Here are the recommended answers for the Mind Calm Exam. Students are not expected to include absolutely everything that is included below, but they need to demonstrate an understanding of the core Mind Calm teachings. They MUST get the answers correct to the key questions: Q3, Q5, Q6, Q11, Q12 and Q16. When giving feedback, go over the questions that were wrong or missing any core elements. If students get more than 5 wrong (or any of the key questions) then ask them to re-submit their exam, only including answers for the questions they got wrong. This gives us documented evidence that they passed the exam.
Q1. Why is it important to know your hearts highest hope?
You can waste a huge amount of time, money, energy and effort trying to get peaceful, happy, love, contentment and freedom from external sources, such as relationships, career, money, body (health and image) etc. This inevitably postpones your HHH with 'I will be happy when' type thinking. Your HHH is an inner experience that can only ever be experienced and enjoyed now. Knowing your HHH is an inner experience means you can be these wonderful states of being immediately and by being your real Self.
Q2. What does CALM stand for and why?
CALM = Conscious Awareness Life Meditation. Because it helps you to be consciously aware in life with meditation.
Q3. What is the difference between peace of mind and peace with mind?
The term 'peace of mind' is a confusing concept that conjures up images of robe clad monks sitting cross legged with a serene look on their face. We assume they have peace because they have no thoughts and certainly no uncomfortable emotions. With 'peace of mind' it gives the impression that thoughts and emotions need to be changed or stilled in order to gain peace. 'Peace with mind' is about having peace with your thoughts, emotions and ultimately, life. It means we can experience peace while thoughts and emotions continue to happen. It is possible to be at peace because consciousness is aware of your mind and that consciousness is already still, silent spacious calm.
Q4. What stops people being present and how can a person live in the now more?
Having a busy mind, preoccupied with thoughts about the past or the future stops people from being present. There is no such thing as a present moment thought. All thoughts are about the past and future, even thoughts about now. The mind thinks about life but is one step removed from the direct experience of the now moment. By being inwardly attentive to the awareness that is aware, you naturally and immediately become present.
Q5. What is the one thing you can cultivate control over and why would you want to?
You can cultivate control over where you place your attention/awareness. People tend to believe they can exercise control over the content of life: emotions, thoughts, career, body, money, relationships, hobbies and home, all of which are temporary. By anchoring your awareness inwardly on the permanent part of your real Self that is aware of the temporary aspects of life, you experience reality (instead of thinking about your distorted version of reality) and get to enjoy your HHH irrespective of what's happening in the content of life.
Q6. Why is it important to discover and be aware of still silent space?
It’s important to rediscover who you truly are. You are what you seek - peace, love, joy, contentment, happiness, freedom etc. Some people can go through their entire life not knowing who they really are by seeking themselves outside them Self. The permanent context of all temporary content is still silent space. It’s your life purpose to know who you really are and experience and enjoy life from your still silent spacious real Self. By being aware of the inner presence of still silent space, you no longer resist life, you suffer less, and discover that nothing needs to be fixed, changed or improved. Life is perfect, whole and complete.
Q7. What is the philosophy at the heart of the Mind Calm Method?
Mind Calm is a practice that cultivates peace with mind, body and life. It’s a modern day meditation technique, which changes the relationship with your mind, is effective, and the practice fits easily into everyday life.
Q8. How would you coach someone complaining that they can’t stop their thoughts?
As a human being, it is natural to have thoughts. I’d coach someone around healing the relationship with their thoughts so that they can learn how to have peace with mind. I’d base my coaching session on T1, T2, T3 and T4 modules - Hearts Highest Hope, You Are What You Want, Peace with Mind and Thinking Makes You Miss Life. I’d get them to count their thoughts and team them GAAWO so that they can discover that they can quieten their mind whenever they want (so they stop being a victim to the random movement of the mind) and get to know the conscious awareness that's aware of their mind. I may deliver the T12 - Common Meditation Happenings - so that they know why they are having thoughts, especially when they meditate. I may also talk about 'seeing the mind, not being the mind' - more about this in the answer to Q.18.
Q9. How would you coach someone saying that they can’t stop negative emotions?
As a human being, it is natural to have emotions. Thoughts fuel feelings and the body needs energy (emotions) to sustain life. I would expand upon the 'Peace with Mind' talk to include 'Peace with Emotions'. You want to learn how to peacefully co-exist with emotions with the knowing that you are the continuously calm consciousness that is aware of any temporary emotions. When you are more aware of your awareness instead of being identified in your emotions (and thoughts about your emotions), then they stop being a problem. I would talk about how 'peace is not the absence of emotion' because peace is the aware context of your emotions. I may also talk about the T8 - The Judgement Game - and how when the mind notices an uncomfortable energy it labels it as negative and starts to resist it. What you resist persists, and what you allow is able to fulfil it's positive purpose and move on. I would ask how many emotions have happened in the past week and ask them to consider what aspect of them has been present the entire time. Encouraging them to be the calm consciousness rather than lose their Self in fleeting feelings.
Q10. How can a person be present and peaceful while making plans and being productive?
By engaging GAAWO, experiencing calm, confidence and clarity throughout the day, you can be creative and productive. By remaining Self aware when making plans, you can have your awareness rooted in the moment while you make plans for the future. Staying present helps you to reduce attachment to future events having to happen so that you can be happy or feel successful. You can feel content and complete now and love your life, which is what a successful life feels like.
