Art Of Visualization


Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, The Art of Visualization, Wednesday Talks, 14 January, 2015 at 7:00 pm, Rubin Museum of Art, New York. ‘Visualization’, a common practice in Tibetan Buddhism, is using the imagination to transform the perception of reality. The power of this practice is at the heart of the new exhibition at the Rubin titled “The All-Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide” on view now through 13 April, 2015. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Buddhist nun, and one of the world’s leading senior female Dharma teachers, will sit down with art historian Kathryn Selig Brown to discuss how she was inspired by the visualization of the feminine in Buddhism to travel to the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery Temple in northern India. A book signing by Jetsunma will follow the talk.


From the exhibition “All Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide” which focuses on an exceptional set of paintings in the intimate format of album leaves from eighteenth-century China. The 54 richly detailed paintings provide step-by-step guidance to visualization of the Buddha Sarvavid Vairochana -also referred to as the All-knowing Buddha, and offer unique insight into the meditation and rituals of Tibetan Buddhism. These practices are normally not meant to be depicted and are usually restricted to oral transmission by a teacher to his initiated disciple. The album is displayed at the Rubin alongside an array of sculptures and paintings that brings together Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese works collected by a European missionary in Inner Mongolia during the turn of the 20th century, that provide an artistic, religious, and historical context for Buddhist practices related to Vairochana.

Jetsunma_BookInto The Heart of Life by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Paperback, 200 pgs, 2011. The real test of our Buddhist practice happens not on the cushion or in the protected space of retreat, but moment-to-moment in daily life, particularly when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. How do we respond? In this book, one of the most respected Western figures of contemporary Buddhism, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, offers insights gleaned from more than forty years of engagement with Buddhist practice. Her perspective is vast, with a well-grounded understanding of how the timeless Buddhist teachings apply to the demands and challenges of modern life.


Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo left her native England for India in 1964, and at the age of twenty was one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Buddhist nun. Vicki Mackenzie’s international bestseller Cave in the Snow chronicles her twelve years of seclusion and meditation practice in a remote cave in the Himalayas. During more than forty years of Buddhist practice, she has witnessed how women are neglected in spiritual communities and often forbidden to receive the highest teachings. Deeply concerned with the plight of Buddhist nuns, she established the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in 2000 in northern India. A residential and academic center, the Dongyu Gatsal Ling is a visionary new model for the spiritual training of young women. Jetsunma is the author of Reflections on a Mountain Lake and Into the Heart of Life. She was last on stage at the Rubin in the company of Gloria Steinem in 2011.

On Meditation


On Meditation: Gabrielle Bernstein, Short Film & Discussion, Rubin Museum of Art Talks, Wednesday August 20th, 2014, 7pm, New York. Premiere screening of a portrait of life coach Gabrielle Bernstein talking about her meditation practice. The film is followed by a conversation between Gabrielle and contemplative psychotherapist Joe Loizzo on what effects meditation is thought to have on our happiness and wellbeing. A book signing follows, including her latest bestsellers Miracles Now and May Cause Miracles.

Gabrielle_BookMiracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose by Gabrielle Bernstein, Hardcover, Published by: Hay House Inc, April 2014

108 simple techniques to combat our most common problems -stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, resentment. The stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. This book is designed so that you can achieve peace and experience miracles now. Inspired by some of the greatest spiritual teachings, these practical, moment-to-moment tools will help you eliminate blocks and live with more ease. Powerful, life-changing meditations and principles, modernized and broken down into easy-to-digest techniques to fit your lifestyle. Throughout the book, Bernstein shares principles from both A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga and meditation. Tools that can help you find your connection to your inner strength and inspire inner peace.


Life coach Gabrielle Bernstein is the New York Times best-selling author of Miracles Now and May Cause Miracles, Add More ~ing to Your Life, and Spirit Junkie. She has presented lectures at Google, TEDxWomen, L’Oreal, Agape Spiritual Center, Integral Yoga, Kripalu and universities nationwide, among many others. Gabrielle is a certified Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. She is also trained in the Emotional Freedom Technique and she’s a student of Transcendental Meditation -as taught by the David Lynch Foundation.

Joe Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D. is a contemplative psychotherapist, researcher and teacher who integrates ancient contemplative science and technology with current breakthroughs in neuroscience and optimal health. After training in psychiatry at Harvard and completing a Ph.D in Buddhist Studies at Columbia, he founded Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, a contemplative learning community that teaches timeless tools of self-healing and interdependence for today’s complex world. His latest book is Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration.

