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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.

Presented in partnership with Sharon Salzberg, the New York Insight Meditation Center, and the Interdependence Project.


Buddha Shakyamuni; Tibet; 15th century; Copper alloy with pigments; Rubin Museum of Art; C2001.13.3 (HAR 65014)
Buddha Shakyamuni; Tibet; 15th century; Copper alloy with pigments; Rubin Museum of Art; C2001.13.3 (HAR 65014)

Theme: Seeking Refuge

This sculpture depicts the historical figure of Buddha Shakyamuni performing the earth-witness pose. Prior to his enlightenment, Siddhartha was challenged by Mara, the personification of doubt, who asked, “Who will witness your enlightenment?” Siddhartha touches the ground, saying the earth will be his witness. It’s at that moment that Siddhartha becomes a Buddha, an awakened one. Buddhist practitioners take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings), and the Sangha (Buddhist community). Ultimately practitioners must become a refuge for themselves and others as they participate in the community, embody the teachings, and finally become an enlightened themselves.

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.