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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: asi1faq.txt

alt.self-improve FAQ 1/2




Posted-By: auto-faq 3.1.1.2
Archive-name: self-impr-faq/part1

             -------------------------------------------
                         alt.self-improve FAQ
                             revision 1.8
                            June 17, 1995
             -------------------------------------------

DISCLAIMER
This file is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions from the 
alt.self-improve group.  This document is information collected by 
the editors for public use.  The information is not guaranteed to
be accurate and may not reflect the opinions of the editors, the
editor's employers, or associated institutions.  This document may
be freely distributed provided this disclaimer is included with
all copies.  All contributions and suggestions for improvement
are welcomed.  The current editors are:

Loren Larsen
Computer Science Department
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634
llarsen@cs.clemson.edu

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
This FAQ is posted on the 17th of every month.  A how-to-find-the-FAQ article
is posted on the 7th and 27th of every month.  This FAQ is also available 
via World Wide Web (Mosaic): 
http://diogenes.cs.clemson.edu/~llarsen/llarsen.html
or via ftp from rtfm.mit.edu:
/pub/usenet/alt.self-improve/alt.self-improve_FAQ_(Part_1_of_2)
/pub/usenet/alt.self-improve/alt.self-improve_FAQ_(Part_2_of_2)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes since version 1.5 (Feb. 17)
- New section describing The People's Network
- Updated Resources section
- New biography of Tad James
Changes since version 1.6 (Apr. 17)
- Information on IDHEA seminars
Changes since version 1.7 (May. 18)
- New Web resources, notably:
    Covery Leadership Center
    hypnosis.com (Tad James and his Accelerated Human Change Companies)
    Forum Graduate Association
- I am currently looking for a co-editor(s) to help improve the FAQ.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.  Introduction to alt.self-improve
2.  Accelerated Learning
3.  Baldness Cures and Consequences
4.  Bates Method (natural vision improvement)
5.  Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc.)
6.  Est
7.  Financial Improvement
8.  General Learning and Study Skills
9.  Hypnosis
10. Landmark (The Forum)
11. Lateral Thinking
12. Life-Long Learning Association
13. Lifespring
14. Meditation
15. Memory Systems
16. Mindmapping
17. Mind Machines
18. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
19. The People's Network
20. Physical Health
21. Anthony Robbins
22. Sales and Negotiation
23. Scientology/Dianetics
24. Software Packages
25. Speed Reading
26. Marshall Sylver
27. Time Management
Appendix A.  Resource List
Appendix B.  Biographies
        Richard Bandler
        Stephen Covey
        John Grinder
        Tad James
        Anthony Robbins
Appendix C.  Reader Ratings of Books/Audiotapes/Seminars

1. Introduction to alt.self-improve

The alt.self-improve group provides a forum for discussing strategies,
techniques, and principles for self improvement.  The table of contents gives
a good overview of the breadth of topics discussed.  This FAQ has been
created to provide a single document that contains a sort of history of what
has been discussed in the newsgroup.  New readers may find the answers to
many of their questions already answered in this document.  We have attempted
to categorize questions by topic for easy access, but many issues don't fit
neatly into a single category.  The contents of this document are collected
by the editors from past postings in alt.self-improve, personal e-mail
correspondence, and outside sources.  All suggestions and contributions are 
welcome.  The newsgroup is not intended for commercial uses or promotion of, 
commercial products; however a section has been added to this document with 
information about contacting many of the companies whose products, seminars, 
or books are discussed in this newsgroup.  The last section provides brief 
biographical information about some of the self-improvement personalities 
frequently mentioned in this group.  

This document is still in its infancy.  Most of the material collected so
far has been summarized based on past postings to the newsgroup.  There are
bound to be a number of errors.  The information presented so far is probably
biased toward the interests and perspectives of the editors.  Hopefully both
the errors and bias will rapidly be eliminated with your feedback.  Please
help to expand and perfect this document by contributing your knowledge.

Quoted articles are acknowledged by placing the poster's name in parentheses
(e.g. (From: llarsen@cs.clemson.edu).  Information which is not explicitly
acknowledged has been compiled by the editors from a variety of sources
including past postings, external sources, and reader responses to the 
editors.

We are considering different methods of compactly recording comments from
a wide variety of sources.  One suggestion is to create a rating system
for books, seminars, etc.  For example if you have attended a particular
speed reading course or a Tony Robbins seminar, send us your opinion by
rating it on a scale of 1-10.  The average could be used as opposed to
a huge collection of personal responses.  Any other suggestions are welcome.


2.  Accelerated Learning

        Q. What is accelerated learning?
        A. Accelerated learning is a technique that was pioneered by the 
           Bulgarian psychologist named Lozanov during the 1950's/60's.

           A typical session involves two stages - learning while in deep 
           relaxation, and consolidating through play.

           In the first stage of a session, pupils are seated (or sit on 
           cushions) in a comfortable room and are encouraged to relax, get 
           themselves into a positive frame of mind and visualize a time when 
           they experienced real joy at succesfully learning something.

           Once everyone is relaxed, the teacher will start some music. The 
           best music has been found to be Baroque music, by composers like 
           Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, at a tempo of about sixty beats per 
           minute (60bpm).  The students are asked to breath in time to the 
           music to increase their relaxation - a common method is to breath 
           in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, breathe out for four
           seconds and pause, in time with the music.

           The teacher then reads the material to be learned, again in time 
           with the music, and varying the tone and volume of his/her voice. 
           If the material is, for example, the basic vocabulary of German, 
           the teacher will read an English word, followed four seconds later 
           by the German equivalent.

           The idea is the material will `imprint' itself on the minds of the 
           students, with little conscious effort by them.

           The second stage involves revising the material through play, the 
           idea again is to make the session as relaxed and enjoyable as 
           possible.

           The editors have no experience of the techniques themselves, so we
           cannot say if they are of any value. Reports of the technique have
           varied from wild claims of learning 2000+ foreign words in a day,
           to murmurs of disapointment from people who found the sessions
           uninteristing and repetitive. Many people have commented that
           people who are good auditory learners seem to have more success
           than those who are good visual learners, so Anthony Robbins fans
           might want to check this out.

          The only audio material being produced at the moment (as far as
          we know) is by Colin Rose, who has also written a book on the
          subject (called, strangely enough, `Accelerated Learning').
          You also might want to dig out a copy of `Superlearning' by
          Maria Ostrand), which describes the history of Accelerated 
          Learning in detail and gives a complete guide to doing it 
          yourself.

