Connie Moffit

Michael was so dear to me, a long-time friend, and something of a father - that's the only word that really fits. He took “response”-ability for those he loved, a lot of people (maybe everyone). His care and love were always so clear, offered so generously, with a kind of unconditionality and appreciation that one rarely experiences. His deep relaxation and ever-present sense of humor meant so much – that sharp-eyed heruka smile, a flash of light – somehow giving me confidence in his wisdom, enough to often seek his superb advice, which he seemed always to have a moment to give. I can't tell you the number of times I asked him what he thought about this or that, often via Facebook messenger or email. Years ago, 2002, I was making a tv series called Quiet Mind: Meditation for Real Life, and came from Vancouver with the producer to Halifax for research. Michael went out of his way to have lunch with us. What excitement! His openness and enthusiasm, his interest in her and her work, made an instant meeting of the minds. I remember he had been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” (it was just out), and told her about it – and then their minds mutually blazed forth, it was exciting to see. Months afterward, as we labored on, she would say to me, I LIKED that guy. And later, when we needed an “emergency” letter of support to land some grant money, Michael kindly stayed up late and wrote one, and helped us land half a million dollars which made the difference in getting the show made. Michael knew value, could recognize quality. Of the many wise things he said over the years, one thing I remember above all: When speaking of the Shambhala teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche, Michael said that we too often keep them on a high shelf, gathering dust, when really, if fully appreciated, they belong in a golden bowl in the center of the coffee table, in the middle of our lives. That was a difference he understood and modeled every day, in every way. I am so grateful to Michael and so sad that he is gone, seemingly ahead of his time – though I trust he’ll find just the right helpful rebirth and be back with us soon. Still, I will miss him, a lot.