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Mindfulness Meditation

With Sharon Salzberg

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
1:00 PM–1:45 PM

A meditation session led by Sharon Salzberg.

Himalayan practitioners have, for centuries, used meditation to quiet the mind, open the heart, calm the nervous system, and increase one’s ability to focus. Now, western scientists, business leaders, and the secular world have embraced meditation as a vital tool for brain health.

Whether you’re a brand-new beginner, a dabbler, or a skilled meditator seeking the company of others, join expert teachers in a 45-minute weekly program designed to fit into your lunch break. Each session will be inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection, and will include an opening talk, a 20-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. Chairs will be provided.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg & the New York Insight Meditation Center.

Related Artwork

Wheel of Life, 2015 Mineral Pigment on cloth
Wheel of Life, 2015 Mineral Pigment on cloth

Theme: Interdependence

Classic Hindu philosophy teaches that all beings have a permanent Self that is eternal and everlasting. However, Buddhism teaches the opposite and that in fact nothing is eternal, in particular the notion of self. On the outer ring of the Wheel of Life appears 12 different scenes depicting the causes that lead us to believing in a permanent self. These are referred to as the 12 Links of Dependent Origination.

  • While there is no first step since they continuously follow each other, the first step in the chain is ignorance represented by a blind man walking with a stick.
  • The next step is Karmic formations represented by a potter forming a pot out of clay.
  • The next scene displays a monkey representing our consciousness that constantly grabs onto objects of thought.
  • After the monkey appears a boat representing the development of form.
  • Next is a house with 5 windows and a door representing the 5 senses and consciousness
  • After consciousness comes contact experienced by the senses. This is represented by depicting physical contact.
  • Contact causes feeling represented by a man with an arrow in his eye.
  • After feeling comes craving shown here as a woman offering a man a drink.
  • Clinging comes after craving as we hold onto those things that we find pleasurable and reject those things we find painful.
  • Clinging ensures becoming represented here by a couple making love.
  • After becoming comes rebirth represented by a woman giving birth.
  • After rebirth ultimately comes the suffering caused by old age and death here represented by either an old man or a corpse being carried up a hill.

About the Teacher

“Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright.” — Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has been a student of meditation since 1971, and guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace. She is weekly columnist for On being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times best-seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, Love Your Enemies, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Sharon has been a regular participant in the Rubin’s many on-stage conversations. This is her first formal meditation session at the museum. For more information, please visit

Tickets: $15.00

Member price: Free with registration

Limited seating; tickets required for all participants.

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