3. Baldness Cures and Consequences
        A summary of ways for handling balding has been contributed by a
        reader.  Here it is:

                
                        Baldness Cures and Consequences

        1. Does baldness need to be cured?  

        The answer is up to you, if you're losing your hair.  It depends on 
        your self-concept, on how happy you are with the way you look now, and
        how happy you'll be with the way you will look once your pattern 
        expands to its ultimate stage.  You might get some hints on this by 
        looking at pictures of your maternal grandfather in his later years; 
        in any case, debates concerning the actual hereditary links of 
        male-pattern baldness, while of scholarly interest, are mostly 
        unhelpful to individuals and thus beyond the scope of this FAQ.

        2. Bald can be Beautiful
        
        Star Trek's Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) provides an excellent 
        example of a person who, by a happy combination of personality and 
        physiognomy, has managed to be handsome and quite sexy while still 
        being bald.  St. Anthony, while not sexy, was good looking too, 
        despite his bald crown.  Your case may be a different story.  It all 
        depends on how you want to look.

        You might attempt to accept the fact that baldness has always been a 
        natural part of growing old.  Are you unhappy about your baldness or 
        are you just not accepting the fact that you're no longer 15?  You may
        not agree with this, but there is probably a natural beauty and grace 
        to your unaltered baldness pattern.  Could you possibly learn to love 
        that natural grace and let your inner beauty shine through along with 
        it?  Many people can and do.  They save a lot of money that way.

        3. Combing to cover
        The solution, adopted by some, of combing hair over bald spots is 
        probably counterproductive.  In other words, the larger your spot, the
        better you might look if you just accepted its presence and had your 
        hair styled so that the spot was not being hidden.  This is, of 
        course, a matter of opinion, but a person with a full-cap bald pattern
        who tries to cover it by letting hair on the sides of the head grow 
        unusually long and flipping it up generally looks like a person who is
        doing just that.  Most independent observers find it odd; people who 
        had once "combed to cover" generally find that they are perceived
        as much more attractive by others once they let their spots be what 
        they are.  (When used in combination with spray-on hair, however, 
        combing to cover can produce a natural effect for some--not all--
        people.  See discussion below.)

        4. Vitamins
        Severe nutrient deficiencies and extreme stress will shock your body 
        from head to foot. If the foods you eat contain neither inositol nor 
        any B vitamins, you may die sooner than you ought to.  But, sad to 
        say, if you have an otherwise normal diet and start popping inositol 
        and B vitamins, your hair will still fall out.  Your hairs know 
        precisely the date when they're supposed to cash in their chips, and 
        they'll do it right then, no matter how much inositol you feed them.  
        Buy relaxation tapes if you're stressed, however. 

        5. Subliminal Suggestion Tapes and the Power of Mind
        The person who made a tape designed to trick your mind into keeping 
        hair on your head was full-cap bald when he produced the tape and is 
        full-cap bald to this very day.  He's a very fine person and he even 
        made an effective tape on how to become wealthy through prosperous 
        thinking.  The baldness tape, however, has been withdrawn from the 
        market.

        Not even Krishna consciousness will help you grow hair.  Do you have 
        any idea of the number of bald swamis who have been sighted in Wyoming
        alone?  Those who still dwell in the physical body are still bald. I 
        know that most of them wouldn't bother lowering their vibration long 
        enough to produce hair on their heads--and why should they, 
        considering the delights they know.  But you'd think that some of them
        would spontaneously sprout hair once in a while, just for fun.  

        Ram Dass and Wayne Dyer, very wise bald sages both, have used their 
        wisdom to talk themselves out of esteeming hair, needing hair, or 
        wanting hair.  In fact, many holy beings float so high that they 
        realize that hair is the LEAST of their or anyone else's needs, that 
        it's just more material stuff destined to collect in a porcelain sink,
        another illusion trying to convince you it's real, just one more set 
        of material attachments from which we all, eventually, seek 
        liberation.  And they're absolutely right.  Listen to what the Hindu 
        God Krishna had to say about your physical body.  Lord Krishna, 
        addressing his friend Arjuna (who was whining about his apparent duty 
        to kill his relatives in an upcoming battle), spoke thus: 

              While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not
              worthy of grief.  Those who are wise lament neither for the 
              living nor the dead.  Never was there a time when I did not 
              exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any
              of us cease to be.  As the emboldened soul continually passes, 
              in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul 
              similarly passes into another body at death.  The self-realized 
              soul is not bewildered by such a change.  O son of Kunti, the 
              nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their 
              disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and 
              disappearance of winter and summer seasons.  They arise from 
              sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to 
              tolerate them without being disturbed.

        So there.  Krishna says you shouldn't even grieve for the apparent 
        loss of your life, much less the loss of your stupid hair.  

        Easy for the blue-skinned God to say, with long black locks flowing 
        down his back. 

        6. Serious Solutions
        If you still don't believe that bald can be beautiful (on you) and if 
        you still grieve for that which is not worthy of grief, then you're a 
        terribly superficial, materialistic creature and probably a Libra too.
        But we still love you.  The good news is that, if money is no object, 
        you can, in many cases, have as much hair as you want.  Once you have 
        a full head of hair, it'll be easier to philosophize about how hair is
        one of the illusions of Maya and thus makes no difference whatsoever.
        As a good Libra, you'll enjoy doing that.

        Timing is everything.  The sooner you start taking some decisive 
        action before your baldness pattern reaches its limits, the smoother 
        your transition from a "balding" person to one with an apparently full
        head of hair will be.  This, of course, should be obvious.  If your 
        hair is just now starting to thin, very few people other than you and 
        those very intimately involved with you will either notice or care if 
        you start to make changes.  But if you're completely bald on top, or 
        have a full-crown bald spot, then its sudden disappearance will be 
        noticed by many people.  This involves potential psychological 
        problems.  If you make an abrupt transition, some people will ask you 
        what you've done to your hair.  Maybe the comments will be well meant
        or innocuous, such as, "Whatever you've done to your hair, it looks 
        great."  Few will say, "I like your new wig."  That's because few--if 
        any--will notice.  

        The reason why few people will notice most subtle changes you make to 
        your hair is that most people don't actually see you each time they 
        cast their eyes on you.  What they "see" is their pre-formed mental 
        image of you (your "gestalt").  Their eyes scan you for identifying 
        features and then, satisfied that the person they are scanning matches
        (more or less) their internalized gestalt of you, they're satisfied 
        about that and go on with what they're truly concerned about, which 
        is usually themselves.  That's why people who have had beards for a 
        long time are often surprised that many people don't mention it when 
        they shave the beard off.  At best, a few people will say, "There's
        something different about you; did you used to wear glasses or 
        something?"  

