The earliest monument in Buddhism, the stupa originally was a burial mound meant to hold relics of the Buddha. As time went on, the stupa began to symbolized the unwavering concentration of the Buddha’s mind and his presence in an iconic form. The stupa rests with the four corners of its base oriented in the cardinal directions with a long spire placed in the center jutting towards the heavens. The stability of the structure reminds practitioners of the ideal of concentration and how that particular trait can further one’s self along the path.
Image credit: Stupa, Tibet; ca.13th century or 14th century; Copper alloy inset with turquoise; Rubin Museum of Art, C2003.21.1, HAR65233
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 and the New York Insight Meditation Center.
About the Teacher
“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 is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Love Your Enemies (2013), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995). For more information please visit: www.SharonSalzberg.com.