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Theme: No Mud, No Lotus

This intriguing 12th century sculpture of a lotus flower from Northeastern India opens and blooms revealing inside a mandala or a deity’s heavenly abode. The lotus is a potent symbol in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Growing in ponds and rivers, the roots of the lotus flower extend deep into the mud found in riverbeds. The stem of the flower rises from the muck and exists in murky dark waters. However once the stem reaches the surface of the water, it blooms into a beautiful flower. The lotus flower reminds us that beautiful things can arise from darkness and though we may be stuck in the “mud” of common existence, we all have the potential to “bloom” into enlightenment.

Image credit: Lotus Mandala of Hevajra, Northeastern India; ca. 12th century; copper alloy; Rubin Museum of Art, C2003.10.2 (HAR 65207)

Mindfulness Meditation Series

Himalayan practitioners have, for centuries, used meditation to quiet the mind, open the heart, calm the nervous system, and increase one’s ability to focus. Now, western scientists, business leaders, and the secular world have embraced meditation as a vital tool for brain health. Learn more

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg, the New York Insight Meditation Center, and the Interdependence Project.

About the Speaker

“Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright.”

–Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has been a student of meditation since 1971, and guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace. She is weekly columnist forOn being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Timesbest-seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, Love Your Enemies, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.Sharon has been a regular participant in the Rubin’s many on-stage conversations. This is her first formal meditation session at the museum. For more information, please visit