        There are exceptions, however, to what we just said.  Men who are 
        losing or have lost their hair are generally as perceptive as raptors 
        when it comes to other men's hair.  If you used to look bald and then 
        start to look hairy, you'll be leaving the balding ones behind.  Some 
        will resent the fact that you're choosing to leave the bald club; 
        somehow they've convinced themselves that they have to be in that club
        for life and they believe you deserve the same sentence.  Another 
        group of exceptions will be the few people who actually walk around 
        with their eyes open.  Why do they do this?  No one knows, but some 
        people actually have nothing better to do than to go around seeing and
        enjoying the real world, rather than seeing their pre-formed image
        of it.  You can be assured that those people are few in number and 
        are usually such enlightened souls that they wouldn't think of 
        embarrassing you in public or private.  

        In any case, the avoidance of any comments at all is preferable to 
        most people.  We want to look better, but not radically better.  If 
        you look radically better, then your current gestalt will not match 
        people's preformed image of you and you'll wake them out of their 
        daze.  A seamless transition is thus the ideal.  If you gradually
        make positive changes early in your pattern's progression, you will 
        get minimal or no unwelcome comments from others.  If you are 
        currently fully bald, it will be harder to make slow, seamless 
        changes, but it is possible.  To ease the social transition, you might
        even consider going away for a while as you make your changes. 
        (Fleeing is not recommended, but you might think about making your 
        change if, for example, for other reasons you do need to move to a new
        city or go on a long vacation.  In that case, you can start again 
        fresh.)

        A. Spray-On Hair in a Can.
        Don't laugh.  This stuff REALLY works--but only if you just have a 
        small spot to cover.  Forget it if you don't have any hair that can 
        be combed over your spot and still look natural; in that case, it 
        will just look like you painted your head!  Cost: $5.00 per can at 
        some retail stores; $19.95 plus 4.95 shipping and handling (for a 
        larger can) when sold on late-night infomercials.  Several brands are 
        available.  The one called Instant Hair Plus is a good one. 

        (a)  Advantages. If you just have a small spot, this stuff has you 
        covered. Its odd texture somehow creates the appearance of full hair, 
        but only when mixed with a sufficient amount of your own thinning 
        hair.

        (b) Disadvantages. The powder might come off on your pillow, shirt,
        and hands.  Get used to ring-around-the-collar.  The better types
        come off only when mixed with water and soap.  You need to apply
        for spray every day, or after you wash your hair.  Spray-on hair is 
        hardly a long-lasting solution, only a stop-gap measure.  Eventually, 
        you won't have enough real hair to make it work.

        Alternative: Try Clairol Loving Care Hair Color Mousse (all colors 
        available) (about $6.00).  Smear some of it on a plastic bag and rub 
        it full strength over your (small) spot and mix it with existing hair.
        The effect might be the same as spray-on hair, and, when dry, the 
        mousse does NOT readily come off on pillows.  Once again, this works 
        only on small spots and in combination with at least some real hair.

        B. Wigs
        Hairpieces of various sizes, qualities, and shapes are rarely called 
        wigs by companies like Hair Club For Men, Hairmakers, etc., but 
        they're selling nothing other than wigs.  They call their wigs 
        "systems" or "pieces."  Pick the euphemism you prefer.  They sew--with
        a needle and thread--the hairpiece to your existing hair, which is 
        first prepared by making a braid in your own hair along the sides.  
        Other techniques involve attaching the piece to your braid by means of 
        clips.  The clips allow you to remove the piece whenever you desire; 
        when the thing's sewn to your head, it's terribly difficult to get 
        off without assistance, but in most cases you wouldn't want to do that
        anyway and so that doesn't create a problem.

        Cost: From $700 to $1500 for an initial hairpiece plus about $60 every
         5 weeks for a haircut and servicing. If you can afford it, you should
        eventually get two pieces, so one can be worn while the other is 
        being repaired every few months. Normal monthly servicing-with-haircut
        takes about an hour of concentrated effort from a specialized 
        hairstylist, who therefore deserves at least a $10 tip.

         (a) Advantages.  The truth is that a lot of people come out of these 
        salons looking fabulous!  No one could deny it. The best shops--you 
        have to find them yourself by careful comparison--give you human 
        hair matched to your own color and texture. The results depend upon a 
        variety of factors that may not be totally within your control.  Wigs
        are (or should be) handcrafted items; the quality of such object 
        depends on the skill of the people who make them.  Don't submit to
        pressure sales tactics.  You will need to return to the company
        regularly for servicing.  If you distrust them at the beginning, you 
        might be even unhappier with them later.

        So it is possible to get a hairpiece that not only covers your 
        baldness but also makes you look great.  You get used to having it on 
        after a few weeks; then it almost seems normal.  Practically no one 
        will know you're wearing it, especially if you start before you really
        need one, and if you return regularly to have your piece serviced.   
        Remember, most people don't think nearly as much about your appearance
        as you do.  That should be comforting.

        (b) Disadvantages. A wig is a wig is a wig.  It's not a part of you; 
        it's a prosthesis of sorts.  You grow, but it doesn't.  Your natural 
        hair replenishes itself.  The hair on your piece will get old faster 
        than you do, fade, and even fall out.  From time to time, therefore, 
        you will need to have your piece dyed professionally as part of your 
        monthly servicing and to have lost hairs replaced strand by strand, 
        or clump by clump ($25 or so). You should attend to these details 
        meticulously every few months.  There's nothing worse than a balding 
        or faded wig! 

        In any case, if you meet someone who gets intimate and wants to stroke
        your head, well, unless the person has a glove on, s/he'll probably 
        realize the stuff on your head is not exactly real.  Most people who 
        keep their hands to themselves won't care or notice by visual measures
        alone.

        (c) Warnings.  Before you accept your first hairpiece, make sure it's 
        of excellent quality. For example, the piece they first try to tie 
        onto you might not have been designed by a person who knew or cared 
        what s/he was doing, the hair might not match your own color or 
        texture very well, the piece might actually be an off-the-shelf model 
        they're selling you for a custom-made price, etc.  Try to avoid 
        signing contracts that do not refund most of your money if you're not 
        completely satisfied. However, out of fairness, you should realize 
        that there is a reasonable cost involved in having a custom-made piece
        designed for you in the first place.  If you frivolously decide you 
        don't want to go through with the process after they've manufactured 
        your piece, the company can stand to lose several hundreds of 
        dollars--but certainly not the full price they're charging you.  You 
        need to negotiate on this issue.