Q11. What are the three elements of a CALM Thought and why?
The three elements of a mind calm thought are: OM + Intention + Focus point. OM is the driving force of creation. It is the first movement from stillness into movement, silence into sound and empty space into physical stuff. Aligning your attention with OM aligns you with the creative force that brings everything into living reality. Our thoughts are the seeds of creation. Everything you have consciously created began life as a seed thought. Focus points act as energy magnifiers. Some focus points sit within energy vortexes within the body called Chakras and others are symbolic to the mind. When you marry OM up with an Intention and Focus Point, you can become more consciously aware of the 10 stunning states of being at the heart of the Calm Thoughts.
Q12. What are the steps of the Mind Calm (Sitting) Meditation Method?
The 3 steps of a Mind Calm Sitting are: 1) Be Gently Alert With Awareness Wide Open (GAAWO) for a while. 2) Then think one of the Calm Thoughts (OM + Intention + Focus Point) before letting go of the words and focus point by 3) Re-engaging GAAWO. Hang out being gently alert until you become AWARE that you've been THINKING. When you do, simply repeat the 3-steps.
Q13. What are the main lessons and benefit gained from the ‘Counting Thoughts’ game?
The 'Counting Thoughts' game helps you to explore what it is like to be aware of your thoughts instead of being your thoughts. To be able to count them, you need to 'separate' yourself from them and be aware. Counting Thoughts also helps you to recognise that although you have thoughts, you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are temporary and come and go. But you are the permanent aspect that is aware of your thoughts coming and going. If you are every struggling with a busy mind, you can use this game for up to 30 seconds to disengage the mind and re-engage the awareness that's aware.
Q14. What is the ultimate identity crisis and how can a person know thy self?
The ultimate identity crisis is thinking you are something that is temporary and separate. You may have previous thought that you were your job title, marital status or religious or political affiliation. However, you are the permanent and unchanging 'one' consciousness that is aware of all inner and external 'things'. You are the being that is aware of what you do. By being Self aware you can get to know the aspect of your Self that is permanent and unchanging - you naturally get to know thy Self.
Q15. What is the ‘Judgment Game’ and how can it help a person enjoy peace and love?
When making sense of reality, the mind plays the Judgement Game by concluding whether your past, present or future is good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse, positive or negative. Once it's judged something as bad, wrong, worse or negative, you end up with what's commonly called 'a problem'. You then tend to resist the problem, which creates tension, stress and 'negative' emotions. When you let go of judgement, there is no reason not to be at peace (due to the lack of resistance) and love the 'is'ness' of life.
Q16. What are the common experiences a person can have when they meditate and why?
The Common Meditation Happenings are: Memories, Dreams, Busy Mind, Emotions, Body Stuff, Sleeps and Meeps, Peace, Love, Joy, Bliss, Still, Silent Spaciousness. When the mind becomes more still, the body rests. When the body rests it releases stress and heals. Healing is an active process within the body, which causes movement in the mind in the form of thoughts, emotions, physical sensations etc. Lots of thoughts equals lots of stress release and healing. Thoughts are a natural and beneficial part of meditation and you will enjoy meditation much more if you can be at peace with all that happens. To do this, you want to have a 'What's Going to Happen?' and 'Bring it OM' type attitude and 'Keep GAAWOing'.
Q17. What are the main benefits of adopting a regular practice of meditation?
Benefits include: Move from stress to serenity, get to sleep without counting sheep, help the body heal, calm and contentment, unconditional confidence, deeply loving relationships, live in the magnificent moment, eradicate excessive thinking, perform at your best, access your intuition, creativity and wisdom and experience liberation from limitations.
Q18. What does the term ‘see it don’t be it’ mean and why can doing so help a person?
The term 'see it don't be it' refers to the ability to observe the mind instead of being the mind. When you are unconscious (i.e. not Self aware), you end up falling into the identification with thoughts, emotions, body and life. However, by stepping back into your conscious awareness, you can see the temporary movement and not be so impacted by it. When you can see your thoughts about life, you can get peace with your life.
Q19. What is the ‘Reality Check’ game and when and why would you use it?
The reality check game brings you back to present moment awareness by focusing your attention on what we can see, hear, feel, smell and taste, right now. By focusing fully on each sense and exploring the sensations, there’s less engagement with the thinking mind and the more present and calmer you naturally are. This is because when you fill your attention with now, your thoughts are only a small part of all that is currently happening. This changes your relationship with your thoughts, emotions and life. You can use it when you find yourself stuck in judgements, resisting life, attached to things happening a certain way and caught up believing your past and future are relevant to your ability to enjoy your HHH now.
Q20. Name and briefly describe 3 other techniques that can help people enjoy mind calm.
Mind Calm Games include 'Noticing the Now Space', 3C Vision, Heart Watching, Inward Gazing, Noticing Nirvana, Resonance Revolution. The Golden Rules for using them are the same as GAAWO: 1) Play with the games, 2) Don't think about the games, just engage them and 3) You can only do the games now.
Bonus Question. Why do you want to be a Mind Calm Coach?
This question is more for the student to remind themselves of their motivation to meditate and share Mind Calm.