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About the Meditation

Meditation session led by Lama Aria Drolma.

The guided meditation begins at 14:17.

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 meditation session, and a closing discussion.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and the Interdependence Project and Parabola Magazine.


Shantarakshita; Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2007.22.1 (HAR 65798)
Shantarakshita; Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2007.22.1 (HAR 65798)

Theme: Awakening

The Indian scholar Shantarakshita was an important figure in establishing Tibetan Buddhist monastic and scholastic traditions in the eighth century. In this painting, which shows him surrounded by scenes from his life, his spiritual development is illustrated in the first three scenes, beginning just over his left shoulder, including his ordination as a monk, his receiving of the Gradual Path to enlightenment, and his own spiritual training leading to his realization of true knowledge.

These episodes are the prologue to the story of Buddhism’s arrival in Tibet, which begins in the bottom-right corner where Shantarakshita is shown traveling to Tibet, laden with bags full of books. As we continue to follow the narrative, at bottom center we see him greeted by King Trisong Detsen (reigned 755″“797) upon his arrival in Tibet. Later we see Trisong Detsen receiving teachings from Shantarakshita at Lungtsubchen Palace. At the lower left Shantarakshita performs a consecration ceremony at Samye, Tibet’s first monastery, and ordains the first Tibetan monks. The final vignette, at top left, shows Shantarakshita establishing Buddhist doctrine in Tibet. On the back of the painting an aspirational dedication wishes that the essence of the Gradual Path to enlightenment, which Shantarakshita embodies, is permanently preserved in this painting.

About the Speaker

Lama Aria Drolma is an ordained Buddhist teacher in the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism who has completed over a decade of monastic study and meditation training. She is a graduate of the traditional Tibetan Buddhist retreat program spanning three years and three months, an advanced cloistered meditation training program at Palpung Thubten Choling Monastery, New York.

Lama Aria Drolma teaches worldwide, leading retreats, workshops, and corporate meditation programs and is a popular guest speaker at universities and organizations. She emphasizes Vajrayana Buddhism and Buddhist principles, making them relevant in our everyday lives, helping us to cultivate loving kindness and compassion, and bringing about a transformation of contentment and a genuine sense of well-being.