FAQ - General Information 

Training the Mind: A Course for Kids of All Ages

 
 
  • Are we really supposed to read or listen to part or all of a lesson every single day?

    • Yes! Repetition is the beating heart of the course. Without this element, there is no point in taking the lessons. Our automatic hardwired patterns are simply too fast and powerful. We’ve been hardwiring our thoughts to our feelings since we were very young.

    • Basically, when we are caught up in an automatic negative reaction, we think it is who we are. In my experience, it is only daily repetition and developing our willpower that can rewire habitual patterns. Tuning into even just one paragraph every day helps us do that, and only through consistency over time do we see any results.

  • Are the lessons just for children and teens, or is there another course for the adults?

    • The course is for kids of all ages. I really mean that. When it comes to the principles in the lessons, we are all children, and a daily practice of retraining the brain is something everyone on our planet could benefit from immensely. Very few people ever learn the most basic way that life works, and yet it is the cause of all suffering. I am still learning these principles on ever deeper levels, and my experience is that there is no end to this learning. It spirals ever higher and wider. 

      • Though age 9 is a general starting point for many kids in the course, it can be accessed, understood, and applied by even younger children with some guidance and the audio recordings. It is also highly recommended for teens and adults. "Kids" of all ages really does mean everyone. There are people in their 60's who are enrolled in the Course, as well as a soon-to-be 90-yr. old who enjoys listening to her lessons.

      • I have added extra material at the end of most lessons. This is not required reading, but intended for those who wish to go even deeper, as some students want that option.

      • Because each lesson includes a compact lesson as well as an audio recording, the course can be accessed by children younger than 9 years old, since it can be listened to by anyone who is genuinely interested. 

      • As a teacher, something I learned is that children’s developmental levels are approximate at best, and that it really depends on your unique child. In fact, the ideal assimilation and growth happens when parents study and implement the lessons together with their child. This can be the most powerful approach of all. When a child sees a parent genuinely striving to practice and learn new things, inspiration blossoms

  • How long is each lesson, and how many lessons are there in the course?

    • The main lesson is usually between 6 - 7 pages, double-spaced, 14-font. Each lesson also includes a 2-page compact version as well as bookmarks to extended material after the main lesson for those who wish to go deeper. 

    • Each accompanying audio file tends to be between 10 - 15 minutes, and mirrors the main lesson (not including the extra material at the end) for ease of listening.

  • How should I use the lesson groups? 

    • You should only engage with the current month's two lessons. 

    • Listen to or read the first lesson every day for two weeks, and then switch to the next one. This is not a rule, but a helpful guideline for getting the most from your lessons. Many people also start the second lesson a week or so into the month and return to the first one often.

    • No matter what, when the new month comes, move ahead to those lessons on the first day! Even if you only read the previous month's lessons once, move on. Don't let the ego tell you to stay with the past month. This is how most people lose what little progress they have started to gain. ​​You can always add an extra reading of a past lesson to your current month, as needed.

  • How much are the lessons? How do I pay?

    • The first section of the course is free, and is three months long. Additional sections are being created, now. Specifically, the next section will be about understanding and the working with the subtle energies of strong emotions. But no one should skip the six lessons of Section 1. They lay the essential foundation.

  • What do I get with my lessons?

    • Your two lessons every month arrive as a PDF, compact PDF version, and an audio recording. In addition, you join our online community forum (see the Q & A Member Forum Page). ​

  • Why are the recordings the same as the main lesson's PDF?

    • The audio recordings make it easy to engage with the lesson more often.​ It is the repetition, not the act of reading that is the active ingredient. Once I've read a lesson through the first time, I just listen to it after that.

    • Listening also supports those who are younger, emerging readers, allowing them to access the material when normally they might reject it as "too much."

  • How are the compact lessons different from the main lesson?

    • The compact lessons synthesize the main lesson into 2 pages. This is in response to a request to have a concise summary on one page, back and front, that can be left around the house for quick reference and sharing together with a child more spontaneously. It includes all of the principal concepts of the lesson, but may omit some of the secondary ideas and metaphors. 

  • Why do some lessons have additional material added after the main lesson?

