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A meditation session led by Sharon Salzberg.

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 sitting session, and a closing discussion. Chairs will be provided.

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


Shakyamuni Buddha; Tibet; 13th century; gilt copper alloy with pigment; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.31 (HAR 65454)
Shakyamuni Buddha; Tibet; 13th century; gilt copper alloy with pigment; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.31 (HAR 65454)

Theme: Story

This sculpture depicts the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who lived approximately 2,500 years ago. His life story is one of the foundations of Buddhism. Born a prince, Siddhartha realized that living a life of excess and sensual pleasure had given him no lasting happiness. Observing the constant grasping for objects, feelings, and relationships, he asked himself how to end this unsatisfactory nature of existence. With this question in mind, he left his father’s palace and began his spiritual quest. Over the next six years, it is said that the Buddha tried every spiritual system he could find, but none of them brought him closer to achieving his goal. Eventually, he found the answer to his question while sitting under the bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. The story is told again and again in Buddhist cultures because all the essential teachings are contained within it.

About the Speaker

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.