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Sharon Salzberg

Mindfulness Meditation

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
1:00 PM–1:45 PM
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Related Artwork
The Enlightened One, Lord of the Shakya Clan, Shakyamuni Buddha; Tibet; 14th century; gilt copper alloy; Rubin Museum of Art; C2001.10.2 (HAR 65025)
The Enlightened One, Lord of the Shakya Clan, Shakyamuni Buddha; Tibet; 14th century; gilt copper alloy; Rubin Museum of Art; C2001.10.2 (HAR 65025)
This Week’s Work of Art

This sculpture of the Buddha shows him wearing a crown and monk’s robes. With the developments in Buddhist thought and practice during the Pala period (8th”“12th century), images of the crowned Buddha became prominent in eastern India and across Asia. In Tibet, this convention became known as Vajrasana Buddha, referring to the famous image at Vajrasana (present-day Bodhgaya, India) that commemorated the Buddha’s enlightenment.

The Buddha is seated with his right hand in the earth-touching gesture and the left hand in the meditation gesture. His broad face, with slightly downcast eyes, shows a faint smile. The crown and earrings are decorated with turquoise, and his monastic robe is engraved with designs. The Buddha’s face and body are painted with gold, while his hair is painted blue, a typical Tibetan convention.

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 13:16.

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.

Theme: Compassion

Compassion requires both inward and outward reflection. Inspired by the Shakyamuni Buddha’s personal journey to achieve enlightenment, Sharon Salzberg discusses how in times of hardship, practicing self-compassion can help us overcome isolation and reach new levels of awareness.

About the Speaker

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has guided meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest books are Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connections and Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and the author of several other books including the New York Times best-seller Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, 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.