I often contemplate what it means to take full responsibility for myself. Sincerely taking responsibility requires awareness and this quality of awareness – true, unbiased insight – can be elusive. A few years ago I was telling a friend about my experiences with anger. In one of those rare “aha moments” when everything just clicks, he helped me see that much of my anger stemmed from avoidance of shame. Without this painful insight, I had lacked the awareness to truly take responsibility for my actions. It was my very anger that prevented me from seeing the truth.
One of the tools that has helped me navigate the tricky landscape of self has been the enneagram. This body of work is a form of personality assessment tool that revolves around understanding different types of ego structures and how they operate. Originally popularized by G. I. Gurdjieff, its origins go back millennia. The enneagram was introduced to me by an organization called Upbuild and today I share my interview with one of its principles, Rasanath Das – who also happens to be the friend in question above.
Rasanath started his professional career in strategy consulting at Deloitte in 2000 and later worked as an investment banker for Bank of America. He then spent four years in a New York City monastery during which time he co-founded Upbuild to focus on cultivating mindfulness and personal development. Rasanath is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, has been featured as a speaker for TEDx and SXSW, and has been profiled in The New York Times, CNN, and PBS.
Rasanath combines the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita with the incisive insight of the enneagram to offer a unique approach towards understanding self and other. We cover the underlying mechanics of his work as well as some of the ways in which Rasanath creates safe space and actually teaches this deeply interpersonal material.