Escape Total Work! A 4-Week Course Starting In February

Update (January 6)

The Character Of Our Time

It has gone largely unnoticed that our time is defined by Total Work, the long historical process through which human beings have been slowly transformed into Workers as nearly every domain of life — almost every nook and cranny — has come to be, or resemble, work. More and more people live for, and sometimes die for, work while mistakenly construing their lives as works themselves.

Video Essay With Daniel Kazandjian

The point of this course is to teach us how to break free.

TEDxABQ Talk (2018)

Who’s Teaching This Course? A Work-centric Biography

At a Sesshin (2018)

OK, So Who’s Really Teaching This Course?


How did work go from being the worst fate imaginable to being at once the keystone of modern life and the moral center of almost every modern person’s earthly aspirations?

Signs Of Total Work

Is “What do you do?” almost always the first question out of your mouth?

Who Could Benefit From This Course

This course was not easy, but it was one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. I thought I loved work, but through this course I realized that my fascination with work was merely a crutch that was distracting me from the things I truly desire. Andrew has encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Buddhism to modern philosophy and fuses it all into a wide-ranging course that will wake you up to some of the pathologies of our society and to what a good life really is.— Anonymous, Ex-Wall Street, Ex-VC world, Ex-crypto

A Provisional Schedule

Andrew is Drano for the soul. — Khe Hy, Founder, RadReads

Week #1: Deepening Awareness Of Total Work

You may be surprised by how little you knew and by how much you presumed.

Week #2: Turning Over Every Stone

Have you seen it all the way through to the end?

Week #3: There’s Nothing Special After All

How, through work, have you tried to make yourself into a Somebody?

Week #4: Tasting Freedom

How can we be in right relation with work?

Broad Overview

Escape Total Work! includes 4 live sessions, 6 pre-recorded guided meditations to listen to between sessions, 5 chapters from my forthcoming book Total Work, 4 invitations to go deeper plus a post-course design challenge, 4 introductions to pen pals, and a partridge in a pear tree. OK, maybe not the last one.


Andrew is the real deal: a rare mix of accessible wisdom and actionable insights. He’s a major part of my own development, my pursuit of wisdom, and my mental well-being. I’m honoured to work with him and, more importantly, to call him a friend. — Daniel Eberhard, CEO, KOHO

Like some during COVID, I found myself working where I live, or perhaps living where I work. The Total Work program I attended this summer allowed me to see how my relationship to my work, which I find quite meaningful, was profoundly unhealthy. Since attending, I have been better able to step away from complete immersion in my work and to tie less and less of my sense of personal value to my professional accomplishments. I appreciated hearing from others and being asked tough questions about why I made the choices I made and where I truly wanted to be as a human being. — Jerrold McGrath, BMW Foundation Responsible Leader

The course was a real emotional journey for me. The second session broke me into little pieces, so to speak, and left me in a very reflective mood, questioning my craving for attention and validation through work and online endeavours. By the final session, I felt quite lighthearted and able to look at my relationship to work with a greater degree of equanimity, neither ignoring it nor being resentful towards it, but recognising its place as a way of securing right livelihood without asking it to bear such an existential load. — James Simpkin, College Tutor, University of Craven

The first step to fixing a problem is to admit you have a problem. Unfortunately, almost no one admits they have a problem with work. Many people complain about their job, many resign themselves to it, many try to ascribe meaning to it, but few examine their relationship to the actual concept of work. Yet work consumes the majority of our waking hours. Andrew uses insights from a variety of philosophies to explore this conundrum. Seeing work in this light opens you up to examining your life through a new lens. — Anonymous, former real estate private equity

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Details

This course gave me a signal to wake up and be curious about my life in a deeper sense, to look beyond doing and to explore being. Months afterward, the sparks of awakening that began during it are still having effects on my life; in fact, they are still guiding me. — Eloah, Coder

And In Case You Can’t Get Enough…

IHMC Public Talk (2019)

Practical Philosopher, Ph.D. | Rinzai Zen Buddhist ( | Examining What Technologists Are Taking For Granted