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Theme: Transformation

About the Meditation

Meditation session led by Sharon Salzberg.

The guided meditation begins at 12:47.

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 meditation session, and a closing discussion.

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

Wheel of Life; Tibet; early 20th century; Pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2004.21.1 (HAR 65356)

This diagram summarizes the Buddha’s enlightening vision under the bodhi tree. It explains the cyclical process of life, death, and rebirth (samsara). The Lord of Death, Yama, grips a wheel driven by three animals representing the mental poisons””attachment rooster), anger (snake), and ignorance (pig)””at its hub.

In the next circle from the center, people move upward to higher states of consciousness (light) and downward to afflicted states (dark). Their actions, polluted by the poisons, propel them in a continuous cycle of rebirth in the six realms of existence, depicted in the large segments around the two inner circles. These are the realms of gods and demi-gods (top left), humans (top right), animals (lower left), hungry ghosts (lower right), and hells (bottom). The wheel’s outer rim is the symbolic chain of causality that binds this closed circle with no clear way out.

When the Buddha comprehended the structure and dynamics of this cycle, he was also able to discern a pathway out of it that others can learn and follow. This is why the Buddha appears both outside the wheel, at the upper right, and within it, pointing the way out by teaching the Dharma.

About the Speaker

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, has guided meditation retreats worldwide since 1974.

Her latest book is Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World. Sharon is also the author of several publications including the New York Times bestseller Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, and Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. While running her own podcast The Metta Hour and interviewing 100+ influential voices in meditation and mindfulness movements, Sharon has regularly contributed to many onstage conversations at the Rubin.