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This week’s meditation session is led by Elaine Retholtz and the theme is Balance.

The guided meditation begins at 13:35.

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

Whether you’re a 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 is inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute meditation session, and a closing discussion.



Pelden Lhamo Dusolma; Bhutan; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1996.11.4 (HAR 440)
Pelden Lhamo Dusolma; Bhutan; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1996.11.4 (HAR 440)

This painting was made in Bhutan in the 19th century. The 17th century Bhutanese Drukpa School Rinpoche, Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgyal who unified Bhutan as a nation state is portrayed in the top center. .

Palden Lhamo, meaning “Glorious Goddess” is the primary female wisdom protector deity of Tibetan Buddhism. Here she is shown in her “smoke-clad” form (Dusolma) riding a white-nosed donkey and surrounded by flames and billowing clouds of smoke.

To her left and right and below her are members of her retinue, which includes three mounted ferocious female attendants. Each of these frightening figures holds a skull cup and heart in her hands.

Palden Lhamo is the protector of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet and Bhutan. Her imposing form reminds us of the importance of striking a balance between wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.



Elaine Retholtz Headshot

Elaine Retholtz has been studying and practicing the Dharma since 1988. In addition to teaching Dharma at New York Insight, she is a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and a certified MBSR teacher trainer. She is deeply interested in helping students integrate mindfulness into daily life. Elaine is committed to deepening her own understanding of issues of diversity and the way racial conditioning in the United States affects all of us—both as individuals and in relation to the institutions we are a part of, including New York Insight. She’s been involved in New York Insight’s diversity efforts for many years.


This program is presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and teachers from the New York Insight Meditation Center, the Interdependence Project, and Parabola Magazine and supported by the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.

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