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Lama Aria Drolma

Mindfulness Meditation

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
1:00 PM–1:45 PM

Related Artwork

The Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (1617″“1682), is often known simply as the Great Fifth because of his political prowess and religious importance. Renowned for unifying Tibet in 1642, the Great Fifth was integral in the creation of a Tibetan national identity based around the institution of the Dalai Lamas. During his era, the office of the Dalai Lama was elevated to national protector, with an emphasis on the Dalai Lamas’ link to Avalokiteshvara, the patron bodhisattva of Tibet, of whom the Dalai Lamas are understood to be earthly incarnations. The Dalai Lama is a great teacher—representing the duality of the meaning of empowerment both as religious transmission and as power by knowledge. This painting depicts important events in the Fifth Dalai Lama’s life, beginning in the upper-left corner with his descent to Earth on a rainbow from Avalokiteshvara’s Potala Pure Land. The vignettes move clockwise, ending in the top-right corner with the Great Fifth’s death. The Pure Land floating above his Potala Palace perhaps represents the Dalai Lama’s ascent back to Potala Pure Land or to Tushita to meet with Maitreya, the Future Buddha, as Dalai Lamas are said to do between incarnations. To the right of the Dalai Lama is a scene of ritual empowerment— teaching.

Theme: Empowerment

The Fifth Dalai Lama unified Tibet and established the power of the Dalai Lama lineage. Inspired by a thangka of “the Great Fifth”, Lama Aria Drolma explains the path of ritual empowerment and meditation practice.

About the Program

The Rubin Museum of Art presents a weekly meditation session led by a prominent meditation teacher from the New York area, with each session focusing on a specific work of art. This podcast is recorded in front of a live audience, and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. The guided meditation begins at 19:04.

If you would like to attend Mindfulness Meditation sessions in person or learn more, please visit our website at

This program is supported with thanks to our presenting partners Sharon Salzberg, the Interdependence Project and Parabola Magazine.

About the Speaker

Lama Aria Drolma has been studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism for over 10 years. She is trained in the Dharma Path program of progressive stages of meditation and contemplation for serious practitioners offered by Kagyu Thubten Choling monastery. Lama Aria Drolma teaches meditation worldwide, offers corporate meditation programs, and is also invited as a keynote speaker at universities and other organizations. Lama Aria Drolma is a graduate of a traditional Tibetan Buddhist retreat spanning three years and three months, which is an advanced, completely cloistered, intensive meditation training program. She attended Mumbai University in India and graduated with a B.A. in sociology, and is trained in computer programming from NIIT, India. Lama Aria Drolma also actively volunteers as a fundraiser for breast cancer research and supports several nonprofit organizations.