You gain lessons on a regular basis merely by living and breathing and experiencing life in Avalon. This continues automatically unless you happen to be hidden away in some protected, safe-zone or under special conditions judged to be "not experiencing life". All this is explained in HELP LESSONS.
If you procure lessons (see HELP PROCURE for how) or if you have acquired lesson-potential as gift or prize (e..g. the new Avalonian bonus or the happy-birthday present) you will need to shift the potential into reality: you must choose whether to enjoy the lessons as direct learning or as increased speed of lesson gain from time spent in Avalon. The former lets you LEARN what you have procured/acquired immediately while the latter spreads out the potential in the form of extra lessons gained on top of the natural lesson 'credit' your character acquires every 20 minutes non-protected in the land.
Syntax: LESSONS <number>.
Use this method to simply turn any lessons you have procured, any potential lessons, any gifted lessons, into lessons you can LEARN immediately. There is no rule saying you need to spread out your procurement or gifts/prizes won 'over time'. Immediate use lessons get learned and skills progress and many new abilities accumulate much faster than normal.
Downsides? First: it is harder to assimilate many abilities at once than one ability gained at a more modest rate. With all new abilities you need to figure out their subtleties and how best to fit them into your repertoire of attack and defence. If they are gained too quick, it is easy to shortcut this process and many end up knowing less. Second: your standing is partly based on skill-worth and if you gallop too fast, you risk finding your peer group changing from players you can cope with to more senior players, enemies perhaps who suddenly notice you and decide to challenge you on the battlefield...
Syntax: LESSONS DOUBLE/TRIPLE/QUADRUPLE and LESSONS NORMAL.
This is what you type if you want to receive procured or gifted lesson-potential in a more gradual, perhaps better spread out way. You can increase your lesson gain speed by up to four times as quick for as long as you have procured lesson-potential to use, the potential slowly going down as the lessons get turned into instant LEARNing type. Lesson gain reverts to normal once you have used up all the potential.
Downsides? No immediate boost of abilities.
Gift cards from the Old Curiosity Shops (see HELP SHOPPING) contain a lesson potential not unlike procured lessons - these cards must be activated to bring them into your "lesson potential" after which they can be treated exactly as above; immediate gain or gradual acquisition.
Syntax: SIGN <giftcard> <recipient>
After having purchased a suitable gift card, it must be SIGNed to designate its intended recipient. In most cases this will be yourself, thus use your own name, but the unique advantage of these cards is their ability to bestow lessons on others as gifts and you may - if you are a generous soul - sign the card with another's name and present it to them as a gift.
Syntax: CONVERT <giftcard>
While in possession of such a gift card, use this command to convert it into lesson potential. The card must have your name signed on it and it will immediately become lesson potential at your disposal once converted. After the conversion, the card will disintegrate.