New Life Foundation
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“There is nothing in the whole universe that represents a threat to who you really are.”
“There is no real happiness for those on the wrong side. The greatest pleasure in life is the security of the true side. You can vainly try to win over the world or you can nicely be over the world. Your task is to change your operating center from strained imagination to relaxed reality.”
Below are examples of how students of these teachings apply specific exercises in their daily lives. Perhaps it will inspire you to work harder and will help clarify how to use these teachings to increase understanding and insight and to view every event that comes your way as an opportunity for higher learning. When we are truly working on ourselves there is always more to learn and understand. We need all the help we can get. The world is becoming more insane by the second. Learn more about how you can take charge of life and be grateful that a genuine method actually exists for us to rise above this crazy world. See and discover for yourself that this work can actually, factually make a difference in your life.
These teachings are both beautifully simple and incredibly profound. This work is not really hard to understand. The complication comes when Truth meets my habit-laden mind. The mind is very, very tricky and convincing in its insistence that because we’ve heard a truth, we now understand it and live it. Vernon Howard said in a lecture that we students are very careful not to understand too much for fear that we’ll really have to get down to the business of seeing through and discarding the impostor nature. We tend to want to remain in either confusion or in the delusion that surface understanding can take the place of deep personal experience. For example, we can study and even articulate a truth for many years before realizing that we have failed to apply it in our own lives.
One such principle that I have become aware of recently in my own spiritual studies is Vernon’s instruction to stop avoiding and dreading problem situations and difficult people. Challenges and difficulties tend to come in waves. About two weeks ago, one after another of these situations just kept coming with no break. The old nature immediately launched into the complaint, “I just can’t take any more of this.” Fortunately, in our ongoing New Life classes, we had been given the spiritual exercise of choosing two of our own exercises for that week. One exercise I had chosen was to not welcome the immediate reaction of irritation and resentment when the problem appeared. As Vernon often said, the reaction, the stab of pain, the irritation is just too quick for us. It’s there and has a hold on our psychic system before we know it. Sometimes it can even hold on for hours after the initial incident. For the first few days of that week, I worked with catching the pain before it got a hold of me. Sometimes I could only watch when my own internal volcano erupted, but other times I was aware enough that the negativity wasn’t able to take hold or if it did, it dissolved quickly in the light of awareness. About the fourth day, I was dealing with a very touchy person on the phone. But this time I found that I handled everything differently. I did not react with my usual internal response of irritation, resentment and impatience. I quietly listened and answered but the usual ‘responder’ wasn’t there. There was an absence of trying to ‘say the right thing’ which is the cause of so much inner tension. I also noticed a casualness that hadn’t been there before. I wasn’t invested in the outcome of the interaction; I simply handled it practically and the rest was up to the other person. When I got off the phone, I realized that in terms of my own inner state, I had just had one of the most ‘free’ conversations of my life.
This world is addicted to ‘instant gratification’ and the demand for an ‘immediate reward’. But this work is not like that. You may do a particular bit of work on yourself and not see the result for years. In the story of the phone call above, the reward came very quickly but there is also an unseen trap that seems to accompany many of our inner successes. There is a tendency to want to stop and ‘rest’ from the work, saying something like, “I’ve worked hard on myself and deserve a break.” No, I must use this experience to open up even more of a willingness on my part to go through what I must go through to be free of the chains of the old nature and to welcome the guidance of the new and the higher nature. I have begun to glimpse the fact that there can’t simply be an intellectual curiosity or a lukewarm interest in understanding these things. Every inner experience taken consciously should awaken in us a fierce desire to understand these things with our whole being, not simply our minds. The insights we allow to come to us are the very encouragement needed to keep going.
Another of the great benefits of applying these principles is that underlying everything that goes on in my day, there is an abiding realization that I am on the right path at last. There are many ‘ways’ and ‘systems’ out there but this is the only teaching I have ever found that never gets old, that never has and never will betray you and that always gives genuine relief from mental pain. Vernon once said that if we knew what awaited us, we would be zooming toward the spiritual life as fast as we could go. There is no limit as to how high we can fly with this.
I feel extremely fortunate to have Vernon’s principles at hand and here are a few ways I apply them in my daily life. It’s very important to always remember why I am here on earth so every morning upon rising, I watch a Vernon Howard video. It starts the day off in an inspirational, practical and uplifting way. It’s amazing that although I watch and listen to them often, there is invariably something there that hits home. The spiritual hearing just becomes better and better.
The other day while out walking, a dog with his tail wagging came toward me begging for attention, a kind word, a pat on the back and to tell him he was a good dog. I asked myself “Do I also plead for attention from people — for the smile, the approval, the friendly greeting?” If so, I’m putting my happiness at the mercy of others.
The “Do it now! Get it done! Bang! Bang! Bang!” exercise is of tremendous help in daily life. Instead of procrastinating and saying “Oh, I’ll do it later”, it gets done promptly and is not constantly on my mind.
If I blurt out something unconsciously and regret it, oh the work is so marvelous, I don’t have to torment myself for days on end; it gets dropped much, much closer to the event.
Another way I apply the work is that when phoning, especially for business information, it often seems to take forever, so instead of fuming over it, I just sit and know I’m in the room. This takes the negativity out of the situation because as Vernon said, “Awareness and negativity cannot occupy the same psychological space.”
It’s been the greatest pleasure of my life to have discovered the life-healing teachings of Vernon Howard and to be learning to apply them in my daily life. His clear, no-nonsense instructions for cleaning clutter out of my life have shown me, gradually and over years and years, how to drop harmful ties to negative people in my life; how to move beyond a lifetime career that, although satisfactory in many ways, wasn’t as suited to inner development as what has replaced it; how to upgrade my living environment — moving from a large city out to the country; and how to begin putting the Truth first in my life.
