Est made history and the following is a history of est. A tribute to transformation and Werner Erhard. Follow the lineage of people places and things that enlightened a generation and made an impact on the world.

Questions and Answers About The est Training

Q: What was the est training?

A:The est Training was a 60-hour educational experience that created opportunities for people to realize their potential, to transform the quality of their lives. It was about an expansion of that area of life called aliveness. The purpose of the est Training was to transform your experience of living and it operated under the principle that there was only one thing powerful enough to transform the quality of your life in just four days and that was you.

The est Training was created by Werner Erhard in 1971. The Training was offered throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Israel, Australia and India and it was retired in 1984.

Q: How did the training work in only two weekends?

A: The est Training did not change the content of people’s lives rather the way they held the content of their lives. What happened in the training was a transformation, an essential shift in the context in which the facts, circumstances, and positions of one’s life are held. While it might take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held.

During the 60 hours of the training, participants had the opportunity to experience that instant.
In the training you could choose to transform the context in which you held your life such that you became the source of, the author of, the creator of your life, and responsible for your life, including your opinions and beliefs. You might leave with the same opinions and beliefs, but you would no longer need to be controlled by these opinions and beliefs or be a victim of them. You would be able to see them as they are, as your opinions or your beliefs. You got it; you created it, so you could keep it or change it or give it up, depending on which contributed most to your own aliveness and full self expression and that of the people around you. It worked with people of all ages and all walks of life. Some people approached the course with enthusiasm, some with skepticism or both, and transformation was available to all who were willing to participate in the Training.

Q: What actually happened in the est Training?

A: The est Training took place over two consecutive weekends, and was usually held in a hotel ballroom or conference room, with about 250 participants, seated in rows as in a theater, wearing comfortable and informal clothing.

The Training was led by an est Trainer personally trained by Werner Erhard. The Training began at 8:30 AM on the first Saturday and at 9:00 AM on the other three days and usually ended between 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM each day.

The Trainer spent part of each day presenting the distinctions of the est Training. Participants were asked to try on what was being said, to ask questions and see what of it was useful for themselves and much of each day was devoted to this kind of communication between the Trainer and the participants. All of the interchanges were between the Trainer and the participants, not among the people in the Training itself.

The Training also included processes and exercises which presented opportunities for participants to look at particular aspects of themselves and their lives. Also, at regular and frequent intervals, participants had the opportunity for what was called “sharing” – communicating the experiences, insights and realizations they had during a given period of the Training.

Q: What was the Training not?

A: The training was not group therapy, psychotherapy, or like any encounter group. Est was not a religion or a belief system nor was it based on any religion or belief system. It was not harmful, it did not use any form of mind control or brainwashing and it was not a cult.
The est Training was a unique educational experience that played an integral part of the 70’s culture.

Q: Was the Training enjoyable?

A: Not everyone “enjoyed” every moment of the Training. Participants in the est Training experienced joy, laughter, boredom, and anger: an entire range of emotions. The ultimate result however was enlightenment or “lighting you up” and that result was an enjoyable one. To get an idea of the real experience visit the Reunion Blog.