|Erhard Seminars Training, Inc.|
|Type||Private Corporation (defunct)|
|Founded||October 1971 (dissolved 1981)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Key people||Werner Erhard, Founder|
Erhard Seminars Training, an organization founded by Werner H. Erhard, offered to the general public (as well as other entities) an intense and rigorous 2-weekend (60-hours) course known officially as 'The est Standard Training'. The term privately held company refers to ownership of a business company in two different ways first referring to ownership by non-governmental organizations and second A corporation is a separate legal entity usually used to conduct business Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Year 1981 ( MCMLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Werner Hans Erhard The general public associates his name primarily with the programs he created the " est Training " (1971 – 1983 Werner Hans Erhard The general public associates his name primarily with the programs he created the " est Training " (1971 – 1983 The purpose of 'the Training' was to allow participants to achieve a sense of personal transformation and enhanced power in their lives, concepts that resonated with many during the socially turbulent and war-weary 1970s. The est Training was delivered, unchanged save for minor modifications to the program, for over 13 years, from late-1971 to late-1984.
The first est Training took place at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco, California in October 1971. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city From this first course, as word of mouth about this powerful and life-changing 'experience-centered' workshop began to circulate, more and more people wanted to sign up, and est began to grow rapidly. Within a year, trainings were being held in New York City, and other major cities in the US followed soon after. By 1979 est had expanded to Great Britain, Europe, and other parts of the world. The popularity of est peaked in 1981, as enrollment for the various courses began to shrink. The last est Training was held in December 1984 in San Francisco, CA. , and the program was officially retired. In its place came a newly-developed course called 'The Forum', which was first held in January 1985. The est Training presented several concepts to the American public, most notably the concept of transformation and taking responsibility for one's life. The actual teaching is called "the technology of transformation", and stresses the value of integrity.  'est, Inc. ' evolved into 'est, an Educational Corporation', and eventually into 'Werner Erhard & Associates'. WE&A purchased the assets of est in 1981.
In William Bartley's biography, Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, the Founding of est (1978), Erhard describes his explorations of Zen Buddhism. Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, referred to in Chinese as Chan. Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging Zen as the essential contribution that "created the space [for est]. "  Bartley details Erhard's connections with Zen beginning with his extensive studies with Alan Watts in the mid 1960s. Alan Wilson Watts ( January 6, 1915 &ndash November 16, 1973) was a British Philosopher, Writer, speaker and  Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging:
Of all the disciplines that I studied, practiced, learned, Zen was the essential one. It was not so much an influence on me, rather it created space. It allowed those things that were there to be there. It gave some form to my experience. And it built up in me the critical mass from which was kindled the experience that produced est. 
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