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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. This program is supported in part by the Hemera Foundation.


Gate-keeper Vajrasphota; Western Tibet; 11th
Gate-keeper Vajrasphota; Western Tibet; 11th”“12th century; Silver with copper inlays and traces of pigment and copper alloy base; Long-term loan from the Nyingjei Lam Collection; L2005.9.30 (HAR 68449)

Theme: Focus

This sculpture depicts the wrathful deity Vajraphota standing in a fierce warrior pose. Part of the Vajradhatu Mandala, he is protecting the entrance into the interior of the palace. Gatekeeprs like Vajraphota are meant to prevent negative forces from entering the mandala, and to prevent the practitioner inside the mandala from leaving too soon. Therefore, Vajraphota helps the practitioner maintain focus by keeping away both external and internal distractions.

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.