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Meditation session led by Shanté Paradigm Smalls.

For centuries Himalayan practitioners have used meditation to quiet the mind, open the heart, calm the nervous system, and increase focus. Mindfulness meditation offers not only refuge, but an opportunity to engage more consciously with the world around us.

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, each inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection. Designed to fit into your lunch break, the program includes an opening talk, a twenty-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. Chairs will be provided.

Presented with Sharon Salzberg & Shambhala Meditation Center of NYC. This program is supported in part by the Hemera Foundation.


Tantric Dagger; Tibet; ca. 17th century; iron and gilt brass; Rubin Museum of Art C2005.16.66 (HAR 65489).
Tantric Dagger; Tibet; ca. 17th century; iron and gilt brass; Rubin Museum of Art C2005.16.66 (HAR 65489).

Theme: Focus

One of the most important ritual implements in Tibetan Buddhism, the purba is a dagger with a triangular blade used for exorcisms and advanced meditational practices. Tibetan texts often describe the purba being used to pin demons and negative spirits to the ground as a means of subduing them. In practice, the purba will pierce the ground or a bowl of grain symbolizing the taming of these spirits. As with many things within the Tibetan tradition, not only does the purba tame demons of the lands, it also represents the focus and grounding needed to conquer the negative emotions that afflict us all.

About the Speaker

Shanté Paradigm Smalls, PhD, is a teacher and meditation instructor in the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Smalls is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and has been a member of Shambhala and the NYC Shambhala sangha since 2006. Dr. Smalls is an Assistant Professor of English at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. For more information, visit