Karen Expresses Her Deep Gratitude To Each Teacher She Has Engaged with Along The Path
"I hold deep gratitude for all of the teachers in Buddhism, mindfulness, compassion, gratefulness, meditation and yoga who I have had the great fortune of studying with over the years. Below are descriptions of some of the teachings and retreats attended, however, this is not an exhaustive list and I also hold deep gratitude for those who are not named here."
"Without these teachers, it would simply not be possible for me to share mindfulness with others."
H.H. 14th Dalai Lama
Spiritual Leader of Tibet
Karen has had the great fortune to attend the Dalai Lama's teachings in Australia in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Each provided a multi day immersion in learning and experiencing the deep stillness, wisdom, compassion and peaceful presence of His Holiness.
Bod Stahl, PhD.
Certified Senior MBSR Teacher
MBSR Teacher-Trainer (CFM UMASS Medical School), author, guiding teacher at Insight Santa Cruz, visiting teacher at Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society.
Karen benefited greatly from a 5 day intensive residential Teacher Development Retreat with Bod in 2015, deepening her understanding and capacity for effectively leading the inquiry process, a defining and very important component of MBSR. She has also benefited from and is extremely grateful for Bob's time in offering one to one mentoring. In January 2020, Karen attended a 6 day silent mindfulness retreat with Bob in Ireland, before the world changed and attended a further two online retreats with Bob and Jan Landry throughout 2020.
Mathieu Ricard, PhD
Tibetan Monk, Author, Biologist, and known as "The Happiest Man in The World."
In May 2008 I was fortunate to attend workshops with Mathieu Ricard and to experience first hand the contagion of his happiness. Leaving this workshop I was more inspired about the benefits of a formal daily meditation practice, even amidst the chaos of life with two lively littlies and a husband whose work meant he was spending a lot of time overseas. It was not simply Mathieu's presence that touched me, but his understanding and teaching on how to work skillfully with the mind in order to live with more compassion, understanding and ultimately inner peace and happiness.
Supports Lama Zopa Rinpoche and offer Buddhist Teachings
Attending Dagri Rinpoche's two day teachings in October 2010 on transforming thinking habits, awakening the innate source of loving kindness and experiencing the blessings of the Buddha, left me with a deeper sense and understanding of the practices of and our innate human capacity to cultivate loving kindness for all. This may take some time for those with whom we have a difficult relationship, yet its is possible as we open our hearts and our minds to the fact that they too are suffering.
Dr Maura Kenny
Coordinator of the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Programs at the Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety & Depression, South Australian Health - Associate teacher and trainer at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, UK
Dr Kenny was one of a panel of three senior teachers for the first MBSR/MBCT Intensive Teacher Training Retreat I attended. Her care, compassion, integrity, knowledge and deep concern for upholding the internationally recognised Mindfulness Based Intervention - Teacher Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC) deeply resonated with me. The MBI-TAC exists to ensure those teaching mindfulness based interventions (MBSR/MBCT) do so with the right level of skill and capacity to support and maintain the safety of the people they are working with.
In September 2017, I also had the good fortune to attend a 5 day intensive residential training with Maura, extending our capacity to work with those affected by depression and anxiety.
Rick Hanson, PhD
Psychologist, author, practicing Buddhist since the 1970s, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
My first encounters of Rick Hanson work was through his books, Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha Brain. When his WA teachings where cancelled earlier in 2018, I was disappointed. However, when Rick opened up his Positive Neuroplasticity Training as an online offering, my disappointment turned to delight. I am currently immersed in Rick's online training and look forward to sharing the experiences and practices with you soon.
Patrick is a QLD based Mindfulness and Meditation teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years. Patrick began meditating in 1977 and has travelled throughout Asia and the USA working with Buddhist teachers from different traditions.
I've completed two 10 retreats with Patrick in two very different settings. The first was in May 2019, at Jhana Grove in WA. This was a 10 day silent retreat and it was on this retreat, in a setting immersed in the Australia bush, that a truly deep connection with the power of meditating in nature emerged for me. Across the 10 days I spent hours each day sitting, lying, walking in the bush practicing the meditations techniques suggested on that day. It was really remarkable how I could sense the pulse of the earth, how the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life on earth became so vividly real, including a deep sorrow for the loss of biodiversity caused by us humans. I found out just how connected we are with nature when at the end of a meditation, I opened my eyes, and there, just a metre away, stood a rather large kangaroo, inquisitively checking me out. I do admit that a shot of adrenaline ran through me as he was certainly much bigger than I. We stayed, simply observing each other, and as I moved to stand, he turned and bounded away.
