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Michael Stone, Beloved Buddhist Teacher, In Coma, Taken Off Life Support

in YD News


We were deeply saddened to hear that beloved Buddhist teacher Michael Stone had suddenly taken ill on July 13th and had reportedly fallen into a coma. We’ve now learned that Stone has been taken off of life support as of Sunday evening, July 16, according to his partner.

Michael Stone is a British Columbia-based Buddhist teacher, yogi, author and social activist. Though he was based in Canada, Stone often traveled internationally to teach workshops and lead retreats. He’s the author of multiple books bridging Buddhism, yoga, and social action, most recently Family Wakes Us Up, a collaboration with Matthew Remski, and according to his recent Facebook posts, he was working on several more, including The National Parks of the Mind: A Field Guide to Mental States.

On Friday, July 14, a status update was posted to Stone’s Facebook page: “This post is to let you all know that Michael was hospitalized in Victoria yesterday evening. He is in a coma, and being monitored closely. Carina is by his side. We ask that you send them both your thoughts and prayers. We cannot answer any individual questions at this time but will update this page as soon as more information becomes available, and according to the family’s wishes. Thank you.”

Stone’s partner Carina posted later Friday evening that Michael was “between worlds right now,” and encouraged his friends and students to “sit, feel, cry, stand up and move your body.”

Though little is known yet as to the cause of Stone’s sudden condition, Carina shared that Stone “didn’t return from a day trip to town” and that “he was taken to the hospital in a coma and had lost all brain function by the time he arrived,” she said in a message posted Sunday afternoon, July 16. She also shared that they would be taking him off life support.

Here is the full message via Michael Stone’s Facebook page:

Dear Michael’s Friends, Students and Loved Ones,

Thank you all for your love and support for Michael during this difficult time. We are writing to keep you informed of what is happening.

On Thursday night Michael didn’t return from a day trip to town. He was taken to the hospital in a coma and had lost all brain function by the time he arrived. His body has been kept on life support over the weekend while his family came to say their goodbyes and surround him with love. He will remain on life support until tonight (Sunday) between 8pm and 1am Pacific Time. If you can practice and send love and blessings in whatever way you can during that time, it would be a welcome and loving support to Michael and all of us.

We are still piecing together what happened and will need some time to learn, process and share more with you. In the meantime, we would appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we move through this experience.

With Immense Love,
Carina and Jayme

For those who know Michael Stone or know of his teachings, we invite you to share your thoughts, prayers and good memories below, or over on his Facebook page where the outpouring of love and admiration continues to flow.

We will keep you posted on any updates.

We leave you with this. Take a few minutes to breathe, courtesy of Michael Stone and his Awake in the World podcast.


UPDATE: Michael Stone has passed. A message from his partner Carina was posted on his Facebook page around 2pm (eastern).

This is Carina.

Michael left beautifully and peacefully last night. There was joy and release in his time of transformation.

Unfathomable. Heart opening. Mind grasping for knowing every unknowable.
Deep feelings of peace.

A blue heron landed on our deck
Another at the oceans edge
Three turns of the earth
Always in a moment
His nose
Face of a Buddha
A hand on my shoulder
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhisvaha
Prajna heart sutra

Thank you for your love and practice

photo: Caitlin Strom 
22 comments… add one
  • Deepest sorrow to Michaels family and our community. The loss of a Dhamma teacher is great in a world so difficult. His light was bright and shined through from the beginning. His friendship and love awakened those around him.
    May we rise from our sufferings and awaken.
    Sending love to Michaels family, only love.

  • I have read several of Michael’s books. His teachings are a gift to the world. Michael is in the Bardo now and needs out prayers for his transitions. Blessings Michael and your loving family.

  • Brendan Mc Alorum

    I’ve been following Micheal since 2009,he’s helped me so much with my depression and anxiety,his books give me so much help and joy,i joined one of his online courses which was great to,I pary for him and his family

  • Della Eames

    I pray Jesus will come to Michael in his state and accept Him into his heart, to be with Him in Paradise!! Jn 3:16

  • I had just discovered beloved global spiritual teacher and yoga/buddhist activist Michael Stone through his engaged, real world philosophy and global work – I read some of his writings and listened to several podcasts. Two days later, he is gone.

    I know, of course, he is not only gone, but also, in another sense, found — to the extent he is loved, memorialized/held in memory, essence and spirit, and well-internalized in the lives of those who love him so well, he lives on.
    and so, hello and farewell, dear Michael.
    May the depths of bonds of love and attachment hold and cradle those who love you best – now in their sorrow, and in years ahead through continuing bonds of attachment.

  • It deeply bothers me the mystery, cover-up of information on the cause of his death.
    The lack of truthful information waters distrust. Is this his legacy?

    • Antoinette Simms

      To Sylvia C Shcroll, did you happen to read Carina’s letter? She wrote that they don’t know yet what happened as he became ill suddenly. She asked for everyone to have patience while they find out. They have to do an autopsy and figure out what happened. His legacy lives on and has little to do with why he died. Patience, love and compassion are his legacy and that’s what’s really needed at this time.

    • Yogi flu

      I heard it was cocaine overdose…but never judge a book by its cover….

