After receiving a traditional education in photography from Sheridan College School of Visual Arts in Canada, Michael worked as an award winning commercial photographer in Toronto for 18 years. In 1979, while becoming increasingly frustrated with the manipulation of perception involved in conventional photography, he began to combine his photographic training, meditation experience and the Dharma/Shambhala Art Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa.
For the next three years he synthesized these into what for him was a new way of looking and seeing and a fresh body of work. These exercises and assignments formed the basis for the Miksang Contemplative approach, which shows us how to synchronize our eye and mind, so that perception is free from pre-conceived ideas, therefore direct and unfabricated. From 1982 until his death in 1990, Michael worked closely with the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin, the Dharma heir of Trungpa Rinpoche developing the Miksang teachings. In 1982 Michael was given the Buddhist Refuge Name, Chökyi Miksang (Good Eye of Dharma) by Ösel Tendzin.
In 1983 Michael developed a series of assignments and visual exercises, which became the first Level One and Two Miksang Courses.
Michael moved to Halifax Nova Scotia in 1989, and since then has continued developing and teaching Miksang Courses in Canada and Europe. For ten years was the Audio Visual Producer for Parks Canada, producing and directing documentary films. In 2004 two films were made about Miksang and Michael’s Journey with Contemplative Photography: ‘CBC Sunday’, and a segment of ‘Quiet Mind: Meditation for Real Life” which can be viewed on the Video and Interviews Page on this site
Michael is the co-author with Andy Karr of the book, ‘The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes’, published by Shambhala, April, 2011. Michael is currently working on his next book of Miksang teachings which will be published by Miksang Publications in 2014.
Michael resides in Toronto, Canada and currently acts as Management Consultant and Curriculum Development Advisor to the Miksang Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He also teaches all levels of Miksang Training in Canada and Europe