Welcome to New Life Foundation
Vernon Howard Founder
“It is wise to seek immortality for time defeats all other ambitions.”
“What you want also wants you. If you seek the celestial, the celestial also seeks you. There are no unanswered requests in the universe. If we do not like what we are receiving, we can learn to ask for something different.”
Here is a series of articles which will be ongoing for some time by New Life Students who have been attending classes for a number of years. They have experienced the benefits of coming to class on a regular basis for themselves. Read and enjoy these helpful and inspiring essays.
Paul Wolfe CSP (Certified Sales Professional) has worked in the wholesale air conditioning industry for more than 35 years. He has been a student of these teachings since the early 1990’s and is currently the Southern California Director of New Life Foundation.
Like many people, I spent a lot of time out in the world trying to add something to my life to make myself happy. But nothing worked. Genuine and lasting happiness seemed to be something elusive and out of reach. At the time, I didn’t know that this was an error in thinking, a fundamental misunderstanding. Since coming to New Life Foundation things have become much clearer.
Vernon Howard, in his wonderful way, simplifies the misunderstanding in one sentence, “Happiness is the absence of misery”. This isn’t very gratifying if we think that happiness should consist of living in a constant state of worldly excitement and euphoria, which by the way would be a dreadful burden because the excitement always turns to gloom. Instead, if we simplify our lives, as God, Truth, Reality (we use these terms interchangeably), would have us do, we could just say that happiness is the same as being content, not needing anything to make this day, this moment, just fine the way it is. Living in a state of happiness is much simpler than we think. It is not the acquisition of something or someone – it is the voluntary loss of whatever mistaken beliefs and feelings keep us from that contentment.
A story I heard in one of Vernon’s talks gives the example of a man whose car’s gas mileage keeps diminishing, so he takes the car to a mechanic to find out what the problem is. The mechanic checks and tells the man that everything looks fine under the hood, there isn’t anything wrong with the car. But the mechanic looks in the back seat and sees that it is filled with a bunch of things, books and clothes and such. He also opens the trunk and sees that it is stuffed with collected things – in other words the car is overloaded with unnecessary junk. He tells the man that if he’ll remove the worthless clutter, his mileage will improve immediately.
It’s the same with us because our lives are filled with unnecessary junk – those childhood resentments, the grudges we carry from long ago (or recent) slights, the fears we have of disappointing other people, among many, many others. If we’re honest, we don’t have to look far to see what is stealing our energy and our potential happiness, what is blocking genuine peace of mind from coming to us. The job is to get rid of what is wrong and negative in our thinking life and in our feeling life, and when this is done, we are left with what is good and right and truly positive. All we need to do is ask ourselves, “What can I get rid of today that stands in the way of having what Truth wants me to have?” God, Truth, Reality is on our side and will provide the answer if we will yield to what wants to help us.
Barbara Alpher began looking for something meaningful from the time she was quite young, but she didn't know what. After extensive reading and joining and/or experiencing a series of religions and study groups, there seemed to be no satisfactory answers. Some of it was helpful along the way, but only in a limited sense. She finally decided that what she was looking for was neither a religion nor psychoanalysis, but simply personal development ... a way to get to a higher life level. What follows is her story of discovering and applying Vernon Howard’s teachings.
I found my first Vernon Howard book at a yard sale. I read and reread that book till I found another in a used book store and the search continued for more. The writings of this man seemed to convey the essence of personal growth. Here were satisfying, clear answers and exercises to foster the understanding of oneself and of the world.
Moving to New Mexico from New Jersey brought a whole new group of book finds. But after a ‘dry spell’ I finally thought to type Vernon Howard into a Google search. Low and behold, up came New Life Foundation!
At the first opportunity, I drove to Strawberry, Arizona where New Life is headquartered. It was for a Christmas banquet. My Mom, for whom I had been the caretaker, had died so I was able to go and find out who else was reading Vernon Howard. That's how I thought of it.
I found the whole experience (a Wednesday night class, the banquet and helping with a newsletter mailing) astounding and delightful. All these people seemingly on the same wave-length. And now I had an on-going source of new Vernon Howard materials.
