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This week’s meditation session is led by Rebecca Li and the theme is Ritual.

The guided meditation begins at 15:33.

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 45-minute weekly program designed to fit into your lunch break. Each session is inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute meditation session, and a closing discussion.



Mahakala, Legden, Excellent One;
Mahakala, Legden, Excellent One; Tibet; 15th century; Gilt copper alloy with inlays of semiprecious stones; Rubin Museum of Art; C2003.10.3 (HAR 65208)

The iconography of this Mahakala is drawn from the Nyingma tradition— the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The sculpture is associated with the hidden treasure (terma) teachings. It is engraved with auspicious symbols and motifs of vajras, lotuses, clouds, and phoenixes, and is inlaid with quartz- crystal and lapis lazuli.

Mahakala’s appearance is ferocious—emphasized by his blazing hair that stands on end. Although Mahakala is portrayed as fierce, his role is that of guardian, protecting practitioners from negative forces and destroying obstacles on the path to enlightenment.


About the Speaker

rebecca li

Dr. Rebecca Li, a Dharma heir in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen, is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community. She teaches meditation and Dharma classes, gives public lectures, and leads retreats in North America and Europe. Li is the author of Allow Joy into Our Hearts: Chan Practice in Uncertain Times, and her new book titled Illumination: A Guide to the Buddhist Method of No-Method was published by Shambhala Publications in October.  She is a sociology professor and lives with her husband in New Jersey. Her talks and writings can be found at


This program is presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg and teachers from the New York Insight Meditation Center, the Interdependence Project, and Parabola Magazine and supported by the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.