        C. Sutured Wigs
        Some companies claim to permanently "cure" baldness by actually 
        attaching what are no more than wigs or hairpieces to your scalp, not 
        your existing hair.  

        Cost: Whatever it is, it's a horrid waste of money.

        (a) Advantages. There are none.  The supposed advantage is that, 
        unlike with sewn-on-your-own-hair hairpieces, the surgically-installed
        ones won't come loose as your real hair grows.

        (b) Disadvantages.  They are legion. This is a surgical procedure that,
        logically, is bound to be unsatisfactory for many very good reasons.  
        First, your poor scalp will probably never completely heal from this 
        until you get it removed for good.  Second, if you need, every month 
        or so, to have a sewn-on hairpiece removed for servicing, you surely 
        would need to have the sutured thing removed too for cleaning and the 
        addition of new hair for the hairs that inevitably fall out.  But you
        can't do that servicing without undergoing yet another surgical 
        procedure.  Feel sorry for anyone who has actually undergone this 
        procedure.  Don't do it yourself.

        E. Minoxidil (Rogaine)
        This product of the Upjohn company is widely advertised as the only 
        approved cure for baldness.

        Cost: ?

        (a) Advantages: Scientific studies have proven that this drug works to
        restore growing hair for many people, especially those who start 
        early and especially those with loss only in the crown.  Apply a 
        bit twice a day, and eventually and slowly, hair comes back.

        (b) Disadvantages: Your hair grows back, but painfully slowly.  If you
        stop using the drug, the hair falls out again.  For many people the 
        gains are not aesthetically significant.  Sure, there's more hair or 
        peach fuzz there, but you still look bald.  The cost is relatively 
        high, and you can never stop buying it.  Read the list of side effects
        of a drug you might need to take forever.

        F. Hair Transplants and Baldness Reduction Procedures.
        This is the ultimate solution.  It is the only one that, when it 
        works, works permanently, such that you don't need to do it again!  
        There is nothing like your own growing, regenerating hair.

        Cost: $8,000 (for just a bald crown) to $40,000 (for full-cap bald).

        (a) Advantages.  If you have the bucks to spend, well spend them here.
        You will eventually get your money's worth, if you don't decide to 
        buy a house instead.  Quite simply, a doctor will take hairs from the 
        sides or back of your scalp and install them onto your bald or balding
        areas.  These transplanted hairs are the ones with strict genetic 
        instructions to stay with you until your last breath.  An assistant 
        will sew the donor sites together ("donor closure") so you won't have 
        gaps on the side of your head.  Once the new stuff grows in, it's 
        yours.  No more hairpiece servicing, no more bottles of drugs or 
        colored hairspray to buy, just your own hair.   Sound good?  Read on.

        (b) Disadvantages.  The prices listed are actually rather realistic, 
        if you're going to get pleasing results.  You wouldn't need to spend 
        all of that money all at once, however. Each procedure will cost from 
        $900 to $2000.

        The 8 grand would cover four or five procedures over at least a year 
        and a half and could result in pleasing results for a person who 
        looked like O.J. Simpson's lawyer (but only for his crown, not for the
        front).  (With that guy's money, one wonders why he never did this.)  
        This could involve two baldness-reduction procedures (galeoplasty) 
        spaced 3 months apart and then three transplant procedures.  

        Try to do as much reduction as possible; this procedure produces 
        fastest results.  A crescent moon-shaped or star-shaped slice of bald 
        scalp is simply cut out, and then the remaining scalp is sewn 
        together. Rather quickly, you're much less bald. Your scalp is elastic
        enough to tolerate this. After this heals, the remaining bald spot is 
        covered with hair grafts.  The scars remaining after a reduction 
        procedure heals will disappear under the transplanted hair from later 
        procedures.  The 40 grand figure is an uneducated guess at what a 
        full-cap bald person might need to spend, ultimately, to get the BEST 
        possible results. (Actually, for 40 grand, maybe they'll do something 
        about your nose too!)   You'll need to consider the amount of donor 
        hair you have, however.  Captain Picard just would never have enough 
        to make it work.  Of course, he could have tufts growing in several 
        places, but no one would ever mistake him for a person with full head 
        of hair. Still, procedures and surgeons are constantly improving.

        So it all depends on your pattern: how far bald you're likely to get. 
        If you think your pattern will never make you fully bald, you might 
        want to try turning things around in the hirsute direction.

        (c) More Disadvantages: 

        It is true that the surgical procedures themselves are almost 
        completely painless.  You are given nitrous oxide and a local 
        anaesthetic, so you feel next to nothing as you watch television, sip 
        on a soft drink, and chat with your surgeon. (In actuality, you'll be 
        high as a kite from the nitrous thinking that you'd really enjoy this 
        if those guys would just stop chopping on your head.)  You probably 
        won't even see a drop of blood during the procedure; the companies 
        really try to hide the blood, since it upsets some clients so much.  
        You'll feel, painlessly and vaguely, someone drilling into your donor 
        sites and then preparing similar holes in the transplant sites.  The 
        transplants themselves will be little cylindrical cores of follicles

        Immediately after either a baldness-reduction or transplant procedure,
        you'll look like an Indian Sikh with a white turban.  (If people 
        mistake you for a swami, tell them you're using spiritual powers to 
        grow hair.)  The bandage comes off after just one or two days, 
        revealing a healing wound.  After a baldness-reduction procedure, 
        you'll look like someone just hit you in the head with an axe; after a
        typical transplant procedure, you'll look like a rabid woodpecker had 
        its way with your head--actually, after a few days, it won't be SO 
        bad. You can start washing your hair again, very carefully, after 
        two or three days.

        These inevitable stages don't have to be psychologically or socially 
        traumatic for you, however.  This is definitely the time to get out 
        your hat collection, to adjust your schedule so that you won't return 
        to work for at least four days (though some people could physically do
        so the very next day).

        Transplanted hair falls out a month after surgery; it then--slowly-- 
        regrows.  Aesthetically pleasing regrowth takes about 6 months 

        (d) Cautions.  Your results will depend on the skill and caring of your
        surgeons.  Experience counts a lot.  Investigate before you invest!  
        Lots of micro or mini transplants are ultimately better than just a 
        few larger-sized transplants. The little ones take better.  Your 
        transplants should certainly be MUCH, MUCH smaller each than a dime; 
        more the size of, say, three pinheads put together.