Later, I was able to attend regular classes and the July banquet at the New Life branch in Pagosa Springs, Colorado for two summers. I purchased the most extensive flash drive of Vernon's talks and it was the best thing I could have done. Hearing him speak adds so much to reading his books.
The idea that, as Vernon said, I am not that false self or ego with whom I was so identified came as an enormous relief. Thus, it surprised me to be so resistant to being able to let go of the old nature/self. ”And I know your next question,” Vernon yelled on one talk ... “If I'm not that self ... who am I?” That was me! I could not for the life of me come up with an alternate self! Then he let me know I was a nobody! Huh?!? That took awhile to work with, but was eventually liberating. No need to be “somebody” ... a success, wealthy, recognized ... all that future stuff. And, no need to feel guilty, resentful, sad ... all that past stuff.
My whole job is to constantly work to stay awake and aware in the moment. Easy? No! That was a shock too. Once I ‘knew’ that, why was it so difficult to maintain? Vernon constantly zeros in on this in his talks. He summed it up nicely in a recent talk I heard. Simply knowing is not enough. In answer to the question of how to reach a higher level, he said that only a “massive assault” on the state of mechanical sleep and against the wickedness of the world will do it. That I must shake myself constantly and wake up to know what I'm doing in the moment. He ended the talk with, "Make a massive assault against your own inertia.”
This sounds like it was a short journey, but it was not. It began with coming across that first book in the mid to late 80’s and it’s now 2017.
What has been consistent is that I never looked back. No more confusion or searching. My ongoing challenge is to constantly work to follow Vernon's teachings by making use of the excellent exercises he put out there for us. It keeps life extremely interesting.
David Netherton returned to the Rocky Mountains in 2008 from Phoenix after having grown up in Colorado in the 1970’s. Through playing college and semi-Pro basketball in Europe he learned of the world of intense competition and "winning at all costs.” David is presently a realtor and also works as a ski instructor with children (a.k.a. Wolf Pups) at the Wolf Creek Ski Area during the winter season. His work with the young ones in particular has helped to reveal that he hasn't quite as much patience as he once thought. In his spare time, he enjoys recreating in the mountains and just experiencing the peaceful mountain atmosphere.
Remember when you were a kid and you had chores to do? Perhaps it was the first time you had specific duties that were to be taken care of routinely. I recall thinking they weren't much fun. For the first time you were responsible to get those chores completed on your own. Maybe it was taking out the trash, helping in the kitchen, cleaning the house or at least straightening up your room.
My primary chore was mowing our lawn. My father showed me how to safely operate the mower, fill it with gas and start it, be attentive when the grass was wet and be extra careful around my mother's prized flowers!
Well, lawn mowing soon became my favorite chore. After all you got to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine and if you were smart you started in the morning before it got too hot. The smell of newly cut grass filled the air. You could even experiment by cutting different patterns in the lawn ... maybe your initials. It actually became fun and interesting.
Afterwards the lawn looked healthy and well kept. There was improvement and a sense of accomplishment. You may have even earned an allowance. Then you could actually afford to buy an 8-track of your favorite music. 8 tracks?? I guess I’m really dating myself here.
So it is with the adult task of maturing as a human being. No longer do your parents remind you to do your chores. Now it's up to you. You are the one who must see the need to grow up spiritually. You are the one who must see yourself as you really are. Maybe you become aware of how restless thoughts cause sleepless nights, of how easily offended you are or of how important it is that others like you. Eventually the realization can dawn that this approach to life is an enormous burden. And with indispensable insight from Vernon Howard, we can conclude that hey, maybe all this discomfort is completely and utterly unnecessary. Maybe there really is another way to live without pain and angst!
