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What I learned in EST



What I learned at EST

Life is conversation, a speaking and a listening. It is this way because that is how it occurs. 

The voice you hear in your head is saying exactly what you are listening for. It is called the "already always listening" and it creates a clearing for the occurring that is your life.  

By changing your speaking and listening you can change your life because that is what your life consists of: an on going conversation. It is so automatic that we forget that it is there or can be changed.  To make it work you have to honor your word as yourself. 


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What they would say in EST is first just notice your 'already always listening'. The simple act of noticing your conversations will awaken you to how your life occurs. They said that a great time to see your already always listening is when you first wake up in the morning notice those thoughts. If it is positive or negative that is what you are a listening for.

Your life works to the extent that you keep your agreements. That is why you have to honor your word as yourself. That is exactly what they say. 

They go into some really neat stuff regarding agreements and interpretation. 

Thanks for the good word Sed. 


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"By changing your speaking and listening you can change your life because that is what your life consists of: an on going conversation. It is so automatic that we forget that it is there or can be changed.  To make it work you have to honor your word as yourself. "

nah; too much work. guys are not the best listeners anyway lol.

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This reminds me of our inner self talk, critical voices etc. I have found it very helpful to be aware of how I talk to myself.

There is always something new to learn. Thank you for sharing.

Btw, what does EST stand for? :mellow:

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What l and millions of others appreciate about EST is that it is relatively simple to get. There maybe a dozen core concepts. You don't have to meditate or be anywhere to do it. Just noticing how you are being, your speaking and listening, reveals something of value to nearly everyone who tries it. It has been over 25 years since I attended my last seminar and it continues to pay dividends. Today they are known as Landmark for anyone looking to find out more.  

Mastering your way of being in the world is a breakthrough that allows you to be in action in life. That is how I remember them saying it. To me the key statement is life is conversation because that is how it occurs. Once you get that you can begin to move forward. 

Trust me there is a lot more to it than that. This is just what I remember from like 27 years ago. 

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Zen was very impactful for Werner Erhard. In his autobiography he credits Zen w "creating the space in which EST could occur".  In that spirit EST is not about changing your mind; it is about awakening to its nature. 
I'll get into why we would even have to awaken to our minds true nature at another time but for now an example of what I am talking about. A coworker of mine, one that I have not even seen in about 8 years, this morning posted something on FB that really shocked and angered me. I felt what she had to say was hateful, twisted, reckless and untrue.  I felt a surge of emotion and racing thoughts and was really fired up when I decide to "just notice" the speaking and listening that I was at that moment. I grope for the right words here but it was so insightful for me to see how I was creating my moment. By seeing that what was occurring was an interpretation of an external event allowed me to put what she said into some context.  Context is another important term in EST. 

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Exactly IJ. There are different words to describe it but the point is the same: your point of view is literally the point from which you view. 

Our minds, our attitude, our self talk is our access point to the world. It is the only leverage we have.  We can't control the world, other people or even our own bodies.  But we do have some ability to control our approach, our way of being in the world.  I feel the EST does a fine job of distilling down these potentially amorphous concepts into understandable, workable instructions. 

I even had some good news today.  In the past I had a bad habit of really going over the top and getting a little manic on these occasions.  This time I stayed as you say "self aware" and was able to remain grounded.  Life is what actually happens and can go in any direction at any time so it is good to keep your wits about you. 

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"We often think of language as if there’s a world out there and our words function primarily to describe, refer to, talk about that world. But the relationship between language and our selves is far more intimate, creative, and generative. Every word brings with it its meaning, but meanings are not inherently there, in the world, waiting to be represented by language. Language gives the world its meaning. From this stand, things shift—our speaking impacts the world to match our words."
- Werner Erhard 

That is so profound. Imagine a world where people gave appropriate thought and weight to their words, be it self-talk or external. 

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I am the stand that I am the stand that I take, and I honor my word as myself. 
When I started to notice my internal speaking and listening I came to see how much of my thinking was either 1) negative and/or 2) worthless or 3) things that I could do nothing about. I decided that I would take a stand and the stand that I am is I am disinvested in these three thought patterns. I do not try to stop these negative/worthless thoughts but rather I just stopped pursuing them. I am no longer a listening for nonsense, for things that have no reward or that I simply cannot impact. That stuff no longer interests me. I am no longer running that racket on myself. This is an agreement that I have made with the universe and life works to the extent that you keep your agreements. 
This was a breakthrough for me. EST is a technology of being. 
Thoughts are real. They meet the scientific criteria for reality: they are measurable, have a beginning and an end, are distinct, have impact, and exist in relation to other things. When you change your thoughts you change your world because thoughts are how your world occurs. 
Reality is not just something that happens to you, you yourself are part of reality. It is you that defines and interprets what is real. You assign meaning to what happens. Once you wake up to the fact that you and your life are speaking and listening the shift occurs all on its own. There is nothing else to do. There are however other things you can now do resulting from the options that this technology enables. 

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This just nails it for me:


"Context is the freedom to be. Context is space. It has no form, no place in time; it allows form and time. In the absence of a consciously-created context, our lives are controlled by content - the forces and circumstances of the condition in which we live. Once you create a context, that context then generates a process in which the content - the forces and circumstances - reorder and align themselves with the context. For example, if you choose to shift the context of your life from 'I don't matter' to 'I make a difference,' the circumstances in your life, while they may not have changed, take on an entirely new meaning. This new meaning, then, begins to reflect that you do make a difference."
- -Werner Erhard

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Thank you for sharing. I looked him up and have been reading some of his quotes. I like what he has to say.


"You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from."


"We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. What we create together is a relationship in which our work can show up as making a difference in people's lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings. If not you, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?"
The Graduate Review. 1980.

Both quotes by Werner Erhart

Great stuff. 

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There is a good book from 1948 titled "The Magic of Believing" by Claude Bristol.  It may have even influenced Werner's thinking but I could be wrong on that but it is certainly in the spirit of EST.  Anyway the book is a cheap download on the internet and there may even be a free PDF somewhere so check it out if you are seeking solid straight to the point practical advice.  

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If a cat jumps on a hot stove, he will never jump on a hot stove again. And that’s good. But he will also never jump on a cold stove again—and that may not be so good. When something happens and we assign a particular meaning, that “reduces the likelihood of repeating things that didn’t work as you hope it will, but that means you know less about the domains where you’ve done poorly than about the domains where you’ve done well.”*

We are constantly engaged in scanning the universe for clues about what means what. “It causes problems whenever our early experience with an alternative is, for whatever reason, not characteristic of what subsequent experience would be.”* When contradictions appear, we are slow to let go of past assumptions to which our way of being and acting is correlated. Taking old assumptions for granted and interacting with things that are already settled limits us and leads to “just so much.”

In recognizing that past, present, and future are an interpretation and not intrinsic to reality, a more fluid, open-ended, and relative world becomes available. We are never stuck with the way we are or how we see things. Transformation has the power to unseat us from business as usual, to upset the status quo—it carries with it a wisdom and a knowing that we have a choice about who we are and the full range available to us in being human. Ambiguity and paradox allow us to engage in a world that’s nuanced, rich, and full of wonder.

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