It has been just over a month since Don Richard Riso passed from this earth. I’ve been wanting to write about Don, honoring the astonishing body of work on the Enneagram that he discovered and has been refining since his early introduction to the system in 1973, his far-reaching impact, and his unparalleled significance in my own life, but the words to share publicly evaded me. They didn’t seem adequate. Many others have been writing their memories of Don, and it seemed I needed to wait. Now is the time.
Don, along with his long-time colleague, Russ Hudson, have had a profound influence on the lives of millions of people around the world through their books and international teaching. Don’s greatest teaching was about Presence and its role in reducing suffering and becoming attuned to one’s higher nature. It was his presence that led so many people to feel close to Don, to be seen by him, and it was his presence that facilitated their experience of a profound connection to themselves. I’m forever grateful that his work has deeply influenced my own.
Not a day has passed since Don ‘s death that I haven’t felt him in my heart, remembered a public or private teaching that he shared, or simply grieved his absence. With some humor, I’ve been asking Don to send back a video.
Well, last night I had a dream. It seemed to last for hours. I saw a white light filling and emanating from inside a translucent, round shape—a globe. Allowed entrance to the territory inside the globe, I recognized the lines of what seemed to be the globe’s longitudes and latitudes, only these lines were associated with personality structures. Looking toward the lines and structures from the outside, they appeared real and necessary to hold ‘things’ together.
But when seen from the inside, they were strikingly illuminated and transparent. I could see right through the thickness of the lines to recognize that they were light-filled. There was nothing solid about them. I saw Don and felt his presence guiding my recognition of this light-filled experience—of Essence.
Awaking in the middle of the night from my dream, I had a smile on my face and felt at peace. The Essential Nature of Being was always at the core of Don’s teachings. Clearly, he hasn’t quite finished – he seems to be teaching from the other side. Thank you for the video, Don!