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The Enneagram is Everywhere!

It seems the Enneagram is everywhere, and I had a wonderful time in Hong Kong at the International Enneagram Association-China Conference in Hong Kong, where I gave the endnote as well as three presentations, in September 2009. One of the three sessions was impromptu – “Leadership Presence” – which I did with Russ Hudson. All events went well, and I especially liked the session with Russ because we had never, ever worked together before. The situation, however, called on us to do this, and no one would have known that it was not highly preplanned or that this was our first time co-presenting. While in Hong Kong, we also went to an excellent restaurant called The Red Pepper, and I had several great foot reflexology massages at a massage franchise next to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I think it was called “The Happy Foot.”

Hong Kong, by all accounts from who live there and know it well, has an Enneagram Three culture, full of people going somewhere with a results focus and a need to succeed. In this first picture, you can see a reflection of this: the fireworks celebration honoring 60 years of the Chinese Communist Party combined with the Autumn Moon Festival. The fireworks were highly designed and refined, horizontal rather than vertical, and were very beautiful. But they certainly make a splash!

After the conference and a 5-day Consulting with the Enneagram program, I went to Hangzhou on the mainland of China. In contrast to Hong Kong, Hangzhou has an Enneagram 4 culture; it is a wistful, artistic, slower moving city that is full of spaciousness and romance. Situated on the West Lake, most of the city revolves around this beautiful body of water, complete with weeping willows, places for couples to sit, stand, and embrace, and walkways for simply strolling with no rush, demands, or burning deadlines. While in Hangzhou, Gloria Hung and I had the chance to see and experience a water show on the lake directed by one of the creators of the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” with music from one of Japan’s leading contemporary composers. It was very different, beyond categorization, and more akin to Cirque du Soleil than anything else. It had a basic storyline: boy meets girl; girl is taken away from boy; boy mourns and yearns; boy comes to terms with his emotions and moves on. But the beauty of the show is that it walks on water — literally 300 plus cast members acting and dancing on the lake — and the experience brought most in the audience to tears. Anyone who gets chance should try to see this incredibly artful show.

Traveling is one of the best parts of the Enneagram-business work I do, spending time with people from all over the world, learning about their cultures, and helping them discover how much more there is to ourselves and to life than we thought possible. The eating is good, too.

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