Anthony Lamport

The first time Michael and I met we became friends. We discovered right away that we had the same unswerving life purpose. His came through a profound devotion to his teacher Trungpa Rinpoche and a desire to fulfill his final wishes, mine came through a personal revelation - but they were the same unusual calling – to build in Nova Scotia, of all the unlikely places in the world, an island of sanity and wisdom for the future of an increasingly troubled and darkening world. We didn’t decide to work together, it was just obvious that we should, and we did, off and on for the next thirty years. In the first year of the first project we worked on, it was then called the Shambhala Institute, I witnessed Michael’s razor-sharp wit and luminous wisdom as they combined in a quick moment. He and I took on the task of checking out the local Art College as a possible venue for a large international event. One stormy afternoon, in very wet raincoats, we climbed several flights of stairs up to a huge high-ceilinged attic space with massive wooden beams built during the Napoleonic Wars. There was a class in progress seated in a block of chairs in the well-lit centre of the space surrounded by dark shadows. We listened to the lecture for a couple of minutes from the doorway. It was something about Surrealism. It was pedantic and uninspiring. I gestured to Michael and began to leave making some noise opening the door. Suddenly the lecturer noticed us and said with a slight undercurrent of aggression “Can I help you with something?” After a two-beat silence Michael replied in a flat curt tone, answering a different question, “ Thought Police” then started to follow me downstairs. There was brief silence followed by whispered confusion in the big room. Michael turned and stepped back into the room and said in a reassuring voice “Don’t worry folks, there are no signs of that kind of activity here”. The room erupted behind him. I knew from then on that keeping up with Michael was going to be a challenge and a profound, life changing privilege, which it was. Thank-you my friend for sharing your warm friendship and cool warriorship, for sharing your diamond hard commitment to Nova Scotia and thereby making my similar one seem almost reasonable in the process, and thank-you for your amazing spark. I am deeply grateful to have known you and had your trust. Michael, travel well