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This week’s meditation session led by Kaira Jewel Lingo and the theme is Realization.

The guided meditation begins at 12:36.

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.


Tantric Dagger; Tibet; ca. 17th century; iron and gilt brass; Rubin Museum of Art C2005.16.66 (HAR 65489)

This exquisitely crafted three-sided ritual dagger was never used in battle, but was still an effective weapon in esoteric meditation and ritual practices. It has the power to pin down and annihilate negative forces, and, ultimately, all forms of attachment to one’s ego.

Although ritual daggers can vary in form, the handle and the blade are said to combine transcendent wisdom and skillful means. The triple blades arranged around the central axis of the dagger symbolize mastery over the three realms of desire, form, and formlessness.


Frightening imagery, such as the fang-bearing heads of the wrathful Hayagriva on the dagger’s top and Garuda sinking its teeth into the dagger’s blade, are said to empower the practitioner and the blade with the essence of the wrathful deities. Hindering spirits can then be nailed down and subdued, allowing a sacred space to be established.


Kaira Jewel Lingo is a dharma teacher with a lifelong interest in blending spirituality with social justice. Her work continues the Engaged Buddhist movement developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, and she draws inspiration from her parents’ stories and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King, Jr. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel now teaches internationally in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, as well as in secular mindfulness, at the intersection of racial, climate, and social justice with a focus on activists, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Based in New York, she offers spiritual mentoring to groups and is the author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption from Parallax Press.

Her teachings and writings can be found at

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.