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.
For the Rubin Museum’s exhibition A Lost Future The Otolith Group created a body of work that engages with the educational principles of Visva Bharati, the art school founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Santiniketan in West Bengal, India, in 1921. As a real place and as portrayed by The Otolith Group, Santiniketan inspires a reimagining of the space for learning in the past, present, and future.
In this work, an archival image of a woman seated under a doorway is collaged into a photograph of the empty central campus of Kala Bhavan at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, which surrounds the large tree that she partially obscures. Two of the buildings visible in the background contain murals by the artist and educator K. G. Subramanyan (1924″“2016), who studied at Santiniketan from 1944 to 1948. By collaging a past image of a woman, occupying the physical space of a doorway, onto a photograph of a current environment lacking any signs of human beings, The Otolith Group has created a kind of nostalgia for past practice. It seems that the artist collective has engendered a sense of emptiness in the present, which allows one to still see the true existence of this space with all of its past, present, and future histories and narratives. The image recalls the idea of emptiness in Buddhism, whereby people suffer because we attempt to grasp things as fixed. This image by The Otolith Group challenges the notion of permanence that can stand in the way of one’s understanding of the Buddhist notion of emptiness.
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 tracycochran.org.