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The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  580 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A groundbreaking exploration of the spiritual dimension of working with the enneagram by one of its earliest students and teachers in America.

Here is one of the first books to explore in an authentic and comprehensive way the original spiritual dimension of the enneagram. Among the most knowledgeable teachers of the enneagram in America, Sandra Maitri shows how the enneagr
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 19th 2001 by TarcherPerigee (first published March 6th 2000)
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Jenny Mckeel
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Enneagram who has a spiritual bent. This book was incredibly helpful to me and one that I will return to many times. The depth and specificity with which the author explores the psychological behavior of the different types was really impressive to me. The chapter on my type was pitch perfect and the book as a whole was a real eye opener in many ways. I really am so glad I read it.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
this book will kick your butt but is very accurate. eerily so. don't read it if you're already feeling down ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the spiritual angle of this book, which resembles Buddhism a bit to me. I really identified with a lot of the spiritual struggles described for the different enneagram types. The book also helped me figure out which enneagram type I most connect with (4).
Peter Wiinholt
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I was very ambivalent towards this book. On one hand I found the premise very engaging, and the description of the personality type that most tests ascribe to me seemed unusually dead on even in some uncomfortable ways. And so it was very enlightening and insightful. However I found the book extremely negative and depression. The whole premise is about loss and all of the personality type descriptions are overwhelmingly dark and negative. No mention of any positive traits. The diagrams itemizing ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the self aware or those who want to be
i quite love this book. it is a great intro to the enneagram which dives really deep into the topic and goes beyond reductionistic models and really gets to the heart of the matter. for those wishing to really get into it, this is your book. a classic i have returned to many times.
Anne Van
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Definitely interesting and thought provoking......a description of nine basic personality types (I'm so Type Seven, I immediately loved it as a system!). A look at both internal dynamics, and how others might see you. ...more
Aug 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Maitri gives a deeply felt impression of the various Enneagram types, which is helpful to use next to Riso and Hudson. However although I think the Enneagram system is brilliant as a typology, I believe it is overrated as a spiritual path or tool.
Brooke Warner
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am an enneagram junkie. This is the best book out there on the subject, in my opinion. I've read a lot of them. ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had never heard the word Enneagram before but I picked up the book because I liked the second half of the title: "Nine Faces of the Soul" which intrigued me. Although the concept of an enneagram is new to me, I felt very comfortable reading the book, because it's very much in alignment with my own inner understanding of a soul's evolution. Sandra Maitri goes into thorough detail about the descriptions of each "face" of the soul, and I appreciated that!

The reason I'm giving it a 4 stars and not
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enneagram
This book is very nuanced. It brings greater depth and clarity to the psychological and spiritual structures of the enneatypes than Riso & Hudson and Palmer & Daniels books - which are more key for understanding what the Enneagram of personality is as a system. This book has influenced my perspective on the similarities between the types based on the interconnectedness and wholeness of the basic needs (passions and fixations) of each type, as well as their essences and virtues. Its a beautiful, ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a personal eye opener. I will turn to it many times as I've found this to be the best out there on the study of enneagrams. Indispensable but tough personal work is available in these pages. ...more
Jennifer Louden
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Closer to 4 stars (I hate rating books) and while I learned a few new insights into the Enneagram, I also felt her tone at times was a bit dire. Do not start with this if you do not know the Enneagram but good if you don't understand subtypes or the inner child angle. ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I definitely do not recommend this book if you are not ready to be hit with a serious mirror of your baggage. Blew my mind...and had me in tears a few times. Tough read but I am glad I did.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I guess I am not smart enough or evolved enough to understand and appreciate this book. Could only read a few pages at a time, skipped over some sections. Lots of psychology with an emphasis on the negative traits of each type. I do not think I have any better understanding of the enneagram.
Seems like many of the books are one extreme or the other, very deep and intense like this one, or overly simplistic!
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book did a great job integrating psychological work into spiritual development for each type. Its perspectives and sensibilities are somewhat different from and the insights may be deeper than The Wisdom of the Enneagram and The Road Back to You.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Truly spiritual and specific yet accurate. It’s kind of like a weird mix between astrology and enneagram. Not in the sense of talking about signs and planets but in the sense of “your mom was probably neglectful”.

