A native of Massachusetts, Michael quest to find his place in the world involved educational stints at Boston College (BA) and Duke University (MPP) followed by work with an international commission on peace and recovery in Central America, grassroots philanthropy, a long-shot presidential campaign and consulting on climate change and related issues
In 1996, a felt sense of inner neglect prompted Michael to leave his consulting work without a backup plan - until a conversation with his heart revealed desire to know the deepest potential of love, followed by a few strange coincidences, a wrenching ordeal and a startling vision in which the core of one's heart is inseparable from everything in view
Michael's attempt to express this raw exquisite intimacy led to exciting new work as a catalyst/advisor with several groundbreaking nonprofit ventures until this exploration of the sacred led to a leadership gathering in 1998 - where he was drawn into a luminous, unmanifest state (aka samadhi) and gave an ecstatic talk about a "space beyond words" .
When the disruptive nature of his work provoked a backlash from clients, Michael drove a pickup truck across country until the engine seized outside a temple - so he improvised by renting a cottage in a small rustic village and breathing into the wild beauty of the landscape without knowing where this devotion to the unseen was supposed to lead next
As 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 the inhabitants use and the actual energy behind them, so Michael hung out a shingle as a handyman and took time to write about awakening "without a master" or even an idea of one.
In 2002, a radical sage arrived in a dream to offer some useful advice for working with people, so Michael launched a series of small, informal dialogues followed by eclectic, week-long gatherings and 16 day river/wilderness adventures, with an emphasis on converting the light of one's deepest Self into a unique, embodied reality – that is the Work.
"I know that a deeper change is needed in my life 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 did not translate into my life and work. Michael's 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., spiritual guide
"I have been in spiritual circles for most of my life, but never talked this way to my heart before." - E.M., freelance writer
"I know that it might be easier to have a title for your work, but there is no word to describe what you are". - V.B., pioneer in bioenergy/life restoration
"There area not many people in this town who want to do the work that you offer." - C.T., buddhist teacher/therapist
"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/community builder
"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 but I told them not much - there are just a few more people listening now." - 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 rim are strangely responsive to the work that we are doing out 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 the beliefs that we hold." - J.I., physicist
"You sure do have a gift for bringing out the shadow in groups,." - S.B,. philanthropist
"I want you to know that I'm not always having a breakdown, just when i'm around you." - R.G., community activist
“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
"The revelations that you are describing are found in the most ancient scriptures from the East, even if you have not read them yet." - L.K., yoga teacher
"I think I know what you are really doing." - R.L., artist/healer
"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
"Wait a second, you don't have a job title, or any training, so how can this work be happening (laughter)?" R.S., science writer
"People don't miss the water until the well runs dry." - B.T., consultant/project manager