can be taken as a stand alone program.

PART 2 | May 3-7, 2018 | Experiencing Spiritual Freedom focuses on:

  • Exploring the reality and validity of inner knowing
  • Evoking the experience of Holy Love, Holy Faith and Holy Hope
  • Experiencing the transforming power of the Virtues and the Holy Ideas

Preparation needed: Part 1 or comparable experience working with inner practices and inner observation.

For more information on the Spiritual Freedom Intensives, click HERE for Part 1 and HERE for Part 2.


Working with the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom Series | Part 1

Working with the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom Series of classes introduces students to the practice of inquiry as an essential tool for inner development and moving beyond the habitual identification and patterns of personality type. These classes offer students the opportunity to work in a small group environment to deepen their self-understanding, strengthen their inner observer, and move toward spiritual freedom. Foundations of the Enneagram of Personality Type is a strongly recommended preparation for all of the classes at this level.

Type as False Identification

Personality is “who I think I am.” It is a self-concept that builds in childhood and, once formed, is so much “who we are” that we do not recognize it as a highly sophisticated construct built from imagination, imitation, and a need to be appreciated. Our identifications protect us from feelings of anxiety, discomfort and uncertainty about facing the unknown, yet limit our freedom to experience and act from a truer, inner self.

The objectives of this course are to clarify and deepen our understanding that personality is a structure which is formed and held in place by habits of attention, and to develop and strengthen one’s awareness and experience of their inner observer. The format is highly interactive and includes exercises, practices, and dialogue on the habits of attention, idealization, identification, secondary gain, stress and security points that reinforce the structure of type.

This is the first class in a series on reducing the barriers to spiritual freedom. Students need to be familiar with the Enneagram system by taking a basic level class or other preparation. It is typically presented in 5-6 2½- hour weekly sessions.

Habits of Emotion & Defenses

The defense system is made up of unconscious habits that serve to protect our view of ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us. The awareness and loosening of these defensive barriers leads to greater spiritual, psychological and emotional freedom.

The objectives of this course are to deepen our understanding and awareness of the habits of emotion and how the defense mechanism, avoidance and projection of one’s worldview support the habits of emotion of each of the Types. Class format is highly interactive and includes exercises, practices, and dialogue that awaken the intuitive knowing of the Inner Observer and qualities of the life force. Topics include the passion, Virtue, defense mechanism, projection and avoidance of each of the Enneagram types.

This is the second class in a series on reducing the barriers to spiritual freedom. Students need to be familiar with the Enneagram system by taking Foundations of the Enneagram of Personality Type or other preparation, but do not have to have taken the first class in this series (Type as False Identification.) It is typically presented in 5-6 2½-hour weekly sessions.

Instinctual Energies and Enneagram Subtypes

The instinctual energies drive us to seek survival, intimacy in one-to-one bonding, and social belonging and are expressed through our Enneagram Type where they affect our behavior in the arenas of relationship to oneself, to another individual and to social groups. Observation of these “subtype” behaviors can assist greatly in identifying the movement of the instinctual energies that give rise to the behaviors.

Exercises, practices and dialogue will help participants to identify and deepen their understanding of their subtypes and how their subtype placement of attention affects their behavior and relationships. The intent and focus of the work is to help participants become aware of their instinctual energies and to open the body center to the experience of essence.   The class is presented in 4 weeks of 2- 2 ½ hour sessions.

Students need to be familiar with the Enneagram system by taking the basic level classes Foundation of the Enneagram of Personality Types and Foundations of the Enneagram Subtypes or other preparation, but do not have to have taken the other classes in this series.


Experiencing Spiritual Freedom | Part 2

Working with the Virtues

The Virtues described by the Enneagram are qualities of the life force and are experienced in everyday life when our life force is well-balanced. The Virtues are always present even though we may not have direct experience of them, particularly when we are in the reactivity of our passion.

This class works with identifying the experience of the passion, and with relaxing into the contraction that holds it in place, instead of fighting it or fleeing from it. You will accomplish a deep personal examination of your own emotional pattern and its conversion to the corresponding virtue through exercises, meditation practices, and dialogue.

Participation in this class requires that students are familiar with the Enneagram system and have developed a capacity for inner observation. Ideal preparation includes the classes in the Basic level and the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom Series. It is typically presented in six 2½ hour weekly sessions.

Working with the Holy Ideas

The Holy Ideas are qualities of Being itself and can be recognized and experienced in spiritual experience. Using images of the Holy Ideas and the symbolic meanings they evoke, we will explore the Holy Idea of our own Enneagram type and invoke its presence in everyday life. We will also explore our experience from the perspective of Holy Love, Holy Faith, and Holy Hope, and their effect on our worldview.

This class enters into an examination of the reality and validity of intuitive knowing. Methods will include meditation, guided imagery, inquiry exercises, dialogue and journaling.

Participation in this class requires that students be familiar with the Enneagram system and have developed a capacity for inner observation. Ideal preparation includes the classes in the Basic Level and the Barriers to Spiritual Freedom Series. It is typically presented in six 2½-hour weekly sessions.


Artwork displayed in this page’s main image banner thanks to artist and teacher, Carole Whittaker. This form of art is demonstrated and experienced by participants in AEA’s Experiencing Spiritual Freedom Series.