The Rubin is transforming. Read important updates from our Executive Director.

Theme: Change

Wrathful deities like Sri Devi might seem frightening, but their wrath comes from a place of purpose and compassion. In this week’s podcast recording, Kate Johnson discusses the ways wrath and wisdom can lead to transformation through mindfulness.

About the Meditation

Meditation session led by Kate Johnson. The guided meditation begins at 13:00.

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.


Shri Devi, Dorje Rabtenma; Tibet; 15th century; Rubin Museum of Art; C2006.19.1
Shri Devi, Dorje Rabtenma; Tibet; 15th century; Rubin Museum of Art; C2006.19.1

This finely carved sculpture depicts the Indian goddess Shri Devi, whose wrathful appearance is actually a manifestation of her boundless compassion. Among the many delicate details is the arsenal of magical weapons hanging from her mule’s harness. These include a bag of diseases, hanging in the front, and a ball of thread, hanging over the mule’s rear leg. This thread would have been created from five colored strands (red, yellow, blue, green, and white), which can be used to bind enemies of the faith.

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.