        Each time you get another transplant procedure near a spot where a 
        former transplant was done, the earlier transplants will be disturbed.
        Some might die, but most will temporarily bald again from the shock 
        but then come back, after the normal 3 to 4 months. 

        (e) Variations.
        There are flap procedures in which a whole flap of sideline hair is 
        cut out, twisted, and stuck onto a prepared bald spot. This allegedly 
        provides instant results of varying quality, especially for people 
        bald in front.  The advantage is supposed to be that the flap of hair 
        never completely loses its blood supply since part of it is still 
        attached to its original location on the scalp. 

      A variation of the baldness-reduction procedure is to expand the scalp
      beforehand by surgically inserting balloon-like devices into which 
      more and more liquids are forced over the course of several weeks.  
      This makes the bald scalp bulge out; the extra skin, once loosened in 
      this way, is then snipped away.  As the balloons fill, the client 
      begins to look like a creature from outer space.  If you can possibly 
      stand looking like this, logically the procedure should work, since 
      you'll rid yourself of more bald skin than is possible with normal 
      baldness reduction.  You may also enjoy an unanticipated facelift in 
      the process.  (That is not a joke!  Think about it.  When extra scalp 
      is cut away, the remaining skin on your head is tightened up.  Same 
      with normal (balloon-free) baldness reduction procedures.)

      G. Combining Approaches
      Actually, it is possible, if you start early enough, to combine several
      approaches discussed above so that you have minimal embarrassment and 
      maximal success.  The following steps are logical and relatively pain 
      free.  We did not say cheap.  Now that you know what each procedure 
      entails, you can combine them to suit your particular situation.


      (a) Start with a hairpiece or spray-on hair.
      Even though hairpieces are undesirable prostheses, if you get a good 
      one and start well before your pattern's reached its peak, practically
      no one will notice what you've done and you'll have taken your first 
      step.  Yes, you can indeed swim with it on, blow dry your hair, 
      everything they say in the infomercials, except that when someone put 
      his/her hands through your hair, it might not feel like real hair.  

      If you have minimal hair loss now, you might be able to start with 
      spray-on hair and omit the hairpiece entirely from your schedule.  
      For example, you might order relatively small baldness-reduction 
      procedures, ones designed to produce small scars that can be covered 
      by the spray after a few days.

      (b) Get baldness-reduction procedures or transplants. 
      Each procedure takes about an hour.  Have your stylist take your 
      hairpiece off just before you go in for surgery and then have it put 
      back on about 3 days after your surgery. This will work fine, if you 
      just keep your wounds clean by spraying isopropyl alcohol right 
      through your hairpiece.  And voila.  No one will think you were 
      attacked with an axe; no one will notice anything--except for people 
      you live at home with.  And you'd be surprised--even some of them 
      won't notice.  Each time you have your piece serviced, you'll get a 
      look at the (slow) progress you're making.  Only you and your stylist 
      will see this.  As your surgical wounds heal and eventually disappear,
      the early stages will be unsightly.  We do NOT recommend your trying 
      to go through baldness-reduction procedures (of normal size) without 
      having a piece to cover it up as fast as possible. It just looks too 
      ugly. We presume you always want to look your best.

      (c) Wean yourself from the hairpiece, if necessary, by using spray-on 
      hair.  As soon as it seems possible, see if the spray-on hair will 
      fill in the gaps for you.  If you just had a bald crown, you could be 
      free of the hairpiece within just two years. 
      If you start too early, before you're really sure what your final 
      pattern will turn out to be, for some time you'll find yourself never 
      running out of bald spots to keep getting transplants on.  So weaning 
      yourself from the hairpiece might take longer.

      About the Cost:  The cost will be high if you desire excellent, 
      permanent results.  But this is an investment in yourself that will 
      last for the rest of your lifetime.  If you invest wisely, you'll 
      enjoy the results much longer than you will any new car you'll buy.

      Final Words:  
      In every town there are private stylists who used to work for outfits 
      like Hair Club for Men and now do the same work, perhaps much more 
      caringly, affordably, and professionally, on their own.  If you can 
      find one of them, you might be much happier in the long run.  Look in 
      the Yellow Pages and call the companies with the smaller ads first. If
      you can't find a small company, you might start with a large company 
      and if you don't like it ask your stylist if s/he'd consider doing the
      same work at home.  

      Surgery is serious business.  The abilities of surgeons vary.  You 
      therefore want a rather well established company for the surgical 
      procedures, so look for the bigger ads.  Companies with large ads but 
      rather small offices can be fine, however.  Surgeons who do 
      transplants usually do other types of surgery in hospitals on other 
      days, so you shouldn't insist on a large hospital setting; such 
      outpatient procedures can be done safely in a specialist's office.

      Wild-sounding procedures, whether covered or not covered here, should 
      be investigated thoroughly.  No endorsement of any particular 
      companies (other than Clairol's Chocolate Mousse) is implied here.  
      Trust your feelings when you visit a hair-service company.  Do the 
      employees seem happy?  If they don't, find a place where, at the very 
      least, they do.  Before you buy, interview a company's current 
      clients.  That research, if you do it well, may pay off handsomely.

      Good luck.

      And once you have all the hair you've ever wanted, read again that 
      hair is an illusion like all the others.  True, it's less of an 
      illusion now that it's sprouting abundantly above your brain.  But 
      it's all just a bunch of material stuff, and none of it has much to 
      do with who you really are.

      Or does it?

      Your body might be an illusion, but that doesn't mean it has to be an
      unsightly, dreadful illusion.  Why not let your illusion touch your 
      highest ideal, if that's what you truly want to do.


4. Bates Method

        Q. What is the Bates Method?
        A. The Bates Method is a set of vision improvement techniques 
           originally developed by William H. Bates, MD, back in the 1910's 
           and 1920's.  Many people have expanded on the techniques since 
           then.  There are at least a dozen books in print.

           The basic theory is that we develop excess tension in the muscles 
           in and around the eyes, and it is this tension which causes poor 
           vision.  The vision improvement techniques are designed to relax 
           the muscles in the eyes and to allow us to see better.

