Russ Hudson on Presence and the Enneagram: This is why it is so important

Russ Hudson Podcast

The Enneagram is telling us that If I’m in a real connection with myself, I will be more in a real connection with you. The Enneagram in its original sense was an invitation back to living in our deeper heart, and to be really embodied in our deeper mind.


Russ Hudson on Presence and the Enneagram


The renowned American Enneagram Teacher Russ Hudson has published a brilliant audiobook “Enneagram – Nine Gateways to Presence”.


It is a 13 hour practical audio book.


Russ Hudson shows why presence is important when we want to become fully present with ourselves and each other.


But also that it can be painful, when we become present.


That we then can feel sadness and pain.


Things we might usually numb out or run away from.



Interview with Russ Hudson


In “The Enneagram: Nine Gateways to Presence” Russ Hudson guides on how to cultivate presence for the nine different Enneagram types.


Charlotte Haase has interviewed him on the subject in our podcast.


And in this blog post you can read some of Russ Hudson’s points from our conversation in “Enneagram Insights Podcast – On Awareness, Presence and Relationships”.



Living in the moment


In its original sense, the Enneagram was based on a study of what distracts us from really living more in the moment according to Russ Hudson:


What takes us out of our deeper heart?
What makes us stay in certain mental habits or patterns?
And how do the different parts of us conspire to keep us out of being fully present?


“Presence is where we find many of the qualities of life that we’re really looking for.


What does it mean for someone to say, “I love you”, but they’re not present with me while they’re saying it?


Who are they saying it to?


We are trying to meet each other.


We’re trying to be kind.


We’re trying to be brave, courageous.


However, we don’t understand that the mental habits that we’re engaged in, that we keep going back to again and again, are not going to bring us what we want.


And so the Enneagram in its original sense was an invitation back to living in our deeper heart, really embodied in our deeper mind.”



Caught in the Enneagram type pattern


Russ Hudson believes that the problem with a lot of the Enneagram is it presents the types as something kind of static:


This is who you are.”
This is what you are.”
“So and if you’re with a two, do this. And if you’re with a five, do that.”


If you’re caught in your pattern, you’re not going to change suddenly because someone else is there.


You’re going to do what you always do.


Enneagram type pattern


Russ Hudson explains:


“So there’s a way in which we’re looking at how to not get rid of our personality, but to become more aware of it and relaxed within it so that it opens us up to a greater range of human responses, a greater freedom.


If you think of your type pattern as something that you’re doing rather than something that you are, it begins to be more helpful.


So that was more or less the approach I was taking in this audiobook.”



The passion is a deep suffering


One of the central ideas in the Enneagram that gets skipped over is that our type pattern, our personality pattern is organized around the passion, according to Russ Hudson.


He elaborates on this in his audiobook “Ennegram – Nine Gateways to Presence” and elaborates in the Enneagram Insights Podcast:


“The passion is a deep suffering.


We’re hurting.


If you really are present with people, you’re going to notice that most people are in some kind of suffering.


The world is in some kind of suffering.


It’s not easy to be a human being.


We’ve been through traumas.


We’ve been through losses.


And we’re trying to keep a brave face, which is a good thing.


But it’s not a good thing if we never get healing.


It’s not a good thing if we keep abandoning ourselves rather than deal with what’s hurting our hearts.


So the Enneagram is saying that the way out of our difficulties is you have to go through them.


I can’t heal. Even if I break a leg, I don’t heal my leg by ignoring that I have a broken leg.


So if you get more present, you start to feel your difficulties.


You start to notice the pain you’re in.


You start to notice other people’s pain.


But as we’re willing to do that, inner resources start to come up to give us the ability to heal those difficulties, to move through them, to get back in touch with what is beautiful and powerful in us.”





Presence makes an emotion change


Russ Hudson explains that the Enneagram can be used as kind of a drug to just make people feel cool.


Oh, I am a four. I’m this way. I’m a three.


But that’s not going to heal anybody.


That’s not going to transform anybody.


“So we’re learning how to help each other and help ourselves be present with our difficulties so that they can be transformed.


If you bring presence to any emotion, it starts to change.


It starts to transform it into something helpful.


And that’s what we look at, again, in the course. That’s really the core of it.


And to be present with whatever arises.”


Russs Hudson Ennegram Insights podcast
Listen to the full conversation on “Enneagram Insights Podcast – On Awareness, Presence and Relationships”



Meditation for each Enneagram type


“The Enneagram – Nine Gateways of Presence” every session starts with a breathing exercise and ends up with also a practice for the energy of a certain Enneagram type (or points).


The exercises are small shifts of our attention and a little turn of the way we usually holds our experience.


It is a journey towards presence.


Russ Hudson calls the Enneagram “a spirituality that’s designed for modern busy life”.


“To me the spirituality of it is about living our life in a more real, authentic and empowered way” Russ Hudson explains.


“But that doesn’t happen unless we’re willing to go through these shifts.


The more present we are, the more likely we’re going to have accurate insights because the insight isn’t just thinking about myself.


An insight is a moment of realization that tends to come from the capacity to be less caught up in my personality.


And what possibility there is of not being so caught up comes from presence.”


Presence and consciousness
For each of the nine Enneagram types in Russ Hudson´s audiobook: “The Enneagram – Nine Gateways to Presence” there is a mini visualisation or meditation guided by Russ.


Presence is what we ARE


Presence is not so much something we do. It is what we are.


Russ Hudson explains:


“Presence, consciousness, there’s sort of two sides of the same thing.


When we are more present, we’re more conscious.


When we’re more conscious, we’re more present.


Both presence and consciousness are related to what love really is.


If you’re going to be more present, there’s going to be more love and kindness.


If there’s more love and kindness, there’s more consciousness.


If there’s more consciousness, it’s all part of the, we could say the deeper part of what a human being is, what makes us human, what makes our life something worth living, something that revives our sense of self-respect and the respect of others.”


Presence baby
Children are a great barometer of Presence. Even babies – are you really here and present?


The Enneagram and real connection


“The Enneagram is telling us that If I’m in a real connection with myself, I will be more in a real connection with you”, says Russ Hudson in the podcast.


“Children are a great barometer too.


They can tell when Mom or Dad is more awake and really seeing them and getting them.


Kids are not fooled, even babies.


They see if somebody is more present. Babies are like, who are you?


What’s that? They get a big smile. Their eyes get very big.”


Nine gateways to presence
“The Enneagram – Nine Gateways to Presence” by Russ Hudson, produced by Sounds True, is available on Audible.


Presence russ hudson


We highly recommend the audiobook “The Enneagram: Nine Gateways to Presence” by Russ Hudson. 


Russ Hudson: 


Russ Hudson is coming to Denmark, September 2023:


Another interview on “Nine Gateways to Presence” by founder of Sounds True Tami Simon:


Russ Hudson and Flemming Christensen: 


Listen to Enneagram Insights podcast – On Awareness, Presence and Relationships


Also read this article about Flemming Christensen´s first discovery of the Enneagram and being a student of Don Riso and Russ Hudson:

Discovering the Enneagram! Flemming Christensen: “What I had been looking for”

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