A native of the Boston area, Michael's interest in self-discovery led him through Boston College (BA) and Duke University (MPP) - and was followed by forays into an international dialogue on peace and recovery in Central America, a long-shot presidential campaign and early attempts to study and mitigate the impact of climate change.
A sense of neglecting his inner being prompted Michael to leave a small consulting group for a conversation with his heart, where he stumbled on a desire to know the deepest potential of love - followed by a strange series of events, a wrenching ordeal and a startling new vision in which the core of his heart was inseparable from everything in the visual field.
Michael's exploration of this raw, sacred intimacy led to exciting new work as a catalyst with several nonprofit ventures until his sense of an even deeper potential drew him to an experimental leadership gathering in 1998 - where his inquiry drew him into the origin of creation and an ecstatic talk about the "space beyond words" (aka samadhi).
While keeping the revelation of a divine "I" close to the vest, Michael gave up his apartment in Washington, DC and drove a pickup truck across country where the engine seized outside a wilderness temple, so he rented a cottage in a small village in the middle of nowhere and breathed into the fabric of existence with no idea how the transition would go.
To Michael's ears, some of the most prominent teachings of no path relied on relentless, caustic critiques of the teacher-student paradigm and sounded more like a political reprisal against authority than an invitation to know the depth and beauty of one's own heart, so he experimented with different venues for sharing the way of love.
As the revelations continued to unfold in the desert, a luminous sage arrived in a dream with a final nudge, so Michael launched a series of small, informal talks, eclectic week-long gatherings and annual river/wilderness adventures, with an emphasis on converting the light of one's deepest Self into an actual, embodied reality – that is the Work.
"Painting is definitely my path to G-d, but insights that come from the creative process were not translating into my life. Michael's work bridged 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 seeker/guide
"There is not really a word to describe what you are". - V.B., bioenergy master
"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. healer/hospice worker
“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., retired tree climber/forest advocate
"I have been in spiritual circles for most of my life, but never had this kind of conversation with my heart before." - E.M., frreelance writer
“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., yoga teacher
"It is tempting to say that I am learning to be more honest, but the more difficult truth is that I may be learning what honesty means for the very first time." - S.C., retired therapist
"People keep asking how Michael has changed since high school and I tell them not much - there are just a few more people listening these days." - P.S. pilot
"I can't help noticing that those storm clouds above the rim are strangely responsive to our work on this sandbar (laughter)." - B.S., cosmic priest
"I found the experience amazing and transformative. I was unused to so much love – from both leader and participants – to be so openly expressed." ~ D.W., feminist scholar/poet
"How are we supposed to tell people about this work when those of us who come to the gatherings can't even describe it to each other (laughter)?." - I.B, writer
"You sure do have a gift for bringing out the shadow in spiritual groups, whether you mean to or not." - S.B,. philanthropist
"After watching closely for a few years, it seems to me that this work places you on the edge of constant confrontation with our view of reality." - J.S., physicist
"Could you go away, we can't think when you are around." - P.T. , artist/healer
“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 the most ancient sutras 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 activist
“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
"It's like you came and went without a care in the world and left total chaos in your wake." - J.O., leadership/change consultant
"Wait a second, you don't have any credentials to do this kind of work (laughter). " R.S., science writer/truth seeker