Vernon advised us to observe our lives with great interest. When this authentic interest comes alive, self-observation becomes a favorite activity instead of something we want to avoid. When it becomes FUN to see what a grouch you've been you're actually making spiritual progress. Boredom and repetitiveness slide away as interest grows in learning all about how to dismiss the influence of the false nature and to invite the guidance of the true nature into daily life. We do not have to live as a prisoner of our own tormenting thoughts and emotions. We’ve been given the key to the prison cell; now we just have to use it. When the old nature is seen through, Truth will lift our negativities away. Then we feel better both inside and out. Genuine inner work cannot help but spill over into outer life events and relationships. Everything starts going more smoothly; our hearts become lighter and we begin to receive a spiritual allowance from above. Vernon assured us that if we do the work, this break-through can be ours and we will have fulfilled the purpose of our life here on earth.
Janice Peck has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and worked for many years in the mental health field. But she realized something was missing and that there had to be deeper explanations to life. Vernon Howard’s teachings provided the authentic explanations and genuine help she was searching for and she attends New Life classes and banquets on a regular basis.
I have learned so much from Vernon Howard and from the New Life classes. For instance, at a recent morning class a startling revelation came to me. I saw that the wish for acceptance from others is the cause of unnaturalness, tension and nervousness. These bad vibrations are there because of the “need” to be someone, to prove myself, to be liked or to “feel” something even if it’s what I call unpleasant. It is these types of insights that help to develop spiritual memory, to rise above myself and to step aside from the fray that is going on both inside and outside of me.
When there’s receptivity there, insights can come to us all the time. During another class, there was a sudden inner realization that psychological pain is still present in my life, but this was at odds with an image of having studied and worked in the field of mental health for years. How could this be true? But it was true! I had to admit to myself that even with a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience, real self-command has been elusive. I was grateful to realize that the New Life classes reveal what was previously unseen. And thank God for that because these revelations are my salvation.
I’ve noticed that one of our major problems is that higher lessons are forgotten when we’re overwhelmed by life. Here are a few helpful reminders to strengthen spiritual memory when carried away by any difficulty:
Remember to put God and the Higher World first.
Remember that it feels good when consciousness, alertness, and awareness are present.
Remember to snap the spell, return to yourself and practice instant recovery when you make any kind of a mistake.
Remember that the intellect with its incessant blabbings and sleep states full of imaginations and delusions must go before the higher can enter.
Remember to try to discern between the wrong way and the right way which self-honesty and developing conscience will reveal.
Remember to turn away from the lures of the world and seek the freedom of self-transformation.
If I really want a New Life, I can make a supereffort to remember these points. Take the last one for example. I can become more and more aware that the world is absolutely ruthless in its demand that human beings give their attention, time and energy to its pursuits, to its interests. No! Vernon urges us to rebel against this nonsense and to never forget that, as special creations of God, we are meant to soar spiritually.
Jack Carter lives in Los Angeles County where he works as a building and safety inspector for insurance companies. He found the Vernon Howard teachings and New Life in 1999.
New Life studies have taught me facts I never would’ve discovered on my own in a dozen lifetimes. For 34 years, I tried to conform to the tight, awkward, cookie-cutter role this world had laid out for me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but the pain was telling me I wasn’t living as nature intended. Your pain is telling you the exact same thing – the pain is the message. Many people try to cover up the pain, paint over it, or pretend it isn’t there. They spend their lives seeking security where it cannot be found, all the while pretending they’ve got it made in the shade, and that nothing’s ever going to affect “magnificent me.” Eventually, something always does affect them, for Reality has a way of making all of us recognize it, at one time or another. The study of Truth is to awaken you to the Reality of what your life is all about, and why you were put here in the first place.
The pain begins to ebb the moment you realize you’re a square peg who was never meant to “fit in” anyway. You have been called out from among them. Our purpose here is to reconnect with the exact same force that put us here in the first place. We were created to recognize the natural energy that simply wants to be honored as the sole force that created you, me, and everything we can see. We connect with that energy by looking inside and seeing what’s really happening.
Some people might be content to understand that fact alone; to know they’ve finally come to the point where they actually know why they’re here. The beauty of Truth is, it literally takes you by the hand – “lest you be like children…” – and it reveals to you in its own special way hundreds and thousands of other higher facts about life and human nature that you would never have discovered had you tried understanding such things on your own. When the student is ready, the teacher really does appear. It’s good to ponder the fact Vernon Howard did more work than you or I can ever imagine.
