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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

  • 2023 Pagosa Springs Banquet

         Echoes of “Great Banquet” were heard in reference to New Life’s event held July 7th, 8th and 9th in Pagosa Springs, CO. Banquets always present just what we need to grow: a light and pleasant atmosphere with new challenges to the old nature that encourage change. Although the structure of the banquets is consistent, each of these unique gatherings provides a much-needed opportunity to lift our level of understanding and transform our lives through Vernon Howard’s life-healing teachings.

         At the very beginning and throughout all of the talks we were told, “We should prefer a disturbing situation over a comfortable one, for we can learn from disturbance but not from comfort which makes us too lazy to see the predicament we are bringing about” (Chapter 10, Pathways to Perfect Living). So we were made aware from the get-go that this is a rare place offering insights which the world rejects but which we can take to heart and learn to love. It provides a safe and friendly atmosphere in which pretense can be dropped and we’re free to be honest with ourselves about our inner states.
         The banquet began Friday evening with talks elaborating on the topic “How to Abolish Life’s Troubles,” also from Chapter 10 of Vernon’s book Pathways to Perfect Living. Introducing another theme which continued throughout the weekend talks, Bill B. said the only way to get rid of the pain is to completely experience it. We must not avoid our fears but fully face them. “The real motive for why we do things unnecessarily is to escape pain,” for then our energy goes into evading reality instead of overcoming our troubles. Bill said to relax. “For you to relax, you [the false nature] can’t be there.” From 1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle, he read #799: “A right response to a higher truth is to relax and let it tell its whole story.”
         Dave N. explained how we must not confuse love with dependency, quoting Vernon: “To the exact degree that we are dependent upon another, we will be unconsciously hostile toward him.” Real love springs from the same force that created the universe and it is on our side.
         Talks on Saturday, banquet day, emphasized the need to see ourselves honestly. New Life director Richard Wooldridge said you attract what comes to you. “When you complain about having so much on your plate, who put it on your plate?” He explained that once you understand your true nature, you’ll be immune to all fear. “Fear is caused by fixed mental positions.” And since fear and hostility go together, being in fear is always followed by psychic attacks. Then you try to “play it safe” by hiding out or taking refuge in the intellect and thinking you know. You’re processing with the mental, relying on what causes your problems in the first place. He emphasized we should work to feel or sense Truth rather than think about it.
         Gary B. reminded us of the talk about a devils’ convention where Satan told them to “keep people comfortable.” To change we must “seek the uncomfortable.” At another devils’ convention, they were told to triple the attack on spiritual memory, to make people forget the higher. He emphasized that we must study both light and darkness at the same time, using the example of a bird’s wings to illustrate the point. One wing represents studying Truth; the other represents studying evil. To fly, to soar like a bird, which we were meant to do, we need both wings.

         Food at the banquet feast was bountiful and tasty, including barbecued meats, cole slaw, potato salad, green salad and many outstanding desserts, with the lemon buttermilk pie getting the most raves.
         Entertainment gave us more opportunities to relax and enjoy hearty laughter and beautiful songs. Lynne and Kyle topped the acts with their fun western songs, “Sioux City Sue” and the soothing cowboys’ lullaby for the roundup, “Cattle Call.” It was also clear in “If I Could Only Learn to Yodel” that they did learn to yodel well. Many light-hearted jokes and skits followed, such as the unhappy mother glowworm whose children were not all that bright, and the coach who yelled at the vending machine, “Give me my quarter back.”

         After a delicious Sunday morning breakfast of steak and eggs, quiches, fruit and much more, we cheerfully made our way up the Happy Trail to the pergola. We enjoyed the refreshing atmosphere, inhaled the fresh scent of pines, and listened to more inspiring talks, accompanied by the chirping of robins.
         Moe J. reminded us we “could actually be at peace” when we follow Truth’s instructions. Rebelling against our wrong thoughts is critical. As he clarified we can either ignore them or feel free to yell “get out of here”; it’s only the mind which can’t make sense of what to do.
         Both Jeff F. and Robin K. emphasized that we must go through the storm, “go through the valley of the shadow of darkness,” and keep moving forward no matter what, in order to come into the Light. What is required is willingness and perseverance. Moe read what Vernon told us in Pathways to Perfect Living: “Are you willing to pass through the darkness necessary for the destruction of your false self?” For remember it’s just a haunted house which must collapse, nothing real.
         Enduring to the end of the banquet reaps extra rewards in spite of the usual and unexpected challenges, as the moppers, dishwashers, cleaners and packer-uppers know. We heard many exuberant comments on Sunday describing the events, talks and acts. Kyle mentioned that doing things outside of the usual routine shows you more. Karen spoke of developing an increasing gratitude for the banquets and the work.
         Lynne W. mentioned something Vernon once said about entertainment: “You’re there to entertain the audience, and not to be self-contained. Look out at the audience and make contact.” This contact of course applies to speakers as well. Moe said he saw how a performance will depend on the person’s state, though the lines may be the same, such as if one is more or less worried about an act. Other reminders from Vernon also came up: Don’t depend on the audience. Dare to not be nervous. Get outside of yourself. And finally, we’re here to wake the dead!!
         A wonderful story by Vernon was recounted of a man trying to cross a river to reach the other side. It became too difficult so in the middle he stopped. A guide on the other side of the river hollered loudly, “DON’T YOU DARE TURN BACK!” We left for home inspired to keep working regardless.

  • 2023 May Banquet
  • 2023 Irish Banquet
  • 2022 Christmas Banquet
  • 2022 September Banquet
  • 2022 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2021 Christmas Banquet
  • 2021 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2021 Irish Banquet
  • 2020 September Banquet
  • 2020 Pagosa Springs Banquet
  • 2020 Irish Banquet
  • 2019 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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