    • There are usually additional comments following the end of most lessons. They are not included in the audio recordings, and can be found via the blue, bookmarked links. It is fine if you choose not to read them. They are intended for those who wish to go deeper into the material. I also recommend reading them only AFTER you have read the main lesson all the way through. 

  • Why are we asked to not skip ahead beyond each month's 2 lessons to look at future ones?

    • This is sometimes a difficult thing to grasp, but ​what I have found over many years of working with my own lessons is that the timing of each month's lessons somehow magically "corresponds" to what I am going through each month. In fact, the original title of the course that I started in 1994 was something like, The Correspondence Course. The lessons are intentionally sequenced to correspond with the development of our willpower.

    • It is almost always the ego that wants to skip ahead to "know' everything. But "knowing" the material actually does us no good. It is only directly experiencing the principles that makes any worthwhile impact. 

    • And one of the keys for why the course actually works is that by tuning in to my lesson each day, I take away my ego's favorite weapons: forgetfulness and self-importance. It is our tendency to not "be here now in the present moment" that often blocks important insights and the love that is already present in our lives. Trust me on this one. If you get itchy, please ask me about it on the Forum Page so others can benefit.

  • What if my child hates to read?

    • This is one of the reasons I include an audio version with each lesson. 

    • As a teacher, something I learned for our younger readers (Grades 1 - 6) was that a strong distaste for reading usually has much more to do with a child’s inability to decode and access text than ‘not liking to read.’ Recorded books (aka “play-aways”) are quite popular library check-outs for students who don’t “like” to read. When children have simultaneous access to the text as well as its audio, they find that they CAN read it once they’ve heard and seen it enough times. This, in itself, is a powerful breakthrough for below grade-level readers. Coincidentally, repetition is the most important aspect of the course, so listening works as well or better than reading.

    • For older kids, teens and up, the trend in schools is away from longer text, so it's no surprise they love texting in short, sweet bursts of social interaction. In these cases, I strongly suggest engaging in the lessons WITH them. See the FAQ for Are there any benefits to doing the lessons with my child?

    • If you strongly feel your child should be engaging with these lessons, then get creative and turn that breakdown into a breakthrough. Try trading a chore for sitting down and listening to a lesson together, and discuss the material. This is a perfect way to do what teens secretly most want out of their relationships with their parents: authenticity. Because the principles are just as true for a child as an adult, you'll be wonderfully compelled to use examples from your own life. This often gives some children their first real view of a parent as a growing, learning human being, which can be a great gift to both of you.

  • What if I want my child to take the course, but she does not?

    • Don’t force her. The number one success-factor in learning is choice, followed closely by self-accountability. Children don't learn anything worthwhile when they are coerced, forced, or guilted. Actually, no one does :)

    • Other options: ​

      • Scroll through this website together. There may be something here that catches her interest. Many children are delighted to find out that their friends and parents have never heard about this stuff, and that ‘having the life of their dreams’ is an actual, real possibility.

      • Participate daily in the course yourself, and share your authentic insights along the way with the whole family not just your child. Curiosity is often fanned through witnessing another’s transformation and growth. Let it be yours! A win-win.​​​

  • Can I be anonymous on the Q & A Forum page? I don’t want my child’s picture or comments out there.

    • Yes, you can customize your community member account status in the forum in many different ways.​​​

  • Are there any benefits to doing the lessons with my child?

    • You win the big prize! As a teacher, this was something I always tried to share with the parents of my students. It is a scientifically proven fact that NOTHING is more beneficial for a child than to have his or her parent (or guardian) engaged in the work done outside of school. This is also true for adults. In Sanskrit, it is called the sangham (a community of like minded and hearted students). An accurate metaphor is of a campfire—put a log near the others already burning and it catches fire much more quickly than on its own.

    • The shared understanding that grows within and between both people is rare and beautiful, as well as indisputable in its long-term impact. When parents are aligned and actually practicing the tools in the lessons (many parents are unable to do this consistently, yet consistency is the one thing to model for children), the outcomes can seem almost miraculous.

    • This is equally true for married couples, or anyone who shares a loving relationship by the way. This was especially true of my own marriage.

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