The Rubin is transforming. Read important updates from our Executive Director.


Meditation session led by Jon Aaron.

The guided meditation begins at 12:18

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.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and the Interdependence Project. This program is supported in part by the Hemera Foundation.



Buddha Shakymuni and Scenes from His Life; Tsang Province, Central Tibet; second half of the 14th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2011.3 (HAR 77032)


This artwork features many characteristics of early Tibetan painting. This detailed representation of the Buddha’s life is based on a composition derived from northeastern India. At the center of the painting is a depiction of the Buddha’s awakening. Here we see Mara, a personification of evil, and Mara’s army attempting to stop the Buddha from reaching enlightenment.

How are they doing this? By sending him illusions of beautiful women. That didn’t work. By sending in an army with slings and arrows of monstrous distraction. That didn’t work. Then finally by challenging his aspiration: by what authority did a mere human have to reach enlightenment? And that is when Siddhartha reached down to touch the earth to bear witness to his ultimate insight.


Jon Aaron teaches meditation, Buddhist dharma, and is a Somatic Experience Practitioner® in New York City. He is well known as a teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as well as a trainer of new teachers of this seminal eight-week curriculum. Among his primary interests are the use of meditation and somatic work in healing trauma and working with individuals with chronic pain and grief. Recently he has been teaching for the New York Police Department in an eight-hour intervention called Cultivating Mindfulness: expanding the capacity of mind and body to work with stress, anxiety, and trauma. He is a co-founder of the MBSR Teacher Collaborative of Greater New York and a founding member of the Global Mindfulness Collaborative, and is a long-time teacher at New York Insight Meditation Center. When the pandemic hit, along with his partner he co-founded Space2Meditate, an online community of meditators that is still going strong six days a week. Learn more about Jon Aaron on his website.