Bodies In Balance


The first major exhibition to present the origins, history and practice of a millennium of visual history, Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine opens at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, 14 March and runs through 8 Sept. 2014, exploring the guiding principles of the Tibetan science of healing represented in medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments. A multi-media installation showing how Tibetan medicine is used today, invites visitors to relate what they discover to their own lives through interactive experiences within the galleries and throughout the Museum including the Café Serai and the shop.


Tree of Diagnosis, Copy of Plate 3 of the Lhasa Tibetan Medical Paintings; Lhasa, central Tibet; date unknown; Pigments on Cloth and Brocade; Private Collection, Chicago, Courtesy Rubin Museum.

The relationship of Tibetan medicine, Buddhism, and the visual arts has been integral to the development and transmission of this medical tradition. Approximately 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present day demonstrate the advancement of Tibetan medical knowledge as it was codified in medical texts, illustrated in art, demonstrated by medical tools, and made evident by examples of medicines compounded from natural ingredients and applied in practice. Bodies in Balance provides audiences an opportunity to have a personalized exhibition experience.

The Tibetan science of healing is based on an analytical system in which three forces -wind, bile, and phlegm- govern physical and mental aspects of being. They are associated with colors in Tibetan imagery: pale blue, yellow and white, depicting imbalances that create illnesses that are then treated with medications or through modifications in behavior or diet. Using a brief questionnaire, visitors can determine which of the three forces is dominant in their constitutions and follow a color-coded pathway that highlights the exhibition components most relevant to them. The do-it-yourself approach even incorporates a video station where visitors learn to take their pulses in the Tibetan fashion, counting, for example, beats per breath. Also included in the exhibition is a touchscreen that provides additional information and interactive experiences of select elements of these practices.

Bodies In Balance: The Essentials

Keynote by Theresia Hofer: Friday March 21, 2014 @ 7:00 PM

A conference to deepen your appreciation of the exhibition -a full weekend of talks and demonstrations on the beneficial subject of Tibetan medicine and concepts of wellbeing. Scholars, medical practitioners and experts meet to share their experience in eleven separate presentations. As interest in healthy living and a holistic approach to healthcare gain popularity in Western societies, age-old healing traditions from the East are being re-examined as new sources of knowledge. In a keynote to open the weekend’s conference, exhibition curator Theresia Hofer outlines the rich and integrated medical, spiritual, and artistic dimensions of Tibetan medicine, providing audiences with a new perspective on the relationship between mind, body, and sustained wellbeing.

Expressions of the Inexpressible: The Dictionary of Buddhism

With Donald Lopez: Saturday March 22, 2014 @ 6:00 PM

A presentation to launch the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, in which the author highlights the entries on the Medicine Buddha.


The new Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, by Donald Lopez, in 1,304 pages and 1.2 million words, is the most authoritative and wide-ranging reference of its kind ever produced in English. Its more than 5,000 alphabetical entries explain the key terms, doctrines, practices, texts, authors, deities, and schools of Buddhism across six major canonical languages and traditions: Sanskrit, P?li, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; the dictionary also includes selected terms from Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Newar, Sinhalese, Thai, and Vietnamese. The entries take an encyclopedic approach to the religion, with short essays that explore the extended meaning and significance of the terms in greater depth than a conventional dictionary. At this book launch event, both authors will be present to discuss new and emerging trends in Buddhist Studies that are covered in the dictionary and highlight the entries on the Medicine Buddha. They will also present a Top Ten list of misconceptions about Buddhism, and will examine how these issues are addressed in the dictionary.

For information on presentations See Full Schedule


Hofer has a dual training in anthropology and medical history, holding advanced degrees from the University Vienna, Brunel University and University College London, UK. She currently works at the Section for Medical Anthropology at the University of Oslo, with her research and teaching focusing on cross-cultural understandings of health, illness and disability, and the history, art and contemporary practice of Tibetan medicine. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in the Tibet Autonomous Region (P. R. of China), Bhutan, India, and Nepal. She spent a year in Lhasa and rural central Tibet researching Tibetan doctors’ work in transforming and developing Tibetan medical traditions in the latter half of the 20th and into the 21st century. The result of almost five years of research and international collaboration is this first major exhibition that examines the guiding principles of Tibetan medicine through its diverse visual history, illuminating how this healing system has been passed down across a millennium and remains relevant to our 21st-century lives.