           There are 3 basic techniques for relaxing the eyes:

           1. "Sunning" is shining a bright light on your closed eyes.  Use as 
              bright a light as you can stand without squinting.  Concentrate 
              on relaxing the eyes while you do this.  Eventually you will be 
              able to increase the intensity of the light and use the sun as 
              your light source.  This technique is done for 5 to 20 minutes
              (no more than 5 minutes facing the sun).  It is best if you can 
              follow your sunning with palming.

           2. "Palming" is covering your eyes with your cupped palms.  Try to 
              cut off all light from your eyes.  Relax and think of something 
              pleasant.  Do this technique for at least 5 minutes.  You can do
              this as much as you like.  The record is 20 hours.  I recommend 
              one 20 minute session per day.

           3. The "long standing swing" is standing in the middle of a room 
              and turning back and forth from 90 degrees left to 90 degrees 
              right.  Turn your head with your body and keep the eyes looking 
              forward.  Start with the eyes lifted and looking at the line 
              where the wall meets the ceiling, and lower your gaze with each 
              pass.  Do not try to focus on everything that passes in front of
              your eyes; just let your gaze fall where it will.  Start with 30 
              swings, and work your way up to 100 swings.  This should take no
              more than 4 minutes.

             All the techniques should be done with the eyes relaxed.  If you 
             feel tension around your eyes and you can't relax it, stop the 
             technique.

             There are other techniques to correct vision defects like 
             astigmatism and poor left-right fusion.  I recommend you get a 
             copy of the book titled "Do You Really Need Eyeglasses" by 
             Marilyn B. Rosanes-Berrett if you would like more info.  This is 
             the best book I have found on the subject.  The ISBN is 
             0-88268-104-4.

        Q. Is there any empirical evidence to support the Bates Method?
        A. (msieweke@hayes.com) writes:
           There is empirical evidence to support the Bates method, and there 
           is a limited amount of experimental evidence.  Bates documented 
           many successes, and each of the other books documents many 
           successes.  There are reports of patients who were brought to 20/20
           vision and had astigmatism corrected.

           I have one book that lists three studies showing vision improvement
           in patients using something similar to the Bates method.  I seldom 
           mention them because the data is difficult to interpret, and 
           because I don't like the book (Natural Vision Improvement) as much 
           as some others.  One study lists visual acuity before and after 
           training.  Results vary...  One patient started at 
           20/400(both eyes) and ended at 20/400(r), 20/300(l) after 15 
           months.  Another patient started at 20/800 and ended at 20/60
           after only 6 weeks!

5.  Stephen Covey
        
        Q. Who is Stephen Covey?
        A. Stephen Covey is the author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
           People" which has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for
           the past several years.  The subtitle of 7 Habits is "Restoring
           the Character Ethic".  This sums up how Covey's work is different
           from many other approaches.  While at Harvard doing his MBA
           he researched a large portion of the self improvement literature 
           going back as far as the 18th century.  What he noticed was that
           early on the work focused on character traits and principles and
           that long term success depended upon this.  Early this century, 
           the focus shifted to what he calls the "personality ethic" which
           became the dominant theme in success literature.  In the personality
           ethic, success is viewed as a function of personality, public 
           image, attitude, skills, and techniques.  If you learned the
           right techniques and could impress the right people and you would 
           be successful.  Much of Covey's work is focused on restoring the
           character ethic as the principle focus, skills and techniques can
           only be successful in the long term if they are built upon a strong
           character ethic.

           Covey received his PhD from Brigham Young University where he spent
           many years as a professor in the School of Management.  He is also 
           the founder of the Covey Leadership Center and the nonprofit 
           Institute for Principle-Centered Leadership.  Stephen and his 
           center are widely sought by major corporations as speakers and
           consultants.  In addition to his 7 Habits he has authored, "How
           to Succeed with People", "Principle-Centered Leadership", "First
           Things First".  In addition to his business writing Covey is also
           very popular among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of 
           Latter-Day Saints for writing books dealing with religious and 
           spiritual topics.  Some of these books are, "Spiritual Roots
           of Human Relations", "The Divine Center", and "Marriage and Family
           Insights".

6.  Est
        Q. What is Est?
        A. Est (Erhard Seminars Training) was started by Werner Erhard and
           was one of the most popular and influential self-improvement
           movements of the 1970's.

        Q. Is Est still around?
        A. Est is no longer taught in its original form, but a number of 
           groups have evolved from Est and their current teachings borrow
           heavily from the original Est.  The most prominent is 
           Landmark Education which offers The Forum.

7.  Financial Improvement
        Q. What are some available resources for managing finances?
        A. The most well known source of information about personal finance
           information is probably Charles Givens (see next question).  

           Another book that is highly recommended is called _Your Money Or
           Your Life_ by Joseph Dominguez and Vicki Robin.  This book takes
           a "holistic" approach to financial success, meaning that it treats
           finances as an integral part of your entire life, not one seperable
           part that can be talked about separately.  It discusses attitudes
           toward money, spiritual feelings about money, whether how you are
           making money is consistent with your values, etc.

        Q. What do people know about Charles Givens?
        A. Charles Givens is probably the biggest name in personal finance
           these days.  He gives seminars around the country and is the
           author of the best-selling books, "Wealth Without Risk", 
           "More Wealth Without Risk", and "Financial Self-Defense".  He is
           also the founder of the "Charles J. Givens Organization" which is
           supposedly the largest organization of it's type in the world, that
           is dissiminator of personal finance information and advice.  His
           organization was recently sued (and lost) for giving misleading
           financial advice.  He has also reportedly lied about the story he
           often tells of losing his fortune 3 times and coming back as a 
           millionaire 3 times.  Many people have used his book and there is
           certainly some very good advice there.  The key is choosing what
           information will be useful for you and that which won't.  No 
           readers of this group have reported gaining great wealth from
           following his advice.

        Q. What are some other reseources for information?
        A. One excellent place to look is in the misc.invest FAQ.

8.  General Learning and Study Skills

9.  Hypnosis
        Q. What is the relationship between hypnosis and self-improvement?
        A. Hypnosis is used by many different forms of therapy.  Self-hypnosis
           is also possible and many people report positive experiences
           with hypnosis.  This topic is not often discussed in much detail
           in alt.self-improve.  

           Hypnosis can be used in many ways for self-improvement.  It can
           allow the mind to utilize its resources in new ways and to change
           behavior and create new desired behaviors.
           
        Q. How do I learn more about hypnosis?
        A. Read the newsgroup alt.hypnosis, which has a very good FAQ.  There 
           is a World Wide Web site describing hypnosis training by Tad James 
           as well (See Appendix A).  Tad has recently been elected President 
           of the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH).  NLP also utilizes 
           hypnosis in various ways.  An excellent book on hypnosis is 
           "Trace-formations" by John Grinder and Richard Bandler.
        
