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

The guided meditation begins at 11:54.

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.



Image of Offerings
Offerings (2014); Palden Weinreb; 2014; Mix media;On view

Making offerings is an integral part of Buddhist practices such as religious rituals and ceremonies. The act can be understood as sharing something and giving it away to a religious community or sacred space. Offerings can take many forms, from words and sounds to fluids, food, incense, and flowers, as well as symbolic and abstract representations.

In the Shrine Room adjacent to this installation, seven stemmed bowls with auspicious symbols function as receptacles to receive offerings. Offerings bowls in a shrine room are usually arranged in a straight line. In the installation Offerings, the artist invites us to experience the receptacles in a circular arrangement.

Palden Weinreb often works with shapes and motifs inspired by Buddhism, which he translates into abstracted forms. His use of semi-translucent wax encourages us to look beyond the surface of the objects. The juxtapositions of light and dark, fullness and void, and presence and absence inspire reflection on the act of offering and what might be offered. Is it our presence in front of the bowls radiating light that makes the circle of offering complete? Are we the offering?



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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