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  • Selva Lawler

Memoires of Maestro

Don Howard

October 3, 1947 — October 13, 2019

"We’re all on borrowed time," Don Howard noted, "just trying to borrow a little more." We're deeply grateful for your 72 years of service on our planet, Maestro.

Exactly one year has passed since Don Howard's ascension. He told many people that he envisioned transitioning the day of a Huachuma mesada. And wouldn't you know it, he did so on a day when we had a Huachuma mesada (and a full moon, no less). You might chalk this up to coincidence, but Don Howard didn't believe in them.

I'll share a memory from that day. Our group collectively gathered on the beach to sip in the sunset. We played a handful of songs on a portable speaker to enhance the viewing experience. One of the songs was Lady Gaga's "Always Remember Us This Way." It was as if every aspect of creation felt duty-bound to radiate the best parts of themselves, paying their own unique tribute to Don Howard's ascension. When it seemed unimaginable that the sky couldn't get more outrageously spectacular, with clouds morphing into condors with flapping wings, or into faces that smiled back at us, it seemed to suggest to us, "Oh, you think that's impressive? Well, check this out!" and it would transform into something that somehow impossibly one-upped its predecessor. At the very end, one incandescent star illuminated the entire sky. It didn't take a genius to connect the dots as to who was waving back at us. There was not a dry eye in the house.

When a person achieves greatness by the agreed-upon standards of society — you win Wimbledon, you win an Academy Award, you win the Nobel Prize in Physics — people correctly label that person as great. However, one more definition of greatness should be added to that mix. When a person achieves greatness by continually demonstrating goodness, they have done something much rarer and far more worthy of respect and praise. Regardless of what definition you use, Don Howard was great. May we all continue to look to his unyielding quest to keep raising the bar of what being of service is all about, as we strive to match that in our own way in our own lives.

A friend recently messaged me, writing, "So wild how I know you because I happened to walk by [our mutual friend] at the exact moment he utters the two words 'Don Howard' to someone in the middle of a giant sales conference. Gotta love the magic, my friend." Magic indeed. Don Howard was the real-life Gandalf the White, only better.

Don Howard's life’s work and vision have been like a bolt of lighting that positively electrified the entire world. He's still with us. It's beautiful to hear how he still visits some of you in dreams. In meditation. In ceremony. Throughout the ceremony of life.

How do you remember Don Howard? Do you have a memory, a reflection, a ceremonial experience, a pearl of wisdom that you'd like to share? We'd be grateful to read it. His life was a message, a message so worthy of our admiration and love.

Para el bien de todos!


P.S. Registration for our online convergence from Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1 is closing this Friday. Our intention is to raise money for SpiritQuest's staff and indigenous neighbors and also to reconnect as one family. ⁣If you are a SpiritQuest graduate interested in joining us, please fill out this link to secure your spot. If you would like to donate, kindly click here.


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