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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 11:59.

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

Stories of the Previous Lives of the Buddha (Jataka); Eastern Tibet; late 17th
Stories of the Previous Lives of the Buddha (Jataka); Eastern Tibet; late 17th”“18th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; C2004.20.1(HAR 65341)

Theme: Awakening

Tales of Buddha Shakyamuni’s past lives (jataka) are some of the most well-known narratives in Himalayan cultures and are often presented in a series of paintings, with each painting depicting a part of the collection of stories. Presented as small vignettes, these narrative scenes are usually arranged around a central image of the Buddha and visually separated by landscape elements. The traditional set of 34 tales, which was later expanded to 108, includes stories of the Buddha’s previous lives as a bodhisattva, king, merchant, and animal. For example, the scenes in the upper-right corner of this painting depict the story of when the Buddha, in his life as an elephant, saved a group of starving wanderers in the forest by sacrificing his body, hurling himself over a ledge for their sustenance.

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