With Truth, while the rest of the world painfully grinds its way through the day, you can sit, walk, and move quietly about, caring for nothing but coming home to yourself and knowing you are safe and sound in the best hands possible. This is Truth Principles at Work, and they work for you, like hundreds of tiny workers at your beck and call, every moment of the day and night.
For example, you may observe others wasting their lives and ruining their health in a vain – meaning “empty” – attempt to become rich, successful, or powerful. As a student of Truth, you know the only true riches come down from God, and are discovered as you come home to yourself as often as you can, over and over again, throughout your day. You know the only kind of “success” is higher success, that all other forms of “success” are tied to personal vanity, identification, and possibly even a neurotic need to “prove” the existence of a self that doesn’t exist in the first place. Honestly, doesn’t this world have enough “rich” people as it is? Aren’t you excited to break away from the herd and try something truly new and different?
The only kind of power that satisfies is power over yourself and your own thoughts and emotions. You can observe a negative thought come in and tell it, “No!” which stops it in its tracks. You observe some people caught up in a quest to dominate a situation and control others, which is akin to herding cats – it simply can’t be done. People are going to do what they’re going to do, period, due to their level and states. The only thing you can do is let go and let it unravel as God wants it to.
Pick up any New Life book or booklet and begin reading anywhere, on any page. Listen to a Vernon Howard talk. In a moment, Truth will transport you far from your worldly problems and fears to a higher place where the Light is bright and everything is right. Then you will clearly see and finally understand your purpose on this earth
Kyle Rickert moved to Pagosa Springs, CO in 2009 after attending New Life classes in Southern California for a few years. She graduated with a BS in Fashion Design and has worked in the fashion industry since 2002. She now owns a clothing alteration business and creates custom designs on her own. She is a certified yoga instructor and teaches regularly in Pagosa Springs. She likes to spend time in the outdoors mountain biking, skiing, boating, rock climbing and hiking.
On a Sunday morning, after a New Life Class in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, I was floating down the river in my kayak and I made a connection. I felt like I was moving perfectly within the flow of the river and felt a wave of inspiration. Obstacles would come up around every bend, but there was an understanding there that put my mind at ease. I knew if I stayed in the moment, kept my attention on what was in front of me and stayed relaxed, an intuition would show me the next move to make. I drew a parallel to Vernon Howard's teachings. He tells a story of water flowing down a river, not resisting the forward motion or the rocks that it hits, but following the path that it was intended to follow no matter where it leads. My heart felt a warmth and it was a natural reminder as to why I have been coming back to these teachings for years.
Despite the impact of lessons like these, many days can pass where I let negative thoughts and impressions take me over and pull me away from that natural flow. Finding these teachings at the early age of 19, I have had a vast number of chances to see myself wander off the path, but luckily, I have had these classes, talks and books to use as guides to find my way back to a safe place. I have seen my mind try to substitute my own ideas and plans of how life should go and fight the direction that truth naturally guides me in. At some point though, the pain of certain decisions directs me back to where something tells me what my life should truly be.
I know in my heart that the life I am supposed to live has a joy and energy that cannot be touched by politics, fearful news in the world, a seemingly impossible work situation, a family disaster, or another relationship that I was just sure would work out this time. An understanding has grown over time that none of these situations or feelings have any real power over me and it is 100% my choice how they affect me.
It gives me strength and motivation every time I use these higher spiritual tools we have been given. The darkness gives way to something that lifts the burdens I've created in my mind and lets me not be a victim of the negativity. I have seen an important change in my life. The alternating peaks of exhilaration and depths of depression have lessened and now look less like the terrifying roller-coaster ride they once did. I have learned to not allow either extreme to take so much of my energy.
The ease of the water flowing down the river is how our lives should feel and the relief that comes from connecting to that powerful truth can be ours whenever and wherever we want to make the effort – it is our individual choice.
“Thank you so much. I am grateful to God to have these resources available to me.”
— Lady in Canada via e-mail
New Life surpasses ordinary riches and gold. Waking up from psychic sleep is the most intelligent way to spend your time.”
— E-mail from man in Virginia