Three Centers of Intelligence

Having sensate, direct, lived-in contact with each of the three centers described below offers extraordinary intelligence beyond what the busy mind can conjure.

This direct contact means you can respond with what is needed in the moment.  This is a gift of enormous practicality.

Many of us are not taught to access and utilize the wisdom of these centers, but they are central to experiencing ourselves as whole human beings–to experiencing our true aliveness.

hand touching surface of water

The Belly Center: Grounded and Alive

man sitting near tree outdoors with greenery in the background. His arms are on lap, palms up and eyes closed.

When we look at the Enneagram, The Belly Center corresponds with the Instinctual or Instinctive Center. The belly’s intelligence speaks in the language of sensations throughout the body and sparks the urge to move in a certain way. To recognize these sensations, try slowing down and shifting from thinking about what it feels like to experiencing and sensing what is happening in your body. 

This might bring up significant discomfort, especially if you have a history of trauma, so respect where you are and consider working with a professional who can support you in building this capacity.

The Heart Center: Receptive and Authentic

The Heart Center corresponds with the Feeling Center. As we enter the second Center of Intelligence, we do not leave behind our connection with the Belly Center. The Belly Center provides an essential foundation for coming into contact with the Heart Center.

When you want to know your inner truth, your heart is a guide if you listen deeply and with honesty. These expansive qualities are the very ones so needed in our lives and in our world today.

The Head Center: Quiet and Spacious

The Head Center corresponds with the Thinking Center.

As this center quiets, we have access to a greater level of trust in ourselves and trust in the unfolding of life. This is in stark contrast with the usual habits of the busy mind, which offer only well-rehearsed and automatic ways of living.

Having a little more time between habitual ideas gives a higher source of intelligence and new information that otherwise would be lost to us. Simply asking, “Where am I putting my attention?” can activate your curiosity and support you in getting some perspective.

Building Your Magnificent Capacity for Presence

The Three Centers of Intelligence give you something real around which to center yourself. This is the foundation for presence. Through your presence, you naturally become a catalyst for positive change–an agent for authentic love that is so needed in your family and in your community.

Now, how might your loving presence impact the world?

This page adapted from Deep Living with the Enneagram: Recovering Your True Nature, by Roxanne Howe-Murphy.