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Michael Menahem Gottlieb’s life epitomized the spiritual journey. At the young age of 22, Michael became an ordained rabbi. Two years later, he was elected head of an orthodox congregation in New York and, at 30, was appointed Dean of Chaim Joseph Rabbinical Seminary. For 14 years, Michael studied and taught the word of God according to the Torah and Talmud.

After earning his master’s degree in psychology from Loyola University, Michael trained extensively with leading scholars in the fields of Gestalt, Reichian, psychomotor, bioenergetics, and transpersonal psychology. And during an extended stay in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, he pursued an interest in Russian psychological theory and methodology with some of the foremost Soviet mental health professionals.

Michael later founded Professional Psychotherapy Associates in Los Angeles, where he maintained a successful private practice as a therapist, treating individuals, couples, and groups. In addition to his practice, he gave lectures and led workshops in psychokinesis, autogenics, Jungian symbology, tribal dream analysis, and journal writing therapy.

Michael’s passion for theology drew him eastward, traveling to India, Nepal, and Tibet, where he deepened his understanding of yoga and meditation. He briefly lived as a renunciate in an ashram and studied Tibetan Buddhism under the tutelage of the lamas of Dharamsala.

Incorporating his decades of experience as a scholar, a teacher, and a professional therapist, Michael founded Royal Way in 1979 as an accessible spiritual community for the modern individual seeking a better understanding of one’s self and a stronger relationship with the divine.

Michael established Royal Way Spiritual Center in Southern California’s high desert for Royal Way retreats—a spiritual home encompassing every aspect of his vision, from abundant gardens and orchards to sacred meditation sites.

As a Master Teacher, Michael conducted workshops, retreats, classes, and private sessions over the next 31 years with the Royal Way community. 
Michael passed away on August 9, 2010. His devoted pupil of more than 40 years, Maggi Hodge, keeps his legacy alive by fostering the Royal Way community and facilitating its spiritual retreats.

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