The Rubin is transforming. Read important updates from our Executive Director.

A meditation session led by Tracy Cochran.

For centuries Himalayan practitioners have used meditation to quiet the mind, open the heart, calm the nervous system, and increase focus. Mindfulness meditation offers both a refuge from the world around us, and an opportunity to engage with it more consciously.

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. Each session is inspired by a different work of art from the Rubin Museum’s collection. Designed to fit into your lunch break, the program includes an opening talk, a twenty-minute sitting session, and a closing discussion. Chairs will be provided.

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

Portable Mani Shrine (Tashi Gomang) of the Copper Palace of Padmasambhava; Bhutan; 18th
Portable Mani Shrine (Tashi Gomang) of the Copper Palace of Padmasambhava; Bhutan; 18th”“19th century; painted and gilded wood with sun-dried clay figures; Private Collection; L195.1.1

Theme: Transforming Obstacles

This portable shrine from Bhutan depicts the palace of Padmasambhava. According to legend, after Buddhist master Padmsambhava left Tibet, he went to live in his pure land on top of the Copper-Colored Mountain where he still resides today.

This shrine was likely carried through Bhutan and used as prop by travelling storytellers who recounted the great achievements of Padmsambhava. Opening up the shrine reveals several different levels filled with elaborate details transforming the seemingly simple structure into something much larger and more complex.

The shrine can be seen as a metaphor for how our obstacles, when examined with mindful attention, can transform into something that can teach us about ourselves and the world, much like the stories of Padmasambhava do.

About the Speaker

Tracy Cochran is editorial director of Parabola, a quarterly magazine that for forty years has drawn on the world’s cultural and wisdom traditions to explore the questions that all humans share. She has been a student of meditation and spiritual practices for decades and teaches mindfulness meditation and mindful writing at New York Insight Meditation Center and throughout the greater New York area. In addition to Parabola, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Psychology Today, O Magazine, New York Magazine, the Boston Review, and many other publications and anthologies. For more information please visit