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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 17:00.

If you would like to attend Mindfulness Meditation sessions in person or learn more, please visit our website at

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

Theme: Change

The Dalai Lama once said the worth of a piece of art is based on the transformation of the creator in the process of creating it. In this week’s podcast recording, Sharon Salzburg discusses the importance of personal change, highlighting how this internal change can help us kindle change in the world around us.

Related Artwork
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)
This Week’s Work of Art

This sculpture depicts the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who lived approximately 2,500 years ago. It marks the moment of the Buddha’s Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya and the change from the human to immortal realms.

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.

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.