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About the Meditation

This week’s meditation session is led by Lavina Shamdasani and the theme is Reimagine.

The guided meditation begins at 12:57.

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 45-minute weekly program designed to fit into your lunch break. Each session is inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute meditation session, and a closing discussion.



Red Avalokiteshvara; Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.549 (HAR 1028);
Red Avalokiteshvara; Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.549 (HAR 1028);

This intricate thangka, or Tibetan scroll painting, depicts Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, who has vowed to remain in the cycle of rebirth throughout time to work for the benefit of all beings.

Avalokiteshvara is known to be the patron deity of Tibet. Avalokiteshvara appears in many forms, including peaceful and wrathful, with four or six arms, 1,000 hands and eyes, and 11 heads. Here is Avalokiteshvara in his simplest form, in a state of divine union with the goddess Tara, his female counterpart.

Bodhisattvas display determination and self-sacrifice, vowing not to pass into the blissful state of nirvana until all sentient beings are liberated. Practitioners develop this aspiration, or “mind of awakening,” also known as bodhicitta. They recite mantras and visualize Avalokiteshvara, aspiring to make their body, speech, and mind indistinguishable from his. Depictions of Avalokiteshvara in ritual texts and paintings help practitioners to attain this state of mind.


About the Speaker

Lavina Shamdasani

Lavina Shamdasani is a certified compassion teacher through the Compassion Institute and Stanford University. She has taught programs focused on mindfulness, compassion, joy, and gratitude and led book club discussions and meditations for over five years.

Lavina studied positive psychology coaching at the Wholebeing Institute and helps clients transform their lives and meet their personal and professional goals.


This program is presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and teachers from the New York Insight Meditation Center, the Interdependence Project, and Parabola Magazine and supported by the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.