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Meditation session led by Elaine Retholtz.

The guided meditation begins at 11:04.

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 forty-five-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 twenty-minute meditation session, and a closing discussion.

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


Ushnishavijaya; Tibet; 18th century; ground mineral pigment on cotton; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.507 (HAR 975)


The deity Ushnishavijaya, meaning “victorious crown ornament,” is a goddess of long life. She also removes obstacles, promotes well-being, and ensures environmental stability. Ushnishavijaya, seated within a stupa, is the central focus of the painting. She bears a variety of auspicious objects in her eight hands, including a white lotus, a vajra lasso, a bow, an arrow, and a vase filled with the nectar of immortality. Her hand gestures convey supreme generosity, protection, and meditative balance.


This painting was commissioned by a family to commemorate the death of a relative. At the bottom center of the painting is the depiction of the deceased individual. The small figure, wearing white, is shown seated on a lotus, indicating that his relatives hope that the merit generated by the painting will help him to be reborn into the pure realm of a buddha.


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 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.

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