Eric Ruby

I only met John about a year ago but during that year he impressed me with his generosity; he grew to be a good friend and I am very sad he has left our world. My heart goes out to his daughter Brighid, who recently moved back to Halifax to be with John. When I joined DDL’s governing council in early 2023, John was actively developing a plan for DDL to go ‘totally electric’ by installing solar panels that would be sufficient to provide all its energy. He had researched the regulations that would allow DDL to use ‘net metering’, i.e. banking electricity credits during the sunny months and using the energy as needed year round. He had also spent a lot of time working with vendors to design the various aspects of this solar-electric system. By chance, we both happened to be going to the Profound Treasury retreat in June and we planned to spend some time in the afternoons there working on a set of slides to use in fundraising for the solar project. We were going to meet on a Wednesday afternoon, but when Wednesday rolled around, I realized I needed to start planning the end-of-retreat banquet, so I told him I couldn’t work on the slides. John said, ‘oh, do you need help planning the banquet – I can help you’. That he did, and he ended up being the MC for it. Based on stories others have told me, this was typical for John - he was always willing to jump in and help. After he returned to Nova Scotia, John was volunteering several days a week at DDL, working on getting the practice pavilion ready for the upcoming dathun. He was very committed to making sure the facility was in good shape and that the dathun would go well, as he really cared about DDL’s reputation. I talked with him frequently in July and August, and he mentioned that his back was hurting, but he kept working on the pavilion and other projects at DDL, despite the pain. During that time he also helped Brighid pack and drove her cross country and helped get her settled to start a new job. In late August, when his back pain became severe he started to have some medical tests, but said he would be back to volunteer more at DDL. The next time I saw him in person was during a program on healing at DDL in November. He was clearly very ill, having difficulty even walking up the 3 or 4 stairs to get into the main building. But when his health improved briefly in December and January, he joined the DDL governing council, continuing to offer everything he could. I gather that John was devoted to his family, especially to Brighid, and to the sangha and our mandala throughout his life; and over the past year, he gave his last full measure of devotion.