Poppies in Spring

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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

  • 2024 Irish Banquet

         The Irish-themed banquet in Strawberry, Arizona ushered in the spring season — with a bit of sun, rain, sleet and partly cloudy skies, with herds of visiting elk and a chorus of returning song birds. We welcomed the new cycle with fresh bright reminders of truth principles to guide and protect us while living in a human climate of tempestuous times on an increasingly troubled planet. The banquets provide a welcome break in our everyday lives, where students travel to a central location and cooperate in bringing together a weekend of strong classes, great food and a very encouraging atmosphere. Richard Wooldridge, director of New Life, reminded us of Vernon Howard's words, "We will learn as we go."
         Arizona speakers began the banquet week on Wednesday night investigating ideas from Vernon’s talk of April 21, 1991 about "doing what is Right." In this talk, Vernon says that spiritual heroism is doing something right when something inside of you objects to it, feels threatened by it. For example, we were told, “When you’re afraid, you go directly toward the fear.” If we want higher understanding, Eric emphasized that we must do something different by putting these principles into practice. Just do not do what you usually do, Robin said.
         Bill also stressed the power of simply obeying higher instructions. To become truly sincere, we must "see we're insincere." He said the fear that I can't make it is false. "Only the truthful part can make it; the rest is unreal."
         On Saturday banquet morning, talks were based on the wonderful Chapter 7 in Pathways to Perfect Living. As an introduction, Richard reminded us that Vernon could see our thoughts. "Thought are visible." A speaker can see when your eyes are hostile and you’re closed off. A speaker can also see when there’s more receptivity there. He emphasized the practical point that “Life is supposed to be fun!” And that a lightening of the spirit requires that “another element” besides the mind be present. This other element involves “feeling” these Truths on a much deeper level than we now do. “Our job while we’re here on this earth is to purge the negativity, the evil inside of us. If someone still sets us off, we’re the one with the problem.” Vernon said, "Evil has no right to exist. Tell it to get out of here, out of me!"
         Jeff talked about the "Power of Pure Feeling," and said that genuine feeling and understanding have no sensationalism attached to them at all. He brought up an incident with Gary, a New Life student who is facing a very serious illness and how he is still observing and working on himself. Richard went on to speak about the topic of death in an open, direct, calm and non-threatening way. He told us how Vernon said “you can watch your body die," but the spirit does not have to die with it.
         A speaker got up toward the end of Saturday’s class and commented on how writing an article for New Life or putting extra effort into this work gives you a palpable energy that cannot be found anywhere else. You are helping Truth reach people in this world, which is one of the most rewarding things you can be a part of in this life.
         Sunday morning carried the energy that built from Saturday’s all-day festivities. Paul asked the class to speak of how Truth has helped us. One student referred to Vernon's idea that people and incidents mean nothing; only higher pursuits matter. And one speaker mentioned that “you realize the power of Truth to draw you here and keep you here.”
         Asa reminded us of how “The digital age of cell phones and social media is a breeding ground for the false self. It allows for such a rapid movement of life.” The self gets in a loop which recreates itself. Vernon said, "We are an activity, not a personality.” Speakers explained, from DVD 7, talk 4, “Right Ideas for a Right Day,” that your involvements can either be with your inner work or with your identifications. Brad mentioned one absurd but humorous involvement, "birthday candle management." He also made the excellent point that when we look to other people for approval, we’re actually carrying around a target for negativity to hit us.” “We need to look at our obsessions, addictions and motives, for ‘you must reap what you sow,’ and you suffer because you're a sleeping human being," said Paul. He added that Vernon told us, "You don't read enough. Read that book you don't want to read.”
         The Irish banquet feast included delicious corned beef, cabbage and carrots, potatoes and chicken and a dessert table laden with uncommonly good pies and other sweet treats made available all Saturday afternoon. Afterwards, our formal entertainment featured funny skits, dancing by the New Life Pretties and harmonious singing by three ladies, Lynne, Kyle and Nancy on the piano, especially in the beautiful ballads, "These are My Mountains" and "The Rose of Tralee." Bill said his humorous monologue on "Addled Adages" was "an exceptional act."
         At the end of Sunday’s class, we were given weekly work projects that always remain essential as we try to take steps toward becoming truly conscious human beings. Comments on the banquet experience were also insightful and revealing. One student mentioned we must say, "Not my will but Thy will be done.". Another later wrote, “The end of the banquet felt like a cool stream running over me. The problems that I thought I had before the weekend had washed down the stream and I felt relaxed, refreshed and part of something sacred.”
         Truth transforms us, the physical, the mental, the social and the spiritual, by infusing us with a higher kind of energy. And yes, the understanding came alive at this banquet that New Life is indeed a sacred place.

  • 2023 Christmas Banquet
  • 2023 Thanksgiving Banquet
  • 2023 September Banquet
  • 2023 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2023 May Banquet
  • 2023 Irish Banquet
  • 2022 Christmas Banquet
  • 2022 September Banquet
  • 2022 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2021 Christmas 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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