Maroon Bells 2013

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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.”

New Life News 5
Previous Articles and Banquet Reports

  • 2013 Irish Banquet

         Our traditional March banquet celebrating St. Patrick’s Day once again was held at New Life Foundation in Strawberry, Arizona with events from Wednesday night’s class thru Sunday’s class and another delicious meal before students headed home to California, Colorado and Arizona.
         During this time we were challenged by director Richard Wooldridge to go against ourselves and to do more work than we thought we could, participating in as many activities as possible. As one speaker said, “This is the first time you’ve ever been at this 2013 Irish banquet – it is NEW.”
         A snowstorm provided the very situation necessary to go against ourselves, proving again God gives us just what we need. The appearance of the cold, wet snow, while challenging the negativities in us while shoveling or driving or walking, made us see more, adding a wonderful, unexpected dimension. One speaker said the covering of pure white snow reminded him of the biblical phrase “being washed as white as snow.” Another said the sunlight on the snow makes the light even more powerful. Snow also added to the fun and laughter, with some students spontaneously erupting into a snowball fight, boys-against-girls with no losers. “Lots of laughter” was one way a student characterized the whole weekend. Nature provided the backdrop and truth turned an “inconvenience” into a special opportunity to learn.
    Leprechaun Fiddling     On banquet Saturday morning to a sea of green attire and a bit of orange, director Richard Wooldridge explained that “stupid human solutions always make everything worse. There’s only a cosmic solution.” He reminded us of that crystal clear truth from Vernon that “this earth belongs to Satan,” and also that “we have to see that Satan is a bluff.” Richard was inspired to give us this special, exciting explanation: “Surface personalities can never get along, but transformed we can….  By getting rid of ourselves we will have a unique cosmic personality, or cosmic essence.”
         So, although being at banquets always makes our old nature uncomfortable, students went against themselves, participating in many activities in spite of the inner voices screaming not to do so. Sunday morning’s moderator, and long-time student Bill Brown explained that people say, “I don’t want my life to be upset by Truth.” Bill quoted Vernon saying you must make the sufferer [false self] scream – until you see there’s no one there who “can’t take it anymore.” And to our amazement, again what we found is that we experienced something NEW and nice.
         Therefore, banquet activities are the perfect opportunity provided by Truth itself, originally through Vernon Howard, to do things our body, mind and inner voices warn us not to do. For example, many made extra effort to get to the banquet from far away, or to gave a little talk about the principles they had learned, or to dance or tell a joke in entertainment or enjoy the evening work parties where we helped to get out the new Spring/Summer 2013 newsletter, which now goes to thousands of people.
         Despite mud and snow, the banquet format unfolded uninterrupted and went beyond the expected. A scrumptious traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage dinner was cooked and served by ladies with the aid of a couple of gentlemen and a talented baker. Included were outstanding breads like homemade Irish soda bread, as well as sticky buns, cinnamon rolls and breakfast quiches.
         As snow fell outside, the formal entertainment opened with the emcee entering in an Irish green top-hat and singing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…,” setting an atmosphere of laughter and lightness. Poems were interspersed with jokes; several beautiful Irish songs were sung in harmony by Lynne and Kyle, enhanced by the guitar and mandolin. A lively Pretties dance completed the formal entertainment.
         On Sunday comments were invited about the banquet experience. We recalled that so many essential and uplifting points were made by the speakers. ….. One California student liked that our gathering does not emphasize or enhance our self-esteem as the world tries to do. Another attendee commented on the natural and unpretentious atmosphere.
         A final reminder by Lynne summarized our aim:  “Let’s not forget what we learned, and continue to go beyond ourselves.”

  • 2012 Christmas Banquet
  • 2012 Thanksgiving Banquet
  • 2012 September Banquet
  • 2012 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2012 May Banquet
  • 2011 Christmas Banquet
  • 2011 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2009 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2008 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2008 Irish Banquet
  • 2007 Thanksgiving Banquet

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