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About the Meditation

Meditation session led by Rebecca Li.

The guided meditation begins at 15:42

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 forty-five-minute weekly program designed to fit into your lunch break. Each session will be inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection and will include an opening talk, a twenty-minute meditation session, and a closing discussion.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and the Interdependence Project. This program is supported in part by the Hemera Foundation.




Machik Labdron; Kham Province, eastern Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.563 (HAR 1045)

Machik Labrdon, a woman famous for her mastery of the tantric practice known as “cutting through ego” (chod), is shown adorned in bone ornaments, dancing to the sounds of her drum (damar) and the bell she holds.

To her right are dakinis, goddesses who walk the skies, dancing with her. To her left, a tantric master, possibly Machik’s teacher, is blowing into a leg bone trumpet. A personification of the Perfection of Wisdom, the deity Prajnaparamita is above her among the buddhas, symbolizing that the realization of the empty nature of reality is what frees one from the attachment to self, the root cause of all suffering. Chod practitioners intentionally visualize in their mind’s eye their own bodies as offerings to the gods and spirits.

About the Speaker

rebecca li

Rebecca Li, a Dharma heir in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen, is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community. She started practicing with Master Sheng Yen in the 1990s and served as his translator until his passing in 2009. She later trained with and received full Dharma transmission from one of his Dharma heirs, Dr. Simon Child, in 2016. Dr. Li teaches meditation and Dharma classes, gives public lectures, and leads retreats in North America and the United Kingdom. She is a sociology professor at The College of New Jersey, where she also serves as faculty director of the Alan Dawley Center for the Study of Social Justice. Her latest book is Allow Joy into Our Hearts: Chan Practice in Uncertain Times. Find her talks and writings at