Vale Grant Keene

Grant Keene, a much loved member of our community quietly passed away on Saturday, 10 September at the age of 88.

The gentlest of giants, Grant was a committed meditator who often sat month-long retreats with Patrick Kearney and in more recent years with Sayadaw U Vivekananda.

Grant also volunteered regularly in the kitchen, usually for long stints, which gave staff and other volunteers the time to get to know him. He was always up for a chat. He was warm, gregarious and curious.

He was one of those rare people who is really accomplished without blowing their own trumpet. He was well known in the 70s and 80s as the head of the Psychology Department at Newcastle Uni. He was a fan of experiential psychotherapies and promoted the teaching of a range of therapies and perspectives in the department. He was regarded as a trail blazer.

Grant was a talented potter and remained active in the local Newcastle art community well into his eighties. He swam regularly at his local beach right up until he was close to passing.

At the end of his last month-long retreat at BMIMC in 2018 with Sayadaw U Vivekanada, Grant left the Centre radiant after an especially insightful retreat knowing that it would be his last. At 86, the train trip down from Newcastle to the Blue Mountains was becoming too much.

The Burmese sometimes refer to people like Grant as “good yogis”. This seems to refer not only to their dedication to formal meditation practice but to the way they conduct themselves in the Dhamma. “Good yogis” are patient, appreciative of being served and joyful when serving. They are easy people to be with. They are truthful. They are kind.

We will miss Grant dearly. He was a good yogi.

9 comments on “Vale Grant KeeneAdd yours →

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  1. I only met him once at a retreat. His gentle commitment to the retreat was an inspiration to me. For not a moment he was not present ,quietly beautifully there , it was an honour and a blessing to sit with him.
    Vale Grant

  2. Grant was a dearly beloved teacher and colleague of mine at the University of Newcastle. He was not afraid to share his deep humanity when those of us stuck in the academic rut needed some respite. Grant and Judith were supportive of my transition and treated me like a normal human being. For that and their warm friendship I will be forever grateful. I will miss Grant’s friendship and kindness that I was privileged to enjoy for over 50 years.

  3. Thankyou all at B.M.I.M.C. for this beautiful tribute to my partner Grant of 42 years!
    He cherished his lengthy connection with B.M.I.M.C. and staff – he begged in the end to be allowed to go (“Buddhists do not die they just move on in another being”) as his body had given up on him – VALE, my dearest Grant!

  4. I will remember Grant with love & admiration for his witty, joyful, kind & loving Presence.
    .A very special friend of many years who generously shared so many of his remarkable energies , talents & knowledge .

  5. This is a touching and heart felt tribute to my dear Uncle. He was indeed a good yogi… he lived on in our hearts ♥️.

    Nicky xxx

  6. Having spent 42 years in Grant’s presence as his partner and warm loving carer of my extended family over all those years, I acknowledge here our gratitude and love
    for him – we will all miss him++!

  7. Thank you for such a beautiful and thoughtful post about my grandfather. We loved him dearly, he truly was a very special man, I’m so glad other people could see just how incredible he was too.

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