10.  Landmark (The Forum)
        (Editor note: The following two questions about The Forum are from
         an email conversation between one of the editors and an 
         alt.self-improve reader, Rex Ballard.  Included here with permission.)
        Q. The promises of Est are basically the same as every other self
            improvement program ever devised.  How does it work?  Why does it 
            get results where others fail?

        A. Transformation - the "fruit" of a "self-help" program, comes, not 
           from telling or talking to, but from the inquiry.  Tranformation 
           comes as the result of a conversation for fulfilling a possibility.
           It is much like learning to ride a bicycle, I can tell you how to 
           ride a bicycle: "grab the handlebars, push off, and pedal".  But it
           is only in the inquiry that one actually discovers balance.  
           Without the experience of balance, there is no riding a bicycle.  
           Without the inquiry, the distinctions are just "interesting 
           information".

           From the inquiry, the particpant can expect a breakthrough - the
           fulfillment of possibilities that would not otherwise happen.  A 
           major alteration in relationships, confidence, effectiveness, or 
           decision making that they may have been putting up with, resisting,
           or trying to change for years with no significant effect. 

           Landmark offers free introductory seminars nearly every day at 
           their various centers and sites throughout the country.  In these 
           seminars, the introduction leader will explain some of the key 
           distinctions of the Forum.  Many people who never do the Forum 
           still end up taking on their lives in a new way out of going to a 
           3 hour introduction.  About 1/3 will register for the Forum itself 
           which lasts 3 days and an evening, usually Friday, Saturday, and 
           Sunday from 9 AM to 11 PM or 1 AM (If there are a bunch of Lawyers 
           in the room, plan on a long night friday).  By the end of each 
           night, you will not be tired until you want to be.  Tuesday night, 
           you return to complete the homework.  The course is actually 5 
           days, but two of them are "laboratory" days.  In the 3 day program,
           a highly trained leader leads an inquiry in a room with 100-200 
           successful people who are highly committed to having a 
           breakthrough.  The leader will describe a distinction and then ask 
           people to share their experience.  In a room of 150+ people, there 
           are several who want to share.  As that person shares, the Forum 
           leader asks questions, soon the whole room is seeing how this 
           conversation can impact their lives.  By the end of the 
           converstation, everyone in the room not only has an insight, but 
           also sees an opening for action at the first opportunity.

        Q. Can you provide any details about the process that occurs at a 
           seminar?  My understanding is that in the early days of Est, 
           participants were not allowed to give out details of what went on 
           at the seminars.  Is that still the case in Landmark Education?

        A. I could give you detailed descriptions of the entire Forum, but it 
           wouldn't really make a difference.  The process is actually a 
           series of distinctions that create the foundation for other 
           distinctions.  The structure is such that an inquiry that would 
           normally take 20 years (I had been DOING the 12 steps for 10 years 
           and was astonished by Saturday Morning) is conducted with the 
           intended result in 3 days.  Sunday afternoon seems like a course in
           advanced Zen.  By Sunday night, there is what I call (personal 
           opinion/experience here - not Landmark) a spiritual awakening.

           The key distinctions of Landmark based on that we have a past 
           consisting of what happened, and our interpretations/opinions/
           feelings/judgements about what happened.  For example - what 
           happened is that - - the first girl I ever dated through a cup full
           of soda pop in my face and 50 people laughed.  What I made it mean 
           was that I was UGLY and UNATTRACTIVE.  The problem is that I didn't
           separate the two.  I now interacted with all women, for the next 26
           years as if I was Short, Fat, Bald, Cross-eyed, with Polka-dot zit 
           and scab covered skin.  In fact, by the time I was 18, I was 6'1" 
           tall, 155 to 180 pounds, a professional dancer, model, and actor, 
           and going to a school with 900 women and 5 heterosexual men
           (another 20 were gay).  I had men pursuing me every day.  I was 
           about as tall dark and handsome as a man could get, but when it 
           came to asking a woman for a date - I WAS UGLY AND UNATTRACIVE, 
           EVEN REPULSIVE.  Of course, this communicated to the women in the 
           form of avoiding romantic intimacy, only having arms-length 
           friendships.  I actually became a bit disgusting, not bathing for 
           days, not grooming, wearing big, baggy overalls, and acting like a 
           sex pervert (more evidence to be UGLY). I even married a woman who 
           I was not attracted so that I wouldn't be hurt when she discovered 
           that I was UGLY and UNATTRACTIVE, it took her 9 years to finally 
           agree with me, (she married a man 10 years younger than me, a Tom
           Sellek type).  In the Forum, I realized that all this woman did was
           throw a glass of pop at someone who, at that time, was not well 
           liked by most of her friends.  She may have been trying to impress 
           them, she may have been insulted by my being late, she may not have
           liked the ring I gave her (that she asked me to give her). 

           This brings up the other major distinction.  Psychology tells us 
           that we are the way we are because of our past.  This was a better 
           model than the one that preceded it which was "Circular" (as the 
           seasons come and go, we just suffer through whatever comes).  At 
           Landmark, we say that we are the way we are because of the Future 
           we are living into.  If I told you that I talked to your boss and 
           he was going to have to let you go, you would act and think a 
           certain way (looking for another job, fear, anxiety).  If I just 
           handed you a winning lottery ticket, for which the number was 
           announced an hour ago, you would live very differently (what color 
           shoes go with a black Mercedes) even though you hadn't recieved a 
           penny of the money yet.

           Why it LOOKS as if we are given by the past is that we keep 
           putting the past into our future.  Everytime I would go to ask a 
           woman to dance, every other rejection by women would be right there
           with me, I eventually never got more than two steps toward the 
           woman I wanted.

           That night, I saw that I was not a bad looking guy, and went to a 
           dance and danced with several women (who were astonished and 
           pleased that I asked them to dance).  One of them told me that 
           women thought I was stuck-up and a snob because I was so aloof.  
           Since this discovery in the Forum, I've gone to several single's 
           events.  I even put an ad in the personals section.  I even posted 
           a personal on the internet, and answered one.

