Quote Originally Posted by rjmccutchan View Post
Are there any workshops going on today based on the teachings of White, Gassan, and photographers like them? If so, I would love to attend some. I have been studying about Minor lately and am fascinated!
This might be difficult. It would certainly be possible to offer a course about White that could also include Gassan's critique. As discussed above, Gassan broke with White in about 1964. Subsequently, his work diverged considerably from White's. I think you might have to choose one direction or the other. I do have a colleague who studied with Gassan in the late 1960's or early '70's in Ohio. He and I have discussed the possibility of workshops, so I think he might be interested in doing something with it. I suspect, though, that he'd want to go his own way rather than to teach Gassan. He's been teaching since the early '70's and there's been a lot of water under the bridge. Same is true for me. I've learned a lot since MW, and have incorporated his ample contributions into my own point of view.

A workshop could incorporate MW's visual training and/or techniques. The visual training, viewing images, etc. would be possible, but the technical part of it doesn't seem very useful to me since there are so many good technical workshops accessible right here through APUG. Technical elements could be incorporated, though. A workshop in MW's photographic techniques would miss the point altogether. Having worked with him, I have to say that I think the technical part of his presentation was not as strong as the rest of it. I had to read AA to really understand what was going on. He had a way of mystifying it, which really wasn't very helpful, in my view.

Then there is the philosophical aspect. It would be pretty hard to find someone who could handle that. Most people familiar with MW's philosophy have studied it; they don't live it. Perhaps the best avenue there might be to check out John Daido Loori at Zen Mountain Monastery in New York state. My wife studied with him and got a lot from her work there. He was a student of MW's, and since he is a Zen guy, would have a great deal of insight into that aspect of MW's teachings.

MW was eclectic; while he had a lot of interest in Zen, his basis was probably more oriented toward Gurdjieff. Finding someone with the breadth to cope with even 1/10th of all of this might be pretty hard.

I've thought a lot about it and have pretty much decided it would be a no go. As can be seen from the responses above, only two people have expressed interest in workshops. Comparing the popularity of the MW topic to that of the AA article, it is clear that the interest in MW's ideas is relatively low. Preparing, promoting, and presenting a workshop may not be worth it for just a few participants. The cost might have to be high, or they'd have to be informal.

Since I believe that his ideas are extremely important, this rather saddens me. If we look at the topics discussed here on APUG, we find lots about technique, how-to, equipment, etc. When ideas with any particular depth are introduced, they attract relatively few individuals, but those who show up are often enthusiastic. The threads can be pretty hot but they don't tend to go on for a long time. They run out. I very much wish it were otherwise. Maybe it will change. We can hope.