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About the Meditation

Meditation session led by Kate Johnson.

The guided meditation begins at 13:21

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.

This program is supported in part by the Hemera Foundation with thanks to our presenting partners Sharon Salzberg,the Interdependence Project and Parabola Magazine.

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RELATED ARTWORK

Theme: Gratitude

Stupa; Tibet; 13th century; copper alloy with semiprecious stone; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.635 (HAR 700057)
Stupa; Tibet; 13th century; copper alloy with semiprecious stone; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.635 (HAR 700057)

The stupa is a symbol found across all Buddhist traditions. It originated in India as a mound made to hold sacred remains, like those of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. Stupas are not limited to containing the mortal remains of a holy person but can also include objects associated with that person, such as clothes, sacred texts, articles of worship, and figures made of clay and the ashes of the deceased (tsa tsa). While a statue or painting of a buddha represents the divine body of an enlightened being and a book symbolizes divine speech, a stupa represents the mind of supreme spiritual awakening, making it a symbol of buddhahood.

About the Speaker

Kate Johnson works at the intersections of spiritual practice, social action, and creativity. She has been practicing Buddhist meditation in the Western Insight/Theravada tradition since her early twenties and is empowered to teach through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She holds a BFA in dance from the Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University, and MA in performance studies from NYU.

Kate is a core faculty member of MIT’s Presencing Institute, and has trained hundreds of leaders and change-makers in using Social Presencing Theater, a mindfulness and dance improvisation methodology used to inform strategic planning and systems change in our complex world.

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