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Read the transcript of this episode.

Emotions aren’t just the feelings in the body—they reflect neurons firing in the brain, and from the Buddhist perspective, they offer opportunities for profound insight. When we hold too tightly to our emotions, we risk getting caught up in them. But when we step back and harness the power of simply observing them, there is great potential for transformation.

AWAKEN Season 3 is hosted by singer and songwriter Falu. Guests featured in this episode include poet Marie Howe, artist and podcaster Nigel Poor, Tibetan Buddhist meditation teacher and author Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, neuroscientist and author Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, author and poet Michelle Tea, neuroscientist Dr. Kay Tye, and meditation teacher and author Spring Washam. Learn more about our guests.



Vajradhara with Eighty-Five Great Adepts (Mahasiddhas); western Tibet; 15th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1998.17.3

An elaborately crowned Vajradhara, primordial guru of Tantric lineages, sits in the center of the composition surrounded by the 85 great tantric adepts (mahasiddha), the exemplary practitioners of those teachings. Each of these adepts is engaged in a different activity and is identified by an inscription, following the verse eulogy attributed to the Indian master Vajrasana (about 1,100). An interesting feature of this painting is the large number of adepts shown in strenuous yogic poses. Vajradhara is seated on an elaborate throne with wide pillars and adorned with multicolored scrolling sea monster (makara) tails. Such features identify it as art of the ancient kingdom of Guge in western Tibet.

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AWAKEN is produced by the Rubin Museum of Art with Jamie Lawyer, Sarah Zabrodski, Christina Watson, Gracie Marotta, and Tenzin Gelek in collaboration with SOUND MADE PUBLIC including Tania Ketenjian, Sarah Conlisk, Philip Wood, Alessandro Santoro, and Jeremiah Moore.

Original music has been produced by Hannis Brown with additional music from Blue Dot Sessions.



AWAKEN Season 3 and the exhibition Death Is Not the End are supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, Robert Lehman Foundation, and The Prospect Hill Foundation.

The Rubin Museum’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Death Is Not the End is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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