Why Self Help Is Not Always Helpful

Episode 620 1h 7m


If you’ve ever been curious about why you are the way you are, the Enneagram can provide some really interesting insights. Translating this ancient practice into modern life can help us understand our unique gifts and how we can best show up in the world.

The Enneagram is a system of mapping nine ways of being, including personality and beyond. The teaching of the Enneagram—an ancient map of how we work—has a fascinating intersection with Buddhism—an ancient map of how the mind works. I couldn’t be more excited to sit down with my very good friend Susan Piver to explore this connection and learn more about using the Enneagram and Buddhism to create greater self-love.

We’re excited to dive into the wisdom behind the Enneagram, how it intersects with Buddhism, and what we can gain from understanding it. But first, Susan reframes the concept of self-help and explains how sometimes it can become counterproductive. When we release self-aggression we’re better able to accept life as it comes.

Susan shares a bit of the history (and some mystery) of the Enneagram and how to use the three Center of Intelligence groups to start finding out where you fall on the circle. Negative self-talk is something I think most of us can relate to, which is one of the most powerful shifts Susan has experienced herself from exploring Buddhism in combination with the Enneagram. We also discuss the importance of using gratitude and openness to heal wounds, let go of tension in life, and embrace ourselves.


This episode is brought to you by MitoPure, BiOptimizers, and Beekeeper's Naturals. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • What is the Enneagram?


  • The problem with the self-help movement


  • When working on yourself is counterproductive


  • Releasing self-aggression


  • Three ways to work with difficult emotions


  • Bringing the Enneagram into Buddhist thinking


  • Finding your Enneagram type


  • How the Enneagram can help free us from our negative self-talk


  • Using tonglen meditation to deal with individual and global pain


  • Directing our minds to gratitude and openness


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Ep. 620 - Why Self Help Is Not Always Helpful