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Theme: Empowerment

“It’s at times when everything is up in the air that we’re more open to seeing the qualities of other people and situations.”

The yogi Kanha was converted to Buddhism after a chance encounter with the mystic Virupa. Tying together Buddhist lore and the Wizard of Oz, Tracy Cochran discusses the power of sudden change.

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 21:31.

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

Manjushri Namasangiti; Tibet; 19th century; metal alloy; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2013.9a-c
Manjushri Namasangiti; Tibet; 19th century; metal alloy; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2013.9a-c

In the tantric literature of Northern Buddhism, Manjushri, the male embodiment of wisdom, is seen as a completely enlightened buddha with a great number of manifestations and appearances. Through empowerment practice, Manjushri tames ignorance, which is a root cause of suffering, and enhances wisdom. Here, he can be seen in his peaceful form, resting in lotus posture. In his four arms he holds a book for teaching, wields a sword, and carries a bow and arrow. Not only does he empower practitioners through bestowing mantra, but he also empowers through knowledge. Learning is the truest form of self-empowerment.

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