Lama Catherine Rathbun (Jetsun Yeshe) on Mandala Offerings

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Via Toronto Body Mind (Toronto’s yoga, meditation and wellness community’s blog)…

About Catherine Rathbun

Catherine’s meditation training began in 1969. Since then she has studied with His Holiness XVI Karmapa, head of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and with pre-eminent individuals like Ven. Kalu Rinpoche, Ven. Karma Thinley Rinpoche, Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche and John Coleman. She received her traditional teaching name, Lama Jetsun Yeshe, from Ven. Karma Thinley Rinpoche, a lineage master of the Sakya and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, in 2002.

Catherine taught meditation studies at York University for seven years (1989 to 1997). With a background in dance — she was a member of the National Ballet Company of Canada from 1962 to 1963 — and a modern dance career in England (1967-69), she frequently incorporates creative movement exercises into meditation studies as a way to bypass the tight hold that the Western intellect has on one’s development.

The Buddha called meditation bhavana or “mind cultivation”. To effect this refinement of consciousness, Catherine uses a variety of techniques to help students develop their potential. Encouraged by her teachers to begin teaching meditation in 1976, she has students in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Her principal residence for the past 20 years has been Canada and for most of that time she has been teaching by the old method, with word of mouth the only advertisement of her work.

Recently, Catherine has become more public, sensing the need for a teaching that will speak to these times. She offers the Great Work of conscious unfoldment free from the weight of religious belief or guru worship. Thus she teaches from her experience as a lay meditator, as a woman and as a parent and has recently focussed on writing. She is the author of Developing the World Mind and will soon publish a new book entitled Clear Heart, Open Mind. Many people have become interested in Tibetan Buddhist meditation but are unsure how to blend their Western viewpoint with Eastern thought. Clear Heart, Open Mind speaks to the joys and challenges of this journey. The book offers clear and practical advice on how to work with the meditation practice of compassion. The author reveals how its force, once activated, can open our world to a place of joy and freedom. When we realize the deep interconnectedness of life, many of our perceived problems disappear. (source: Friends of the Heart)

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