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.
“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