Meditation session led by Kate Johnson. The guided meditation begins at 13:25.
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.
This painting is an unusual pastiche of Tibetan and Chinese imagery and painting techniques. The central figure, the bodhisattva and future Buddha Maitreya, is marked by his traditional Tibetan Buddhist iconographic attributes: he is red, has a stupa in his crown, and holds a blossoming branch with a vase on top. Maitreya is surrounded by three small vignettes, which clearly have been added to the composition, referencing his future existence as a buddha. In the upper-left corner the then buddha teaches to an audience holding diverse offerings, and the upper-right corner depicts the story of the sage Kashyapa passing on a robe to Maitreya, symbolic of the transmission of the Buddha’s teachings.
During the fragmentation of their empire at the end of the 9th century, a time of uncertainty when the present felt elusive and undefined, Tibetans looked to their glorious imperial past as a frame of reference for the present and an aspirational model for the future. They considered the past and future similarly entwined within individual lives. How might this understanding of past, present, and future held by many Tibetans help us understand the fluidity of time and our intentionality in the formation of the future?
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.