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Meditation session led by Kate Johnson

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 sitting session, and a closing discussion. Chairs will be provided.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and the Interdependence Project.


Vajrayogini Tibet; 18th century Brass and gilt copper alloy Rubin Museum of Art C2005.16.47 (HAR 65470)

Theme: Perception

In this sculpture from the 18th century, the goddess Vajrayogini stands nearly naked in a dynamic warrior’s pose and tramples enemies of the Buddha’s teachings with her hand positioned as if she were drinking blood from a skull cup. While outwardly she appears as wild woman modeled after grieving widows in charnel grounds, many traditions of Himalayan Buddhism consider her the ultimate fully enlightened tantric Buddha. Practitioners use her as a yidam during meditation, imagining themselves as Vajrayogini to gain her perfected wisdom and compassion.

About the Speaker

Kate Johnson works at the intersections of spiritual practice, social action, and creative expression. She teaches mindful yoga in NYC public schools, teaches Buddhist meditation at the Interdependence Project, and facilitates an embodied approach to organizational and leadership development for social change agents and communities. Johnson holds a BFA in dance from the Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University and a MA in performance studies from NYU. She has trained at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Interdependence Project, Laughing Lotus Yoga, and the Presencing Institute. She is working on a book about waking up to power and oppression as a spiritual practice, to be published by Parallax Press in fall 2017.