It’s making me question my own motives and reactions.
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic book!

I can’t recommend this book enough. The author brings the dimension of spirituality with the enneagram as a frame to explore the soul. It has a lot of depth fir the enneagram
Tom Suhar
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very detailed and very good book about the nine types and spiritual growth.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best enneagram book I have come across so far. The section on the Soul Child (Ch 11) is like a well-needed slap to the face.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. A lot of new insights.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best book on the Enneagram that I have ever read.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are a couple of odd peripheral takes (such as "even the terrible suffering of the Tibetan people at the hands of the Chinese may have served the deeper purpose of bringing the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism to the rest of the world"), but Maitri's archetypal grasp of the enneagram more than makes up for them. This book definitely helped broaden my understanding of the types. ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me four tries to get through this book ... over a period of five years. Each time a got a little closer, and it wasn't until I had a daily meditation practice and began to finally sit still, that I became the right type of reader to read it. Before then, I didn't have a clue what I was reading.

When a book makes you think about everything you see and do and want and hope for differently, you know it's powerful. What's apparent to me is that I don't need to read a lot more in my life, tha
J. E. W.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the absolute best Enneagram book I have read thus far. There are so many Enneagram books on the market that focus too much on the stereotypical behaviors, whereas Maitri takes you deeper, straight to the core.

I kept an open mind while reading through it, since it took me on such a soul-searching journey, which ended with me closing the book in tears. I finally 'got' it. I 'understood' it.

I found me.

Now the work begins through my journey of self-revelation, back to my true Being.
Aidan Owen
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have found on the Enneagram. It goes far beyond a simple description of the behaviors of each of the nine types, and instead outlines how each type's behaviors and attitudes are ways of trying to imitate a particular kind of loss of connection with the divine. A combination of depth psychology and contemplative spirituality, Maitri's book is a powerful guide to spiritual growth and development. The book's framework does use a lot of new-age language, but I found it pretty ...more
Mar 28, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: languages, self
I'm pretty excited to be reading this in Spanish. I'm learning a lot of new words and more sophisticated phrasing. The amazingness of the Enneagram is of course apparent and I'm also learning new things about the spiritual aspect of the Enneagram. This is indeed a good complement to A.H. Almaas's Facets of Unity: The Diamond Approach to the Enneagram, although I have the feeling Maitri's book will be easier to understand than Facets, with more layman's terms. ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading about the psychological underpinnings about each type (and found it a hoot to have their be so many references to my beloved psychodynamic texts from grad school- Greenberg & Mitchell, Karen Horney, Margaret Mathler) especially given the title of THIS book. At times I found it a little dour to read about each type's godawful plight in life. I wouldn't recommend Ennea-fans starting with this book, but it's a great supplement. ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
For those who find the enneagram useful and are interested in learning more this is a good book. Maitri has done a lot of work in the enneagram and helps to expand one's understanding of it - and if lucky - of oneself. ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
If you're ready to leave popular understanding of the enneagram on the cutting room floor and go for its essence and depth, this book is for you. Maitri explores the spiritual development possibilities of working with this profound tool. ...more
Cianna Stewart
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This one kicked my butt. Maitri reaches deep into the underlying lack and suffering of each ennea-type. I definitely recommend it for those who are looking for a deeper understanding and spiritual path when it comes to working with the enneagram.
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“In the course of working on ourselves, we learn in time that when we stay on the surface of ourselves, which is to say when we are identified with and operating from our outer shell—our personality—we suffer. The more asleep we are to the reality beneath our shells, the less we feel that life is fulfilling, meaningful, and pleasurable. Or, in the language of the enneagram, the more fixated we are, the less we partake of the loving nature of reality, for we have lost our connection with Holy Love. Our suffering is not the result of being alone or of being in the wrong relationship, is not because we don’t have enough money or because we have too much of it, or because of anything of the sort.

Nor is it because our outer surface doesn’t look as pretty as we think it should or because our personality isn’t as pleasant as we think it might be. We suffer because we are living at a distance from our depths—it’s as simple as that. The more our souls are infused with Being, the better we feel and the better life seems to us, no matter what our outer circumstances happen to be.”
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