           Which brings up a third key distinction of the Forum.  Though the 
           inquiry may be useful, and the insights may be interesting, even 
           exciting, there is little value in any of that unless there is an 
           opening for immediate action.  We have many reasons for not doing 
           what we really want to do, but that is not the same as doing 
           something worthwhile.  In the Forum, we look to see what actions 
           are worthy of taking (expressing love to another person, parents, 
           spouses, children...) and take appropriate actions even when it may
           not be "convenient".  We can call someone at 1:00 A.M. to tell them
           someone died, but we can't call them to tell someone we love them, 
           even though this may be the first time we've said it in many years).

           In the introduction seminars, guests reach the end in one of four
           places.  They are ready to register, they know that they never want
           to do the Forum (very rarely), they have something they need to 
           work out (time, money, babysitters).  They have something 
           intangible "I just need to think about it", "I need to check this 
           out" something that is usually familiar, these are usually the ones
           who want to be more decisive.

           The time and money can be worked out, but for the maximum value 
           out of the Forum (the Forum begins when you register), one of the 
           most powerful distinctions is to register that night, not knowing 
           how it's going to work out, but committed to having it work out.  
           Those are the people who not only end up being able to say how 
           their own lives go, but can actually become leaders in their 
           community and simply cause things to happen when no one knows if it
           will work out.

           If you were madly in love with your wife, and I threw your wedding
           ring over a brick wall and told you that if you didn't give it back
           it would be delivered to your wife by a beautiful blonde, you 
           would find a way to get over the wall to save your marriage.  Most
           people come to the introduction with something at stake, they want
           to save/revitalize a relationship with their spouse, kids they 
           love, parents they haven't spoken to, bosses they hate, or jobs 
           they dread.  Everything else is just great though. 

           The weird thing about the Forum is that when I did the Forum, 
           EVERYONE ELSE CHANGED.  My boss was nicer, I was promoted and my
           coworkers wanted to work for me, my girlfriend wanted me back, my
           ex-wife wanted to talk to me when I came to see the kids, her 
           husband even invited me to spend Christmas with them. I even had 
           more time and money to spend on things I wanted.

           What each person gets out of the Forum is different.  Part of the 
           application to do the Forum is that you have to specify 3 things 
           that you want to get out of the Forum.  These are things that 
           wouldn't happen anyway, and that you do not presently know how to 
           do.

        Q. Is there an organization for Forum graduates?
        A. Yes.  The Forum Graduate Association (FGA) can be contacted as:

                David Shaw, President
                Forum Graduate Association
                6008 Wendron Way
                Alexandria, VA 22315

                (703) 971-3693 (Home)
                (301) 457-1242 (Office)
                email: fgainc@gcr.com
        

11.  Lateral Thinking

        Q. What is lateral thinking?
        A. The term lateral thinking was coined by Edward deBono in his books
           "Lateral Thinking" and "The Use of Lateral Thinking".  The basic
           idea of lateral thinking is that instead of moving directly and
           automatically from a goal to a solution, the mind searches in
           many different directions to find a solution.  It involves avoiding
           solving problems in the most familiar or obvious way.  His books 
           are quite readable and enjoyable.
          
12. Life-Long Learning Association

        Q. What is Life-Long Learning Association
        A. The LLL association is a source of self improvement products.
           The assoc. sends you the product of the month ( usually a 6 audio 
           or video seminar) or you can choose an alternate selection if the 
           program doesn't suit your interests. You also get a subscription 
           to the world premiere audio magazine "Inside Edge" which covers 
           current trends in development, etc. and a subscription to "The 
           Destiny Report" newsletter. The above is sent to you monthly for 
           $50 US.  The assoc. was set up to make LLL affordable on the 
           monthly basis which it is required for results. The retail of what 
           you get is close to $100.  A good portion of the product comes 
           from Nightingale-Conant, a company LLL recently merged with.  See 
           Appendix A for contact information about the Life-Long Learning 
           Association if you are interested.

13. Lifespring

        Q. What is Lifespring?
        
        A. From: jmd@bear.com (Josh Glazenburg-Diamond)

           Hi!  Josh Diamond here.  I am a graduate of the entire Lifespring
           program -- I took the trainings back in 1990, and found them to be
           incredibly valuable.I work as an investment analyst at Bear 
           Stearns & Co. -- an investment bank in New York City.

           I came into the Lifespring trainings looking for breakthroughs in 
           my career and in personal relationships (esp. with women), and all
           I can say is that since then I have more than tripled my income, 
           and gotten married to a truly wonderful and beautiful woman 
           (amongst other things).  We just bought a co-op, and will be 
           having our first child next year.  My wife has also done the 
           trainings, as have several of my friends and co-workers.

           Lifespring, EST, and a few other such trainings all have a common
           lineage.  The basis was a research program at Stanford University 
           back in the early 70's.  This spawned an organization called Mind 
           Dynamics, which later split up into Lifespring, EST, and the 
           others.  EST eventually mutated into Warner-Earhardt and then 
           Landmark Education -- with a program now called The Forum.  
           Lifespring kept its name, but has undergone continuous 
           modernization as new techniques in personal growth have emerged.  
           There are now Basic and Advanced trainings, as well as several 
           other workshops and programs.

           The Lifespring trainings are an opportunity to uncover and redesign
           the underlying assumptions out of which you live your life such that
           you experience a profound shift in your ability to relate to 
           yourself and others, empowering you to fully engage your heartfelt 
           commitments with freedom and passion.

           Participants often invite friends to a guest event -- a free
           evening designed to allow you to learn about what the training is 
           and how it can support you.  It provides a small preview of the 
           training experience.  At the end of the evening you are given an 
           opportunity to enroll in the training.  At the moment I believe 
           that the tuition in New York City $495, with a 100% money back 
           guarantee.  It may be lower elsewhere (it was when I took the 
           trainings).

           I would say that it is worth attending.  You can leave at any time,
           and there is no obligation to pay if you just attend the guest 
           event.

           Oh, BTW, people who enroll their friends in the trainings do _not_ 
           get any rewards for it (no tupperware or toaster-ovens).  Mostly 
           people bring guests to these evenings because they see some 
           breakthrough possible for them -- not like something is broken, but
           like a higher possibility exists -- maybe something that had not 
           been thought of before.  Often our friends see things that we do 
           not.  Your friend probably sees some possibility for you in the 
           training, and that is why they have invited you.  I say take the 
           chance and go for it.

14.  Meditation
        Q. What experiences do people have with meditation and what results
           have they experienced? 
        A. Many people in the group have some experience with meditation.
           Some report very good results, others have had less dramatic 
           experiences.  This topic is not often discussed in detail in
           alt.self-improve although it does seem relevant.  A related
           newsgroup is alt.meditation


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