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Theme: Intention

Standing with his right hand in front of his heart, this 18th century depiction of Bodhisattva Suryabaskara holds a lotus flower that extends and blooms over his right shoulder. Within the flower rests an orange Sun referencing this bodhisattva’s name which translates to “the Sun’s rays.†The defining feature of a bodhisattva is the intention to become enlightened so that he or she can help all other beings become enlightened. Therefore practice is not complete unless the practitioner keeps this intention in mind and realizes that ultimately the benefits are for others and not for oneself.

Image credit: Bodhisattva Suryabaskara (detail); eastern Tibet, 18th century; Pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin, C2006.66.136 (HAR 95)

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

Tracy Cochran is editorial director of Parabola, a quarterly magazine that for forty years has drawn on the world’s cultural and wisdom traditions to explore the questions that all humans share. She has been a student of meditation and spiritual practices for decades and teaches mindfulness meditation and mindful writing at New York Insight Meditation Center and throughout the greater New York area. In addition to Parabola, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Psychology Today, O Magazine, New York Magazine, the Boston Review, and many other publications and anthologies. For more information please visit