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The Game of Life

An interactive virtual experience

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
6:30 PM–8:30 PM
Sold Out

Puzzled by life? This might be the experience for you.

The Buddhist Wheel of Life is an allegorical representation of the ever-changing nature of existence. It depicts how we get trapped in habits that consume and overwhelm us, and how we can liberate ourselves from those distressing patterns. In this online experiment and experience replicating the Rubin Museum’s gallery floors, Zoom will become a real-life board game in which your state of mind spurs the snakes-and-ladders of karma.

Guided by contemplative psychotherapist Dr. Miles Neale, participants will navigate some moral dilemmas, psychological hurdles, “Hell” and “Gods” Zoom rooms, and a few tempting stray-from-the-path red herrings—all in an attempt to reach the goal: a greater awareness of our state of mind.

A closer look at the Wheel of Life

The Rubin Museum commissioned this contemporary reimagining of the traditional Wheel of Life from 8 graphic artists: Molly Crabapple, Sanya Glisic, Ben Granoff, Rodney Greenblatt, Steven Guarnaccia, Michael Kupperman, Josh Neufeld, and Katie Skelly.

Learn more about this work and see a traditional rendition of the Wheel in the exhibition Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment, on view on the sixth floor of the Museum.

About the Speaker

Dr. Miles Neale, PsyD, is a Buddhist psychotherapist in private practice and founder of the two-year online Contemplative Studies Program. Author of Gradual Awakening (2018) and co-editor of Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy (2017), Dr. Neale is a faculty member of Tibet House in the United States and Weill Cornell Medical College. With more than 20 years integrating the mind science and meditative practices of Tibetan Buddhism with psychotherapy, trauma research, and neuroscience, Dr. Neale is a forerunner in the emerging field of contemplative psychotherapy, and he leads pilgrimages around the Buddhist world.

About Brainwave 2021: Awareness

In our hyperconnected world it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted. This may seem like a modern problem, but the earliest Buddhist teachings sought to help followers awaken from similar states of disconnection. From the Buddhist perspective, the first step to awakening is cultivating awareness.

Through the lens of neuroscience and psychology, the Rubin Museum’s 2021 Brainwave program series will explore awareness with speakers from different walks of life and experiment with tools to reconnect with ourselves, our surroundings, and our communities. Pay what you wish to attend any of this year’s programs.

Lead support for Brainwave is provided by Science Sandbox, an initiative of Simons Foundation, and by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Major support is provided by Gerry Ohrstrom with program support provided by Cheryl Henson.


This event is now sold out.

Find the Zoom link to connect to the program in your confirmation email. View our Frequently Asked Questions for more information or contact our Box Office at for assistance.