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Native To Life was founded in 2022 and exists as an offering of perspective for those on a journey into deeper connection with Life, Nature, Presence, and Oneself. It was born from a question posed to NTL Founder, Michael Zeff, around a sacred fire.


After a fifteen-kilometer barefoot hike and six humbling river-crossings, Zeff made his way to the home of an Arhuaco-Mamo family in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern Colombia. Each night they gathered around a fire to share and discuss the message of the Mamo, the protectors of the heart of Earth. Their message is powerful and gracious, rooted in the importance of communing with and stewarding Mother Earth, on whom we all depend for life.

On Zeff’s fifth night with the Mamo, they spoke directly about the great imbalances Earth is currently experiencing. The Mamo understand that this imbalance is a reflection or manifestation of the imbalanced way of life of their “brothers and sisters of the West,” and emphasized the importance of resolving these imbalances as soon as possible. Zeff asked how the Mamo imagine that change taking place. One elder leaned forward and looked directly into Zeff’s eyes across the fire.

“Brother, they’re not coming here to the middle of the forest to listen to us. But you… you speak their language, right? You look like them. You come from where they come from, don’t you?
What are you going to do? How will you make a change?”


Days later, a realization came to Zeff. In his decade of living and learning with indigenous peoples around the world, he’s witnessed three fundamental characteristics present in each one of them: a deep connection with Nature, connection with one’s inner Being, and intimate connection with the Present moment. Indeed, these are not aspects of any one culture, but are essential foundation blocks of all of them.

Astoundingly, these connections are largely ignored and nearly inexistent in the majority of Western society.

Zeff immediately put his focus here and began creating Native To Life, to offer pointers and perspective for those interested in connecting with Nature, Being, and the Present. We focus on sharing approachable means of connection for people from Western society that are common to all people, and as such, do not appropriate cultures along the way.

Mamo elder herding sheep — Sierra Nevadas, Colombia

Native To Life Founder, Michael Zeff

“If you take life seriously enough, you’ll eventually find yourself giggling at it all.”

— Michael zeff


Michael Zeff was raised by his single mother in low–middle class suburbs in the United States. After earning a full-ride scholarship to a private university he boarded a one-way flight to New Zealand, unknowingly beginning more than a decade-long journey of international travel, natural studies, and communion with the depths of reality.
In that time he has led countless yoga classes and retreats, earned dual Reiki Master certifications with hundreds of hours of sessions, Family Constellations Facilitation, Tibetan Sound Bowl Practitioner, and Permaculture/Agroforest Design Certifications with years of experience in food forest systems, and beyond. He has studied and lived alongside indigenous healers, naturalists, physicists, children, plant medicines and other teachers for years at a time throughout the Americas and Polynesia, with a joyful interest in the exploration and practical integration of well-Being.
He has written and published two books: Cosmic Journeys of the Alichina Wasi, and Being, Not Me-ing. His photography and paintings have been exhibited in museums and fine art galleries, he’s written music albums, toured and performed with world-class musicians, and climbed many mountains along the way.
Much of this time has been spent guiding and supporting children through their early development, while cultivating a deep connection with what one teacher calls the “Pristine State” of Self: the natural self-expression born into and living in every human prior to conditioning.

Perhaps more than anything, this journey has brought Zeff face-to-face with the depths of his own silent self-exploration, healing, consciousness, and fundamental interrelation with Life, as Life. He sees that Life as a whole lives through every body—whether tree, tardigrade, galaxy or human—and has witnessed Life lived in the depths of this awareness.

“How could I ignore the immense impact of these experiences?” he asks. “As adult humans come to live in the awareness of their unique Pristine State—a living reality naturally embodied by toddlers worldwide—we witness humanity no longer composed of myriad isolated humans, but humanity lived by Life, through an immense variety of unique, interrelated humans.”