Rhona Goodspeed Retreat Bursary Fund

The OBS is able to provide support for those of limited financial means who want to attend residential retreats, thanks to a generous bequest donated by Rhona Goodspeed.

Rhona was a long-time member of the OBS and wanted her bequest to help promote dhamma teachings through the OBS and the monastic communities that it supports. The Retreat Bursary Fund is one source that will enable the dhamma to reach a more diverse group of people.

Rhona became a member of the OBS in the 1990’s. She was a regular attendee at the Day of Mindfulness at the Tu An Pagoda, a participant at the Friday evening sessions at Quaker house and a regular member of an OBS related dhamma Book Club.

Rhona was born in Quebec City. She studied English and Art History at University and developed a passion for Renaissance art, travelling to Italy many times to view examples of classic art in museums and cathedrals. She worked as a sessional lecturer in Renaissance art at Carleton University and later for Parks Canada doing research on historic sites and monuments. Rhona also loved nature and embraced music, yoga and of course Buddhism and the dhamma teachings.

Having survived a cancer diagnosis she made it her personal mission to give practical and empathetic support to anyone she knew who experienced the disease. During the early part of her illness, she was focused on caring for her aunt in Ottawa who was in failing health – a sign of her remarkable generosity.

Towards the end of her life in hospital, reports from those close to her attest to her practice of mindfulness supporting her in the face of uncertainty; the practice of focussing on day-to-day realities, appreciating the many loving friends in her life and not ruminating about the uncertain future, was very helpful to her. She had an inner happiness, sustained through her meditation practice, reading and reflection, which supported her during her illness.

She had many friends who shared her gentle humour, empathy and kindness and who helped care for her throughout her illness.

Rhona died in August 2019.