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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 17:16.

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.

Theme: Wisdom

“Everything in our experience is changing, moving, shifting”¦ it’s like a characteristic of life.” Inspired by Heruka Krishna Yamari, wrathful emanation of the Wisdom Bodhisattva Manjushri, Sharon Salzberg discusses self-awareness and how to achieve emotional clarity through mindfulness.

Related Artwork
Mandala of Heruka Krishna Yamari; Tsang Province, Central Tibet; 15th century; mineral pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.41 (HAR 65464)
Mandala of Heruka Krishna Yamari; Tsang Province, Central Tibet; 15th century; mineral pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.41 (HAR 65464)

This Week’s Work of Art

Mandalas, with their elaborate geometric patterns, represent both the celestial dwellings of deities and the Buddhist conception of the cosmos. As a rule, a mandala is a symmetrical diagram oriented around a center, usually composed of concentric circles and squares and expressed in the architectural framework of a palace. They are used as guides for complex Tantric Buddhist practices, such as visualization meditation, and may also serve as ritual objects and protective talismans.

The deity in the center of this mandala is Krishna Yamari, a wrathful form of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Yamari has six faces and six hands. The two faces on the right are white and the two faces on the left are red. His first two hands hold a vajra and bell crossed at the heart, representing the union of wisdom (knowledge of reality) and method (compassionate action). The middle two hold a skull cup and lasso, while the last two hold a sword and staff. He is shown in a cosmic embrace with his female consort, again representing the unity of wisdom and compassion.

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.