The second retreat, in October 2021, with Patrick ended up being online. Tragically, just a few days before the retreat was due to begin, my younger brother passed away. I was really unsure whether continuing with the retreat was sensible or even possible, given the depth of grief I was experiencing. I am truly glad I stayed with it. Across the 10 days, I experienced and sat with the waves of grief, opening space and holding the pain and despair gently and kindly. Some days I truly thought I would fall completely apart, but the practices held me together and allowed me to experience the grief without trying to put it aside so that I could continue with my day to day responsibilities. The retreat was perfect timing and allowed for a great deal of processing and healing.
B. Alan Wallace, PhD.
Scholar, meditation practitioner & teacher since the 1970s, author, most prolific translator of Tibetan Buddhism in the west.
Karen has attended evening talks and two 7 day silent retreats with B. Alan Wallace - The Four Applications of Mindfulness in 2009 and The Four Immeasurables in 2010. Karen will attend Alan's Heart Teachings for a Troubled World in November 2018.
Founding Director of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, President of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, Founding Director of the Alliance of Non Himalayan Nuns; Honorary Advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists
Cave in the Snow, Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo's Biography, along with The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, where catalysts in leading me to the study of Tibetan Buddhism at the Vajrayana Institute in NSW. In May 2010, I had the great fortune of attending a one day teaching with Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo and came away with a deeper awareness of how to incorporate the Dharma into my everyday life as the mum of two littlies.
Venerable Robina Courtin
Buddhist Nun, ordained in 1970s, Ven. Robina, touring Buddhist Teacher, served as Executive Director of Liberation Prison Project, works for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche's FPMT.
Ven. Robina is Australian born and raised and brings a real Aussie quality to her Buddhist teachings, making them digestible and relevant to everyday life as a Westerner. In attending teachings with Robina in 2009 on "transforming problems the key to happiness and in 2018 on "working with the ego", I came away with deeper understandings of how to work with the mind to transform suffering into ease and happiness and how the ego causes suffering.
Director of Openground Mindfulness Training and the Mindfulness Training Institute
Timothea is endorsed by
Emeritus Professors Jon Kabat-Zinn (founder of MBSR) and Mark Williams (co-founder of MBCT), to offer teacher training in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy courses in Australia. Karen has benefited greatly from attending multiple intensive residential teacher training and teacher development retreats and one to one supervision with Timothea and other MTIA senior teachers. Immersion in the extensive training offered in MBSR & MBCT teaching, through MTIA, has enabled Karen to become Openground Mindfulness Training's Perth Teacher. Timothea's integrity, generosity and depth of teaching offered to all those she trains and supports cannot be underestimated. Karen feels eternally grateful to Tim and other Openground and MTIA senior teachers including Dr Maura Kenny, Eva Papadopoulo and Mary McIntyre.
Buddhist Teacher and Psychotherapist
Renate introduced me to Buddhist Psychology and how to work with the chaotic mind and the myriad of emotional reactivity that consumes us in our busy modern lives. Attending a year long Discovering Buddhism program, followed by Lam Rim and various other teachings between 2008 and 2011 with Renate, really opened me to a whole new way of seeing the world. I have a deep sense of gratitude to Renate for her eloquent, firm, yet kind and compassionate wise teachings.
Elisha Goldstein, PhD
Psychologist, author, co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles, creator of the 6-month mentorship program A Course in Mindful Living.
Participating in Elisha's mentor program from October 2017 to April 2018, A 6 Month Course In Mindful Living, introduced me to a very secular way of teaching, understanding and integrating mindfulness into everyday life, in simple yet effective ways. The amount of materials provided at times seemed overwhelming, however, the course provided access to research papers, interviews with world experts, books and other materials that I may not have accessed otherwise. The course was also my first taste of an online mindfulness program and due to the level of engagement with peers and senior teachers, there was a deep sense of being part of a large community of like minded fellow practitioners. Thank you Elisha!
Ariya B. Baumann was a Buddhist nun for 21 years in Burma where she practiced under the guidance of Sayadaw U Janaka. She is now back in her home country of Switzerland and teaches metta and vipassana meditation retreats worldwide.
I'm deeply grateful for being able to attend a 10 day - at home - online Vipassana and Metta Retreat with Ariya in March 2021. Integrating the retreat practices into my everyday life, in real time, allowed for a a greater connection of the practices with my everyday world as a mum and business owner. Ariya's invitation to practice Metta everyday, has stayed with me as a powerful practice for self-compassion and compassion for my fellow humans.
I'm looking forward to the next retreat with Ariya in January 2022