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     “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.”

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Previous Articles and Banquet Reports

  • 2018 Pagosa Springs Banquet

         In a serene area with splendid mountain peaks visible in the distance, the New Life banquet in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, had a cool breeze wafting throughout the spacious hall where we enjoyed the meetings, entertainment and a lavish buffet. The clouds and wind and rain followed by sun, described in Karen W.’s “Little Pinewood Cabin” poem during the entertainment, became a reality on banquet day — to refresh and uplift us above our habitual selves.
         Even the lost swallow who got temporarily trapped inside the hall was a reminder from the natural world surrounding us that we must avoid worldly traps and fly higher. At banquets, the struggles between the old negative nature and who we really are can become very apparent.
         As Doug S. said in his talk, “Underneath your well-polished act, when you go to bed at night, you know it’s not working.” It was a reminder that we have to start with seeing what's wrong first. The banquet gives us our chance to honestly admit we're still suffering and out of touch with the true and permanent self. That well-polished act is no longer what we want to live from; we can choose something far better.
         For the entire banquet weekend, DVD Vol. 6 “Solutions for Lasting Security” (also on Blu-Ray Vol. 3) was the basis for many meaningful talks. On Friday night Moe J. set forth a warning about “free fireworks” that leave us empty: “Sooner or later, you’ll have to pay for what you thought was free entertainment.” Moe emphasized the point that we’re looking one way, dazzled by the fireworks display, while our life energy is being stolen. He exclaimed, “Get tired of being duped!” by childish wishes. God is watching — are you going to do something different this time?” Paul W. also recounted how these classes and banquets are a necessary reminder of our higher purpose, “when you want something new more than what the old you wants.” Paul continued that we must turn our loyalty toward Truth which means detaching our allegiance to the past, to other people, to our own mechanical reactions, and so on.
         Saturday’s talks highlighted the day’s abundant activities. Richard Wooldridge, New Life Director stated, "Security, happiness, doesn't exist in things of this world." He stressed that “unless we know and see Truth for ourselves, we don’t know anything at all.” A fundamental principle is that you must see through yourself. Examples given included how we set up agitation so we can believe we exist, trying to find security in repetition, and throwing up a psychological wall as a barrier to seeing evil. Richard explained you can go beyond the mistake-making machine and become new; “you can change.” Vernon Howard said to tell yourself, “I’m not satisfied with that answer and I’m not going to accept it. I refuse it.” Vernon’s DVD talks on solutions underscored that we must “endure uncertainty to find certainty.”
         At Sunday’s talks Bill B. gave the exercise to “Let Truth trap you. Unconditional surrender. No conditions.” He suggested to no longer think of the self as a unified person but as a transitory state. Connected to that, Brad L. also reminded us that Vernon told us to read the “You Do Not Exist” talk (which is published in Your Power of Natural Knowing) every day for 30 days. This can change your understanding of everything!
         Many profound truths like these were heard at this banquet. A familiar yet unique cycle occurs at these events, where people are different when they leave than when they arrived. Each banquet is new and unique and a higher energy is always felt by anyone open to the exceptional atmosphere.
         After the talks on Saturday, a delicious barbeque meal with lots of accompaniments and desserts was served. We danced and laughed and enjoyed cheerful songs and funny, wholesome jokes. An old familiar song “Swinging on a Star” became new and alive and fun with special choreography. It’s not just the fabulous food and pleasant entertainment or valuable talks that made the event indescribable; it’s the taste of Truth that sets it apart from anything else you’ll ever experience. Something Else is present in the atmosphere.
         The traditional trek up the "Happy Trail" to the pergola where Sunday morning’s class was held concluded the weekend experience with a 'higher world' touch. When students made comments at Sunday’s class, gratitude for banquets was one topic. Regina N. summed up: “It’s a miracle we’re here.” Bill noted that the old nature, the ungrateful ego, can walk in and “just expect the food to be here, to be entertained”, when in reality a great deal of work must to done in advance to prepare for the banquet. Then Sherry D. revealed how “I don’t know what a mess I really am until I come into this higher atmosphere.” Kyle R. talked about our expectations for life and banquets: “If things went your way you’d never learn anything. God is trying to show us another way.” Lorraine P. affirmed that she was very happy to be at the banquet with others who have a real interest in transforming their lives through these authentic spiritual principles.
         It becomes evident, as Lynne W. related, that “there would be nothing real for me to do without dedicating myself to these teachings and without the classes.” Dave N. echoed this when he asked, “What else are you going to do with your life but this?” So are we going to be like the trapped bird, to only fly in endless, frantic circles or will we try God’s way instead of ours? Something far better awaits us. Altogether the weekend offered a vacation from ourselves, from our relentlessly noisy minds. And, because of the effort made, New Life was awakened within.

  • 2018 May Banquet
  • 2018 Irish Banquet
  • 2017 Christmas Banquet
  • 2017 September Banquet
  • 2017 July Banquet
  • 2017 May Banquet
  • 2017 Irish Banquet
  • 2016 Christmas Banquet
  • 2016 Thanksgiving Banquet

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