A native of Massachusetts, Michael quest to find his place in the world involved stints at Boston College (BA) and Duke University (MPP) - followed by forays into an international dialogue on peace and recovery in Central America, grassroots philanthropy, a long-shot presidential campaign and early attempts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
In 1996, a surprising sense of inner neglect prompted Michael to leave his work without a plan and listen to his heart - which revealed its secret desire to know the deepest potential of love, followed by a few strange coincidences, a wrenching ordeal and a startling new vision in which the core of one's heart is inseparable from everything in the visual field.
Michael's desire to express the raw, sacred intimacy led to exciting new work with several groundbreaking nonprofit ventures until his search for a solution to a world in crisis led to an experimental leadership gathering in 1998 - where he was drawn into a radiant, unmanifest state (aka samadhi) and gave a pulsating, ecstatic talk about the "space beyond words" .
While holding this creative niche close to the vest, Michael gave up his apartment and acquired an old pickup truck to drive across country until the engine seized outside a temple, so he rented an adobe cottage in the high desert and breathed the sacredness of life into the surrounding landscape - with no idea where this recklessness would lead next.
For an outsider, the contemporary psycho-spiritual arena felt like walking onto a new planet that is nearly impossible to comprehend due to gaps between the words that practitioners in the know often use and the energy behind them, so Michael hung out a shingle as a handyman and took time to write about the inconceivable revelation of no path
When the time was right, a sage arrived in a dream to share some advice for working with people, so Michael launched a series of small, informal dialogues on awakening followed by eclectic, week-long gatherings and annual wilderness adventures, with an emphasis on converting one's own deepest potential into a unique, embodied reality – that is the Work.
"I know that a change is needed but I also like how things are, which might explain why I have not seen you in a while (laughter) - S.C. executive coach
"Painting is my path to God, but insights that come from that process were not translating into my life. Your work bridges that gap and more." - B.K., workshop leader.
"People often misunderstand our work - it's not that Michael tells me what to do, he guides me to hear the deepest part of my Self." - D.S., guide/parent
"I have been in spiritual circles for most of my life, but never talked this way to my heart before." - E.M., frreelance writer
"II would be easier to have a title, but there is no word to describe what you are". - V.B., pioneer in bioenergy/life restoration
"At first, I was surprised that the Work did not offer a formal period of meditation, but then in the middle of a conversation, a deep silence would break out and draw everyone in." ~ C.E. painting instructor/hospice nurse
“When I tell my husband that I have a session with Michael, I laugh and say that I am going to the hangman’s noose.” ~ K.H., tree climber/forest advocate
“I tried to get Michael to sympathize with the hurt that I felt with my former master, but he gave my story no room to maneuver.” - J.S., recovering non dualist/yoga teacher
"It is tempting to say that I am learning to be more honest, but the more difficult truth may be that I am learning what honesty means for the very first time." - S.C., retired therapist
"People keep asking how you have changed since high school so I told them not much - there are just a few more people listening." - P.S. pilot/outdoor enthusiast
"I found the experience amazing and transformative. I was not used to so much love ... to be so openly expressed." ~ D.W., feminist scholar/poet
"I can't help noticing that those storm clouds above the canyon are strangely responsive to the work that we do here.." - B.S., cosmic priest
"After watching for a few years, it seems to me that this work places you in a place of constant confrontation with our view of reality." - J.I., physicist
"You sure do have a gift for bringing out the shadow in spiritual groups,." - S.B,. philanthropist
“Before witnessing that exchange, I never imagined that caring and fierceness could be combined as one and need to bring that blend into my work too." ~ J.S., meditation teacher
"What you are describing is found in ancient scriptures from the East, even if you have not read them yet." - L.K., yoga teacher
"Tell Michael that everything that he warned us about turned out to be true." - R.Y., chicano leader/activist
"It's like you came and went without a care in the world and left total chaos in your wake (laughter)." - J.O., leadership/change consultant
“We don't even know what to call Michael, but when anything new happens here, he is right in the middle of it.” ~ D.S., entrepreneur/philanthropist
"You don't have any credentials to do this work, or even a title, so how is it even happening (laughter)?" R.S., science writer