LoVE – Pay it Forward
First of all, if you are reading this in a reader or by email, please do take a moment to come and see my beautiful new blog header, created for me by Caroline at Constantly Evolving. This was a prime example of not really knowing I needed or wanted a change, but seeing afterwards that it was definitely meant to be. If you are feeling like your blog needs a little ‘rebirth’, and (like me) have no graphics skills whatsoever, do check out her offerings.
This is Matt Wadleigh, whose death I wrote about at this time last year, and whose life I wrote about a little bit later. This video is the tribute offered by Dave Matthews at one of his concerts, and this picture is Matt holding his famous LoVE sign. You can read more about that at the foundation created in his honor by family and friends.
That part of Matt’s life – the DMB concerts and LoVE signs – were not the part of Matt’s life I knew best. The part of Matt’s life that I knew was his profound spiritual search. He was perhaps the most profound seeker I have known in this lifetime. It was an honor and privilege to witness and nurture that spiritual journey, and to see the LoVE emanate from him every time I saw him.
He passed mysteriously from this earth at 30 years old, of causes that are still basically unknown. He laid down to sleep and did not wake up – at least not in this world. The very mysteriousness of his death, although a shock, seems to have been a gift in its own way to everyone who knew him. In a world where science and technology seem to always have the answers, how could a very healthy 30-year old with everything to live for just not wake up? It’s been a lesson in humility, in surrender, in recognizing that life itself is not fully within our control. It is mysterious. It just unfolds.
It’s been my great privilege to get to know his family in the last year, and through his (amazing) mother to hear about how other family and friends have processed his passing. Everyone – family, friends, acquaintances – have been pushed to go inward. I see this also amongst the meditation group that he was a part of with me. His passing was a profound deepening. For myself, I probably would not be teaching or blogging now if I hadn’t known him.
At his memorial last year, I read a set of quotes on love, from all different religions, and thought I would share them here, as they demonstrate what we all do know at some level – that LoVE is the essence of our being, and the impetus for the universal human spiritual drive, including the creation of religions (whatever may happen to them afterwards!):
No one truly has joy
Unless he lives in love.
– Saint Thomas Aquinas
I awake every dawn with a winged heart
And give thanks for another day of loving.
– Kahlil Gibran
Live in joy,
Even among those who hate…
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet love of the way.
Come out of the circle of time,
And into the circle of love.
– Islamic Sufi poet Rumi
Our real personality
Is all light, all love,
– Hindu Upanishads
Open your eyes of love, and see that which pervades this world!
– Indian poet Kabir
The important thing
Is not to think much
But to love much.
Do in life what best stirs you to love.
– St. Teresa of Avila
I think the best way to commemorate Matt’s passing, or maybe more importantly his message, is to pay it forward. Do something kind, something loving, for someone today, just out of the blue. The more unexpected the better. A random act of love. For someone you know, or even better, a perfect stranger. Don’t scare anyone – they don’t even have to know. But you know.
So that’s my request today, in Matt’s honor, of anyone who reads this. Pay it forward! And for fellow bloggers, Facebookers, Tweeters, consider asking the same of your readers/friends/followers in coming days. No linkback here, that is not what this is about! Just quietly, let’s create a little ripple of love.