Michael Hess brings a unique perspective to the development of meditation in the West. His background combines many years of successful entrepreneurial experience with a dedicated long-term meditation and spiritual practice.
During the first 20 years of his career, Michael founded and managed a private investment company that launched two publicly traded financial services firms. Since then, Michael has served as a consultant and advisor to middle market companies and real estate firms seeking to raise capital and expand internationally.
Michael integrated a dedicated meditation practice into his life as an antidote to the pressures of his responsibilities as CEO. He discovered a deep connection to Tibetan Buddhism and took a two-year sabbatical to immerse himself in the language, culture and practices of this ancient tradition. In 2004, Michael became one of the few westerners ever granted permission to live in Lhasa, Tibet. Since then, he has returned many times to the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Tibet for spiritual pilgrimage, study and retreat.
Michael has been meditating for 28 years and has taught meditation and pranayama to practitioners at all levels of experience, including meditation and yoga teachers, private clients, Buddhist and secular groups, non-profits, government organizations, and multi-national corporations including the Fortune 50. He has lived and studied in both India and Tibet, and has trained for many years in the most advanced methods of meditation and pranayama.
Michael recently returned to the USA after a year-long solitary meditation retreat at Pangan Gonpa, a remote Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the north Indian Himalayas. Upon returning from retreat, Michael founded Discovering Mind to spread the joy and benefits of meditation for individuals seeking an authentic path to this Eastern spiritual tradition. Discovering Mind offers meditation teacher training, long-term mentoring programs, classes, workshops and retreats for aspiring teachers as well as practitioners at all levels of experience.
Michael is an authorized instructor of The Relaxed Mind seven-step approach to learning meditation developed by Dza Kilung Rinpoche. He is certified by Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200). He looks forward to sharing his experiences, insight and stories with you.
Discovering Mind organized and manages the student sponsorship program at Pangan Gonpa, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The monastery sits perched on the side of a steep cliff in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Pangan Gonpa was established in 1965 and is currently home to more than 110 monks and nuns, ranging in age from 20 to 80. In 2014, the monastery developed plans to build a school for young children from the surrounding region. There would be facilities for 30 students who would live at the school and receive a traditional monastic education in the authentic Tibetan language. Construction began that year, and the grand opening of the Pangan Gonpa Ngoedup Choeling School was held in June 2017. Today, there are 19 students ranging in age from 5 to 17, and new students continue to arrive from throughout the Himalayan region.
The monastery pays for all expenses to maintain and operate the school, but is seeking western sponsors to provide funds for the children’s housing, food, clothing and medical expenses. These costs average $50 per student per month, however any amount of financial support you can provide would be deeply appreciated.
Sponsors who are interested can develop a relationship with their students by sharing pictures, letters or sending small gifts or other types of support. This is truly a joyful experience for the sponsors and the kids are so happy and proud to know they have someone in the world who cares.
Please consider getting involved with a student at the Pangan Gonpa Ngoedup Choeling School.