Author, poet and Fortune 500 consultant David Whyte appeared February 23 at the La Jolla Yoga Center, speaking of the human condition and the nature of path-making through life’s journey.
“The Pilgrim Way: Setting the Direction for a Future Life” covered such universal themes as: resilience; unseen forces behind chosen and unchosen paths; risk; companionship; and the need to seek help at crucial junctures in life.
Reading his poems and prose as well as others, Whyte bought the pilgrim’s path (which we all walk) into light and focus. He spoke of hidden traps, such as the slow and unrecognized descent into disappearance, in which the soul is eroded by habitually avoiding visibility. The antidote, he said, “is appearing.”
“You start to take up space,” Whyte added. “We can have 100 excuses about everything – why I can’t do this, or can’t do that because of this or that.” The question that’s needed, he added, is this: “How do I need to be brave? And what kind of invisible help will I need?”
The path of transformation
Transformation is created not by will, said Whyte, but “by going to the edge of the conversation” where the work of life is taking place. Putting one’s self at that edge, “going to that edge,” said Whyte is what’s required – rather than puzzling out the mechanics of transformation itself. “And that’s where transformation happens,” he said.
Drawing from his Irish- English background (Whyte was raised in South Yorkshire), the poet related stories and anecdotes of Irish wisdom, as he liberally seasoning his talk with laughter – mainly targeted at the human condition.
Whyte is the author of seven books of poetry, three books of prose and also consults with corporations in the field organizational development. Neumann College in Pennsylvania awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2008.
Whyte’s personal publishing company Many Rivers, distributes his books and other materials and organizes his speaking schedule. He also offers walking tours to such locations as the Galapagos Islands, the Irish countryside and through Tuscany, Italy.
• David Whyte's poetry, works and prose.
• Visit the La Jolla Yoga Center website.
• Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa - optimal accommodations in Torrey Pines when visiting La Jolla.