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Theme: Ritual

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 19:00.

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.

Related Artwork

Prayer Wheel; Tibet; 19th
Prayer Wheel; Tibet; 19th”“20th century; wood, metal, and pigments; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Thomas Isenberg; SC2010.32a-h
Theme: Ritual
This Week’s Work of Art

This is a large-scale version of a common Buddhist ritual object, the prayer wheel. Prayer wheels””which range in size from handheld versions to ones that sit on tabletops to those so large they require multiple people to spin them””contain mantras written on paper and rolled up tightly to fit inside the cylindrical case. Practitioners spin these wheels to accumulate wisdom and merit while purifying themselves of negative qualities.Some believe that the practice is an application of the concept of the Wheel of Dharma. It is believed that each turn of the prayer wheel brings as much merit as reciting the mantra as many times as it is written inside, so more written mantras and more revolutions lead to more merit gained. Prayer wheel rituals may dictate how the object is held (upright in front of the body), spun (most often clockwise), and what a practitioner should think about or do after using one. Prayer wheels were featured in the recent Rubin Museum’s exhibition The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel and are on view in the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room.

Prayer wheels can be seen throughout the museum from the 5th floor exhibition “The Power of Intention” to the Shrine Room.

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.