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So I’ve completed every type of course “Landmark” has offered in the past twenty years. If you do the math, that’s tens of thousands of dollars of my hard earned money. It was a major line item in my budget for many years.

Before that I participated in Gurdjieff discussion groups, ever since one I attended one on Armitage Avenue in Chicago, 1991, something I never told my family about. I barely remember that very strange experience sitting in some poorly lit kitchen with a few other elderly locals of my high school neighborhood. They had been meeting for over 25 years. I was a teenager and totally out of place. But they included me and we had a great discussion. I had seen a flyer for their meetings on a telephone pole on my way to the “L” train stop. It was the first day after the football season had ended and I wasn’t used to going home right away. I had lingered in front of the school with friends until it started getting dark. The flyer had a tear-off phone number. I called out of curiosity from a pay phone. It turned out that as I called they were starting a meeting in the building directly in front of where I found the flyer. I ventured up instead of heading home to watch TV and walk the dog. I remember the setting sun made this spooky purple colored sky as I walked through a narrow passageway between buildings to the back steps of a four story apartment building. I remember walking up the steep and somewhat rickety wooden stairs to the third floor. A damp smell blanketed the hallway emanating from a red and cream colored (more grey) stair runner. I wondered if this was a good idea to continue as the door opened and I was shown into a dark apartment.

Even before that dubious introduction to philosophical discussions about practical reality, my mom introduced us to the Tao as we grew up. My dad to scientific inquiry related to the Jewish faith. And I ended up taking a whole lot of Landmark seminars. Go figure.

I hated being one of those “Landmark People” recruiting friends to free introductory seminars. I kept things much more low key, which meant that I could never continue up the food chain at Landmark. I shamefully admit that I too got excited whenever someone I knew registered for a course. It was like they would be in on the joke with me. That intimacy was something I adored. Landmark’s aggressive sales tactics result from their obsessive focus on results. That’s their whole schtick. That is why business people take the courses and so many business schools, most notably Harvard, introduce their methods.

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