April 11, 2007

I'm Ready for My Closeup

Or to put it another way, I'm headed for Los Angeles. I'll be there ten days starting tomorrow --- I'll be back Monday April 23 (Shakespeare's birthday and deathday).

"What will you be doing in LA, Richard?" Well, not making a movie, I'll tell you that. I'm going to attend Byron Katie's School for the Work, a nine-day intensive program that's a kind of psychological Outward Bound, from what I've heard. Nine days of concentrated emotional and interpersonal exercises developed by Katie as stimuli for transformative change, based on what she has learned through her own transformation out of despair into permanent joy.

I first wrote about Katie in this post last year, and whatever impact the post may have had on my readers, it had an overwhelming, astounding effect on me. You see, Katie learned about me through our mutual friend Dilys at Good & Happy, one of my favorite blogs of yore. Unbeknowndst to me, Dilys showed Katie my post and Katie was so moved that a few months afterward, her husband, the great translator Stephen Mitchell, emailed me to invite me to the School as their guest. Something I had dreamed of saving up for had landed in my lap for free, out of the blue! It is the most wonderful act of generosity I have ever received. And it's typical of this enlightened person from whose magisterially simple self-questioning technique I continue to learn so much.

I hope to tell you lots about the School, but not during the nine days themselves. I'm going as a full participant, not an observer or commentator. To do otherwise would be to sabotage the experience by setting myself at a distance from it. I'm not taking my computer. Katie urges us to have as little contact with the outside world as possible during the School. I'll take my cell phone to call my kids, and that's it. (She also urges us to eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and sugar from our diet two weeks before the School, which isn't a problem for me.) Ten days without a computer -- I wonder what that will be like. And nine days with a random roommate -- a diabolically instructive part of the School experience.

So this will be my last post until April 24, and during that time I won't be able to read your blogs either, or comment on them, a loss that grieves me more than a break from blogging for myself. In the meantime, blog well!

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