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About the Mindfulness Meditation Podcast

The Rubin Museum of Art presents a weekly meditation session led by a prominent meditation teacher from the New York area, with each session focusing on a specific work of art. This podcast is recorded in front of a live audience, and includes an opening talk, a 20-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. The guided meditation begins at 22:02.

If you would like to attend Mindfulness Meditation sessions in person or learn more, please visit our website at

This program is supported with thanks to our presenting partners Sharon Salzberg, the Interdependence Project and Parabola Magazine.

New York Insight Meditation Center

Related Artwork

Avadana (Stories of Noble Deeds) Eastern Tibet; 17th century Pigments on cloth Rubin Museum of Art C2004.20.1 (HAR 65341)
Avadana (Stories of Noble Deeds) Eastern Tibet; 17th century Pigments on cloth Rubin Museum of Art C2004.20.1 (HAR 65341)

Theme: Rebirth

Tales of Buddha Shakyamuni’s past lives (jataka) are some of the most well-known narratives in Himalayan cultures and are often presented in a series of paintings, with each painting depicting a part of the collection of stories. Presented as small vignettes, these narrative scenes are usually arranged around a central image of the Buddha and visually separated by landscape elements.

The traditional set of 34 tales, which was later expanded to 108, includes the stories of the Buddha’s previous lives as a Bodhisattva, king, merchant, and animal.

For example, the scenes in the upper-right corner of this painting depict the story of when the Buddha, in his life as an elephant, saved a group of starving wanderers in the forest by sacrificing his body, hurling himself over a ledge for his sustenance.

About the Speaker

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has guided meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest books are Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connections and Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and the author of several other books including the New York Times best-seller Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Sharon has been a regular participant in the Rubin’s many on-stage conversations.