On October 6, the Rubin will close the 17th Street galleries and transition into a global museum model. Read more about our future.

Mandala Lab

Where Emotions Can Turn to Wisdom

Traveling Exhibition

The Rubin Museum is taking the Mandala Lab around the world! A traveling version of the New York City installation brings global audiences a fun, interactive space to explore challenging emotions and consider how to transform them into wisdom.

Inspired by powerful Buddhist principles, the lab features five thought-provoking, playful experiences—including videos accompanied by scents, a sculpture that invites collective breathing, and curated percussion instruments dipped in waters—that guide you along an inner journey focused on self-awareness and awareness of others. See, smell, touch, and breathe your way through the space, designed to inspire connection, empathy, and learning.

Take a virtual tour of the traveling Mandala Lab.


The Mandala Lab is traveling to a city near you! The installation is scheduled to travel to the following cities:

  • More locations coming soon!

Previous locations:

Contact us if you’re interested in bringing this installation to your city.


Mandalas are Buddhist teaching tools that can be used to learn how to confront and transform feelings of pride, attachment, envy, anger, and ignorance. Known as kleshas in Buddhism, these five afflictive emotions cloud our understanding of the world. Through a deep, sustained investigation of these emotions, some Buddhist practitioners cultivate corresponding wisdoms and skills that help them shift their view of the world, themselves, and others. Each activity in the Mandala Lab is designed to help you examine these specific emotional states.

Explore the Vairochana mandala which inspired the Mandala Lab.

Read more



In this episode of the AWAKEN podcast, we introduce the mandala, come to understand what it represents, and experience how it may be used as a guide for exploring ourselves, each other, and the world. Season 2 of AWAKEN features personal stories of guests who share how they’ve experienced a shift in their awareness, and as a result, their perspective on life.

Listen now



Synchronization—sharing a similar action with those around us—is scientifically proven to encourage a sense of connection and even a spirit of community. Learn more about the power of sharing breath with others.

Learn more

The Mandala Lab includes artist contributions from:

Laurie Anderson | Sanford Biggers | Tenzin Tsetan Choklay | Billy Cobham | Amit Dutta | Sheila E. | Peter Gabriel | Dame Evelyn Glennie | Sarah Hennies | Taku Hirano | Huang Ruo | Shivamani | Wang Yahui | Palden Weinreb | Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Scents created by Christophe Laudamiel

Lead support of the Mandala Lab is provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Barbara Bowman, Fred Eychaner, Noah P. Dorsky, the Estate of Lisina M. Hoch, The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, Rasika and Girish Reddy, Shelley and Donald Rubin, and the Tiger Baron Foundation.

Major support is provided by Bob and Lois Baylis, Sara and Joseph Bedrick, Anne and Albert Chao, Con Edison, Daphne Hoch Cunningham and John Cunningham, Anne E. Delaney, DeWitt Stern, Karen Dorsky, Jack Lampl, Max Meehan, Dan Gimbel of NEPC, LLC, The Prospect Hill Foundation, Sarah and Craig Richardson, Basha Frost Rubin and Scott Grinsell, the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Namita and Arun Saraf, Linda Schejola, Eric and Alexandra Schoenberg, Eileen Caulfield Schwab, Tsherin Sherpa, Jesse Smith and Annice Kenan, Taipei Cultural Center in New York, New York Life Insurance Company, and New York Life.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

The Rubin Museum’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Mandala Lab (Bilbao) was commissioned by The Wellbeing Project as part of the artistic programming for the inaugural Wellbeing Summit (June 1–3, 2022) in Bilbao, generously supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global.

the wellbeing projectrobert ho foundation


Image credits
Mandala Lab, Bilbao 2022. Photos by Javier de Paz Garcia and Vicente Paredes.
Mandala Lab, London at Canary Wharf, presented by London Design Festival. Photos by Ed Reeve, courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art & London Design Festival.

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