Naturally, this entire process of self-transformation is ongoing, and I wouldn’t at all say I’m “out of the woods” yet, not by a long shot. But the path lies clear before me and at last I know what I must do to maximize life-freedom for myself in the years ahead.
When first encountering these powerful teachings, I was embroiled in all the usual personal and professional relationships and obligations — many of them running my life and telling me how to feel instead of me being in control of them. Not so much now. While still finding myself ensnared by false so-called duties to groups and individuals, I can nevertheless think more clearly toward the cries of the world for my time, energy and money. I can stand back more from situations and better evaluate where my own true benefit lies instead of just automatically falling under the spell of others.
This same power of clear sight taught by Mr. Howard has done good work in my career path as well, twice now showing me how to flat-out quit otherwise excellent and secure jobs I held in my previous (decades-long) profession in order to move into other lines of work that allow me to support myself from home — a much more pleasant circumstance all around. Amazing how truly practical these wonderful teachings are, for they also showed me how I could leave the noise and danger of modern city life and escape to more rural surroundings — something I’d only dreamed of before; and now I can’t imagine putting up with urban crowding and crime ever again. (“Satan loves the big city and detests the small towns,” as Vernon once said.)
The prospect of putting Truth first (like what Christ said about the Kingdom of Heaven) is beginning to seem more possible to me with every passing year in these New Life studies. Occasionally I can glimpse what Mr. Howard must have done himself and to “step aside” in small ways from all that I’ve considered to be “me”, “my” life, “my” needs and wants and demands and to investigate what it might mean to “let go and let God.” It’s something I can sense the utter rightness of, something beyond all pleasant-sounding phrases and religious slogans, and something I’m beginning to want much, much more of — thank God!
Vernon’s proclamation of individual liberty that he taught and lived has never been so vitally important as it is today. That’s the legacy that any of us can absorb and call to life within ourselves and then learn (ever more, day after day, without ever stopping) to enjoy the actual benefits thereof. Not just a clever philosophical slogan, “Cosmic Power” is a living reality we can each experience for ourselves.
A “New Life” — which is more needed than anything else in this weary, reeling world — can be ours: a personal possession beyond all others, the answer to every cry of the heart, the answer to any and all questions and the utter end at last of all nonsense. Yes, that’s how the teachings of Vernon Howard help me in my daily life — healing the wounds of the past and fears of the future, straightening what’s been twisted and pointing me (if I’m willing to go) towards that effortless, peaceful state we’ve all yearned for — and eventually getting us “home before dark.” I encourage all readers to test his instructions for yourselves, for if you do, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
(Dr. Tracy passed away in November 2012. He was extremely grateful for eveything that Vernon Howard and the classes did for him over the years.)
One of my favorite Vernon Howard quotes is, “Life is not a race to be won, but a school for your higher education.” Giving myself a daily exercise to do helps me to remember to apply the principles in every aspect of my life — at work, at home, in relationships with other people and in relation to myself. Just a simple phrase, sentence or story makes it clearer to me that each experience has a spiritual lesson in it that can be used for my personal growth.
As an elementary school teacher, my workplace provides an especially good environment for self-seeing and for working on myself. Trying to teach kindergartners while keeping order in the classroom is a real challenge! A teacher once asked Vernon Howard “How can I use these principles in my job as a teacher to help the children?” He said with great emphasis “You be an example of rightness to those children!” I’ve never forgotten that directive but if I do allow a little imp of negativity to enter in, I can use these principles to learn and to grow. Perhaps I see irritation rise up within me when a child misbehaves in the classroom and I’m tempted to express that feeling outwardly. I am capable of seeing the irritation take me over and I’m capable of separating from it. The separation itself is a call to a higher power for help.
If I’m very alert, I can see and feel the unwanted state arise, separate from it and even drop it so that it doesn’t create a wave of negativity that goes out into the atmosphere of the classroom. Of course this doesn’t mean that I’m not firm with the children. It simply means that I don’t impulsively fall into an irritated or angry state but that I handle the challenge consciously. This work is all about submitting to the lessons that life is trying to teach us. And in yielding to the lesson, life becomes new and different and much more enjoyable. Thank you Vernon for showing me how to use everything to grow.
It starts in the morning when I first wake up. I use the exercise to know my feet are touching the floor. This is a helpful reminder to stay awake the rest of the day.
On going about my day, I ask myself “What can I learn about myself today?” “Do I let outer events take me into negative moods or do I study my reactions to see that I am the one creating the problem?”
Shopping is a wonderful place to see these principles at work. I ask myself “Do I really need it and can I afford it?” If the answer is an honest ‘No’ to either question, I don’t buy the item, saving both time and money.
The principle of a simple yes or no answer to a question asked by someone is another great time saver and helps in keeping imagination from carrying me off into long needless explanations, boring the other person and draining energy from both of us.
If I make a mistake and find myself in a negative mood, I need not feel guilty or condemn myself but remember that I can drop my anxieties and live a free life.
“I know of no one in life or literature who compares to Vernon Howard in enlightened understanding of human problems and solutions.”
— Dr. Lynne Wooldridge
As Mr. Vernon Howard’s message sinks in deeper, my life, my days have become lighter and brighter. Nothing worries me anymore. My girlfriend left me and I feel better. People say I look better and sound better. I don’t know. The path that was laid down, I follow. New Life and how to pass the word on are always on my mind.
What can I say, but I wish I had found you all a lot sooner, but will make up for lost time. Your Power of Natural Knowing was beautiful.
Shine on. God Bless New Life, the world needs you..
Long Island City, NY