Michael G. Burbank has been a student of Robert Thurman and HH the XIV Dalai Lama for over 25 years, since his undergraduate years at Columbia University. In February of 2002 he was invited to help the Thurmans and Tibet House start the newly acquired Menla retreat. Over the years, he worked variously as Menla’s dishwasher, housekeeper, Front of House Manager, and Assistant Director, and since 2013 he has served as Menla’s Director.
Michael received the Kalachakra Tantra initiation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama twice–in 2003 and 2017–in Bodh Gaya, India. An avid life-long student and practitioner of Buddhism, Michael teaches classes at Menla and occasionally co-leads retreats. He is working in conjunction with a team of entrepreneurs and mindfulness teachers to launch Mindwell Labs, a for-profit mindfulness tech company intended to further the efforts of Tibet House US/Menla nationwide through a cutting edge health app that monitors anxiety. In his spare time, he works on spiritually-based graphic novels, including most recently as letterer and co-author of Man of Peace: the Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama with William Meyers and Robert Thurman.
Events with Michael G. Burbank
April 4 - 7, 2024
Long before Tibet House was gifted the 330-acre Menla property, an extensive web of hiking trails allowed guests to experience the magic, serenity, and natural splendor of our enchanted forest. With the help of intrepid volunteers over the years, we have restored several of the old trails on our property completely, and each year we tend those trails in the spring, clearing away leaves and storm debris and grooming them for guests to use the rest of the year. Any extra time we have after the annual maintenance is finished is used to remove invasive plants, build bridges, further restore…