  • Sue

    To: Antoinette Simms. I agree with Sylvia Schroll. Something doesn’t stack up here in what we are being told. People don’t just “go into a coma” out of the blue. Something causes it. That could be a head injury, like a car accident or a fall or getting struck on the head. That would be pretty obvious as a cause and there’s no reason not to say he was in a car accident or fell. Someone who has a heart attack and cardiac arrest can also go into a coma like this if CPR isn’t started soon enough. A stroke or brain aneurism could also cause a coma. The medics would have diagnosed all of these causes with a brain scan within 30 minutes of being in the emergency room. They don’t need an autopsy at all. If you are informing the public about someone being in a coma, there is no reason not to also say they had a heart attack or stroke or were in a car accident. Or just say the person died and you want privacy.
    Another reason for someone to go into a coma like this is a drug overdose. Look up the singer Andrew Wood from Seattle. Very similar situation where he was in a coma for a few days on life support.
    People lead double lives sometimes, and the Buddhist community, for all of their aphorisms and platitudes, are one of the most political groups out there. The partial information certainly smacks of a cover-up and leads to questions as to what really happened. I don’t know Stone, and have never read his books, but I can see why, if someone died from a cause that didn’t fit with their public persona, people might want to cover that up.

    • haley

      Yogi flu, do you have any sources for it being a cocaine overdose? That would make some sense and it explains some of what others here are speculating is a cover up of the cause of death. Someone is an author in the yoga community, who is teaching about life and a world out of balance and is sort of a life coach and stuff like that. It’s like it undermines their whole stated mission if they are a closet drug user. Whether that is justified or not, it is true. We expect our spiritual teachers to be squeaky clean.

    • A brain Aneurysm can cause a situation like this.

  • Is one of the most perceptive people Michael Stone has demonstrated a lot of social development views today

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  • Barry Soetoro

    It’s interesting that yogadork is also spinning this as “he suddenly took ill and fell into a coma” because that is likely not what happened. The rumor, alluded to in some of the comments, is that there is a bit more to the story. I imagine the spin doctors who have a vested interest in this will be out in force. Yogadork lost credibility a long time ago.

  • New to Michael’s masterful teachings, just reviewd some of those on suicide. I observe, in light of the obvious issues regarding cause of death, suggestions of bipolarality- expansiveness, voracious reading, writing & speaking, constant movement, travel and urge for connectedness , risk taking pushing limits, restless, incredibly sensitive and disclosing, astute– while not negative characteristics, if they were indicators of a bipolar process untreated, they could account for a rapid descent into a depressive state, poor judgment, uncharacteristic or overuse of substances, vulnerability to being exploited in a drug induced state, etc. As a trauma psychologist, I’ve had experience with individuals displaying a similar constellation of issues (plus others) that resulted in precipituous suicide. These were psychotherapists and ministers whose families were completely in the dark regarding the meaning of some of their symptoms over the years, partly because the men were such high achievers , and particularly charismatic in their compassionate relating to others in pain. They failed, or were unable, to get effective help for themselves, probably partly a function of distorted thinking (mood -affected – grandiosity plus depressive constriction of options) and with time, the depressive episodes came closer and closer together. This is merely hypothesis in the baffling case of much belived Michael, whom all of you know better than I do. It is something I would be wanting to rule out as a clinician as it is not an uncommon scenario. I would be very surprised if they had not already considered this possibility.

    • kalixasane

      You were right. It’s so very sad. But you were right.

      • yeah

        Yeah, kalizasane, maybe a little “too right”…as in pre-spinning.

    • Polly Moore

      Thank you Marilee Ruebsamen for your compassionate and knowledgable comment. I found it very helpful in understanding what may have happened. The rumour I heard is that Michael suffered a fentanyl induced coma. If this is true, I hope that the story is brought to light in time so that it can be grappled with honestly, discussed sensitively and intelligently, and Michael can be known as more than his public persona; as a complex person struggling with his own demons and pain. I believe his family should be cut some slack for the vague and confusing public statement they have provided thus far – obviously this would be extremely difficult for them to address, both personally and publicly, and perhaps they are taking the time to determine what they are willing or obligated to share.

    • Thank you for this link. Recently, I began working with folks in recovery. These are battles I do not understand personally, but open my own heart to be present with them while teaching them yoga. A mantra I find helpful during my time serving them is , “I see your suffering and I see your courage”. Michael was more than courageous for a very long time. His family saw his suffering up close while accompanying him on his journey. His suffering and his courage mattered.

  • texmex

    There is still alot in the recent statement that raises eyebrows. I understand that there is a legacy etc to protect, but some of it doesn’t add up. They say that initial toxicology tests “suggest” inconclusively that he had opioids, including fentanyl, in his system. The thing is, those tests are highly accurate and conclusive. The statement also implies that it will be months before a final report. I dunno. Then there’s the thing about going to a pharmacy to get a non addictive drug. That doesn’t add up. Pharmacies require prescriptions. It’s like they are dancing around the drug use. Why? Is it so bad for someone to be a drug user?
    “Spiritual teachers” often live two lives–that’s part of the allure. On the one hand you have a bunch of followers who hang on your every word. Then there is the real you. Living a double life can be exciting. It’s a form of psychopathy itself. We’ve seen it with tele-evangelists and gurus so many times–look at the other big one exposed here back in 2012.
    And these spiritual leaders look at their followers with cynicism, like they are a bunch of schmucks.
    I guess I want more details, more answers. Where was he found? Who was he with when he was found? Who brought him to the hospital. The statement dances around that, making it seem like the Mounties found him. That isn’t the way it went down though. He must have been in a place where people take drugs, possibly with others who are spiritual “leaders”. Was his drug use a long term thing and were his writings a sham? Look at the film “Kumare”.

  • neil

    I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door
    I love you, baby, can I have some more
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

    I hit the city and I lost my band
    I watched the needle take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done.

    I sing the song because I love the man
    I know that some of you don’t understand
    Milk-blood to keep from running out.

    I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun…

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