Oh Be Joyful Trail Sneezeweed

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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
Articles and Banquet Reports

  • 2021 Irish Banquet

         Spring sprung an invigorating surprise on us at this March banquet, as snowy weather alternated with sun and bright stars. One morning students were greeted with fresh snow that sent us scurrying about for winter boots and mittens. As one southern California student said, you don’t have to come to Strawberry just at Christmas to see snow. Reminders to pay attention and to be extra alert driving and walking were appreciated.
         One supreme lesson, as mentioned by director Richard Wooldridge and others as well, is that we want to “see directly,” without the interference of habitual thought. Bill pointed out, “A thinking mind cannot know all is well.”
         The Irish banquet was rich with inner growth and outer good cheer. New Life banquets are truly a time and place for learning new lessons. Even though we likely have read or heard the principles before, they emerge as fresh and personal when we gather together to learn, have new encounters with others and experience more.
         For example, in the kitchen and in the entertainment, surprises and yes, mistakes appeared as opportunities for seeing more. As one student reminded us, “When we fail, we learn.”
         In spite of the long hours of work for some, unusual cooperation abounded everywhere, in the food prep, at the work parties preparing the new spring newsletter for mailing, and with men cleaning snow off cars and assisting ladies safely with transportation up and down the hill. With a right spirit of relaxation, we had fun while working. Two new ladies joined us from Montana and Phoenix and jumped right in enthusiastically with the dancing and the work.
         The Wednesday night class began the beneficial talks of the banquet week using The Higher Teachings of Christ talk (MP3 CD “Heavenly Help Awaits You”). Bill reminded us of the enmity of thought toward spirit (“Thought doesn’t want/hates Spirit”). Eric recalled the vibrant and immediate presence of Vernon Howard, and gave us encouragement to be aware as we interact with others.
         Saturday morning Richard set a high level for banquet day, and returned to the topic of the limitation of thought. As Vernon said, “You cannot do with the mind what must be done with the spirit.” The chooser must overcome dependency on the intellect in order to awaken and transcend to the higher. To receive higher impressions, we must observe how we ourselves block them. The problem, as Richard explained, is that “you can’t be without disturbance.” The mind is nothing but a tormentor, but “relaxation is your natural state.”
         Spiritual perception is above the mental, Bill also explained. Vernon said, “Deep down no one is smarter than anyone else.” But the ego always wants to compare in order to keep its identity going. So, it falls for false fears, everything from the humorous “static cling,” an old advertising gimmick sold to us to cause us worry and embarrassment, to the current and constant stream of negative headlines meant to keep us off-balance. Problems keep the false self going and growing unless we refuse them. We came together for this weekend to get rid of more of that ego and not to feed it.
         On Sunday we got more great reminders of our purpose and aims here on earth. For example, one step down into hell also takes you one step up into heaven. Or leading a useless life does not take eternity into consideration. And quoted from a dated talk (on MP3 CD, Vol.10, 3/7/87), “You don’t want to be free of your hatred of that person.” But as Richard once said at a banquet, “You can change your choice.”
         Paul said the only problem you have is YOU. A good explanation emerged of how we suppress negative emotions until we “lose it” and then explode. The steps for the solution are to bring the negativity up to consciousness, be overwhelmed, and see I can’t do anything about it, until I collapse and finally get a glimpse of the higher way which offers me real help. As Lynne later recalled from Vernon, “God will not lead you into a dark place within only to abandon you.” He can go with us in our journey, to reach the other side of the valley of the shadow.
         We were offered a clear choice, either a return to more earthly success and desires and distractions in the world, the job and more money, the family, our health and diet, or a firmer commitment to these principles and classes. It’s not an either-or choice but a question of what really comes first. (Vernon Howard, June 1985, “Put God first, last and always.”) We have been offered the keys to the kingdom. If you want to see deeper and higher, come to every class and every banquet you can. You will grow and be of good cheer.

  • 2020 Christmas Banquet
  • 2020 September Banquet
  • 2020 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2020 Irish Banquet
  • 2019 Christmas Banquet
  • 2019 September Banquet
  • 2019 July Banquet
  • 2019 May Banquet
  • 2019 Irish Banquet

     “Thank you so much for the newsletter. Each one is a delightful treat to receive in the mail and is a sheer little treasure of fresh inspiration and relevant comments from Mr. Howard. I have made a vigorous determination to devote myself to my freedom and wholeness. This determination and continuous study of Vernon Howard’s writings yielded life saving results nothing short of miraculous.
    Anyone who really wants an ‘authentic’ life filled to overflowing with the good Life can’t afford to ignore Vernon’s writings and powerful insights into the human condition. His writings answer a life-time of real and imagined concerns that have mystified the most learned minds.”

Marie N., Palm Springs, CA

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