Eliezer Sobel
www.eliezersobel.com
Twenty years after taking the training in 1975, I ran into Randy McNamara, my first trainer, at Dulles Airport. That brief but powerful encounter triggered an article I then published in Quest Magazine called “This is it: est 20 Years Later.” To my utter surprise and delight, I received a personal letter of acknowledgment for the article from Werner, who had already “disappeared” from the U.S. by that time, as well as a wonderful thank-you card from Randy. I was thrilled, as you can imagine. Werner’s letter made reference to the well-known Zen ox-herding pictures, which summarize the process of awakening and transformation, and implied that “getting it” in the training was perhaps merely the first glimpse of the ox, and clearly mastery required a lot more of us. You can find my article online here: www.eliezersobel.com/est.html After another ten years flew by, I published a sequel, entitled, “This is Still it: est 30 Years Later,” which can be found here: www.theosophical.org/publications/questmagazine/mayjun06/Sobel/index.php Finally, just last year I published my spiritual memoir, The 99th Monkey, which includes an extensive chapter about Werner and est that combines both of the above articles and adds to them. You can read the Prologue to the book here: www.the99thmonkey.com This virtual reunion is great, but when is Werner going to rent out the Astrodome for a Live Event??? Love, Eliezer (then Elliot) Sobel

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9 Comments

  1. I’ve read your 99th Monkey book, Eliezer. You are not easy on transformational teachers, and trash a few (though not Werner). It’s quite a document. And you honor Werner well because you write about him and the Training with a critical eye, and give him his due. Your writing also has one additional grace usually lacking in transformational circles — humor!

    Comment by Charley Wininger — January 27, 2009 @ 5:35 am

  2. I remember doing the training in 1978 and thinking…” I’ve been to mountaintops
    in India, I’ve done retreats in New Mexico, I’ve seen therapists, done bioenergetics, to name just a few…but I’m sitting here in the Jack Tar Hotel
    in San Francisco under this goddamn chandelier,and I think I’m going to get it
    here, and THAT ANNOYS ME!!!!

    Comment by David Gilbert — January 28, 2009 @ 2:03 am

  3. I did the est Training back in 1978 and have never stopped participating since. I’ve been through the incarnations of the Forum, WE&A, Transnational Education, Landmark Education Corporation, and now Landmark Education. I’ve mostly assisted for the last 31 years. It is all one long, big experience for me that is never-ending and all still the same. Like I can remember being a 5-year-old, and my body was smaller, but I was still the same. The SELF never changes. Everything else does. Trying to reminisce about this is dangerous. It makes me thing that I have gotten someplace, whereas I have not.

    Comment by Jim Tsutsui — February 25, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  4. I TOOK THE TRAINING IN 1972–AND ONE WERNER CALLED-MY RESISTANCE
    AS I GOT UP AT ONE POINT AND WAS GOING TO LEAVE–JACK WAS AT THE DOOR-
    SUDDENLY WERNER BOOMS OUT–
    SIT DOWN AND EXPERIENCE IT–AND I DID–
    TO THIS DAY I CHUCKLE.
    NICE TO SEE THIS SITE.
    ALWAYS MY LOVE TO WERNER..
    I USE TO BE DIFFERENT–BUT NOW I’M THE SAME..

    Comment by kathy waters — March 5, 2009 @ 12:09 am

  5. I did the teen training in Aptos in 1976 when I was 14. I got it. I still get it. When I think I have it, I have to remind myself that I only get it. The grass grows and it doesn’t care that you know that.

    Comment by Joe Roach — March 10, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  6. It is really great that this site has gone up. It’s so nice to see you all still out there with me!

    You all have made my everyday so, I was going to say full, yet the kind of full that is also empty, yet both goodly!

    Kathy Chuckles, and I always smile a warm feeling smile for all the training and workshops I’ve undertook. They have allowed me to walk through life picking from its orchard while enjoying the journey, here on my planet, in a universe which just keeps expanding for me to move into!

    I am having trouble location the year in the 70’s I did the training. It was with Randy McNamara as trainer and it was at the Royal Garden Hotel Kensington London. The second training in London. The hotel had a tea shop opposite which, after the sessions, got ‘elevated’ by its customers, ha!

    It has continuously served me to have done the training and subsequent workshops over so many years now three hundred quid ( or thereabouts) will spent 🙂

    Comment by Michael Anthony — May 27, 2009 @ 8:13 am

  7. I’m sisty-four years old now (2009) and I took the training in January, 1982 in San Francisco. I’ve participated in so many of the follow-up programs because I never really thought that I had “gotten it”, but I saw glimpses of the possibilities and wanted what I saw. “It takes as long as it takes.” said Suzuki Roshi. I tell everyone that the training was the most impactful thing I’ve ever done, besides being born.

    Comment by Jane Lewenthal — May 31, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

  8. What a beautiful and delightful reminiscence. I took the Training in ’82, and only in the last few years have participated again, with Landmark Education. When I did the Forum in 2001 I was moved to tears much of the weekend to be returned to the same conversations that had given my life emptiness, and such profound joy and satisfaction so many years before. I still have the little booklet of aphorisms given to me upon “graduation” from the Training, and remember the orchid leaves on the cover: symbolizing “love, beauty, elegance, refinement, many descendents, and the perfect human being”. One of the most useful things from the booklet (and the Training) that I keep recreating is that “perfection is a state in which things are the way they are, and are not the way they are not”.

    Comment by Dave Novell — June 1, 2009 @ 5:25 am

  9. Well, tonite I met a friend for dinner…..she said, did you do est??? this was out of the blue, by the way….I said Yes, I did! It’s been 35 years I think, and I can still spot an EST graduate, most of the time. I worked for Werner in NYC when the training was just beginning I think, and I want you to know that I have always cherished those days and just listening to him again, it is so refreshing to me. I am thankful for the Training, I can, to this day, repeat the purpose of it. thank you Landon CArter. Anyway, It was an awesome experience and I’m so very thankful for you Werner! I am so very thankful also for your continued presence, on UTube, you were a force and remain a true inspiration in my Life…..I will always love you, Flicka aka Karrin Tollin I took the Training in 1972 I think, in NYC. The crazy thing is I was a roommmate of Marcia Martin prior to her EST days. She told me about this incrdible man that she had met. Wow! Well, she was correct. I’ve lost contact with her over time.

    I am so glad to have been part of your Experience! I still have cards and old newsletters from you……. Love Flicka

    Comment by Flicka Tollin — June 17, 2009 @ 7:28 am

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