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Theme: Wisdom

About the Mindfulness Meditation Podcast

The Rubin Museum of Art presents a weekly meditation session led by a prominent meditation teacher from the New York area, with each session focusing on a specific work of art. This podcast is recorded in front of a live audience, and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. The guided meditation begins at 17:20.

If you would like to attend Mindfulness Meditation sessions in person or learn more, please visit our website at RubinMuseum.org/meditation.

This program is presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg, the Interdependence Project and Parabola Magazine.

Related Artwork

Seated Yogini; Tibet; 17th century; gilt copper alloy, gems, and pigment; Gift of the Nyingjei Lam Collections and Anna Maria and Fabio Rossi; Rubin Museum of Art; C2018.3.1 (HAR 68463)
Seated Yogini; Tibet; 17th century; gilt copper alloy, gems, and pigment; Gift of the Nyingjei Lam Collections and Anna Maria and Fabio Rossi; Rubin Museum of Art; C2018.3.1 (HAR 68463)

This yogini, the female tantric deity Nairatmya, or Goddess without Self, is considered the embodiment of the profound understanding of the nature of reality, which posits that the self, or ego, is empty of inherent existence. She sits on a corpse, symbolizing the empty nature of attachment of ego.

The casting techniques used to create this sculpture bear similarities to the Newar tradition. The main figure and the corpse were cast separately, while the lotus base was hammered out in the repoussé technique. The skull cup and curved knife (now lost) were also cast separately and assembled later. Parts of the skull garland that touch the deity were cast together with the main figure, while the rest of the garland was cast in sections and then attached to the figure. This technique can be found in Nepalese sculptures from the 17th century.

Since Buddhist tradition describes wisdom as the understanding of the true nature of reality, Yogini Nairatmya is a helpful representation of wisdom in physical form.

About the Speaker

Kimberly Brown is the executive director of The Interdependence Project and a graduate of its Meditation Teacher Training Program. She leads mindfulness and compassion classes, workshops, and retreats for groups and individuals in New York City. Kim studies American and Tibetan Buddhism and practices loving kindness meditation. Her teaching methods integrate depth psychology, compassion training, and traditional Buddhist techniques as a means to help everyone reconnect to their inherent clarity and openness.

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