Anonymous No More


Ang Sang, Faces of Buddha, 2011, Acrylic on canvas, Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection.

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art, an exhibition of contemporary Tibetan art presented by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz is on view now through 15 December, 2013, featuring over 50 works of painting, sculpture, mixed media, installation, and video art created by 27 artists living in Tibet. Tibet, which has been occupied by China since 1951, is largely closed off from the Western world. Travel outside of the country is restricted and there are staunch limitations on its exports. To help make Tibetan art more accessible to American audiences, curator of the museum Weingeist conceived the show “Anonymous.” She invited Tibetan artists living all over the world to submit their work anonymously for the exhibition, believing that this option would allow artists to “express themselves without any repercussions.” When she began organizing the exhibition, however, she found that the opposite was true -despite possible consequences, all of the artists 
wanted to sign their work.


Dedron, Mona Lisa, 2012, Mineral pigment on canvas, Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection.

Anonymous seeks to explore the tension between an ancient culture’s unbroken artistic tradition and the personality-​​driven world of contemporary art. In traditional Tibetan art, a formal system of art production was used to support the transmission of Buddhist culture. In the present atmosphere however, art is becoming a vital medium of self-​​expression for Tibetans -increasingly, artists are creating work focused on the individual. A cautious 21st century visual language steeped in irony, metaphor, and allusion has fully emerged. The resulting show is a candid depiction of modern Tibetan life and is one of the first museum exhibitions of contemporary Tibetan art to be presented in the United States.

Monday, November 4, 7:30 pm
Distinguished Speaker, Robert A. F. Thurman 

Presented in conjunction with The Dorsky exhibition, Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art Robert A. F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important texts from the Tibetan Tengyur. For more information and tickets visit here


The exhibition will travel to the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont and the
 Queens Museum of Art in New York next year. The majority of artworks in the exhibition are on loan from Shelley and Donald Rubin, who donated a vast collection of Himalayan art to the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. They are also the founders of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, a philanthropic organization that has conducted seminars on Tibetan literature and art, generated online art databases, and launched a campaign to compile comprehensive biographies of Tibetan Buddhist and Bon masters, among other projects. Weingeist is a senior advisor to the foundation, and has helped promote Tibetan art by bringing artists from that region to the Rubin’s Artist-In-Residency Program in Vermont and organizing exhibitions such as this.

True Nature


Contemplative Drawing Workshop with Barbara Bash, Sunday September 15, 2013 @ 2:00 PM, at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. The act of drawing can offer a new understanding of the world. In this three-hour workshop participants will use drawing as a way to contemplate the sacred art in the Museum’s galleries. Working with pencils, pens, and simple coloring techniques, participants will explore how to choose their subjects, simplify the complexity of what they see, and combine drawings with words that will hopefully bring forth fresh insight to these works. No previous art experience is necessary. A beginner’s mind is all that is needed. All materials will be provided.


Barbara Bash is an author, illustrator, calligrapher, and teacher of nature journaling and expressive brush. Her study of dharma art with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Chinese pictograms with Ed Young contributed to her understanding of Eastern principles as applied to Western forms. She has written and illustrated many award-winning books on natural history for children and adults. Her most recent work, True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude, has recently been published in paperback with new drawing exercises.


True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude, by Barbara Bash, Expanded Edition, Paperback, 2012

This is a new and expanded edition which includes 16 pages of drawing exercises – “A Way to Begin”. In this colorful journal, writer-illustrator Barbara Bash has re-created her chronicles of meditation and contemplative wandering during a series of solitary country retreats. Combining journal notes in calligraphy watercolor-and-pencil drawings, she captures exquisite moments of magic in the natural environment: a dragonfly’s brief pause, a surprised deer in tall grass, a lumbering skunks visit, the woods at twilight. Nature lovers, gardeners, and anyone who enjoys the rich solitude of the natural world will recognize in Barbara a kindred spirit.

Count Your Blessings


 Prayer Beads, China, Qing dynasty, 18th century peach pit and pink coral, Rubin Museum of Art, 2013.

Rubin Museum of Art; Gift of Anne Breckenridge DorseyMore Information:[/url]
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Created from precious and semi-precious stones, ivory, wood, seeds, and bone, the prayer beads explored in the Rubin Museum of Art exhibition “Count Your Blessings: The Art of Prayer Beads in Asia,” exemplify the aesthetic and material diversity and devotional importance of these objects from across Buddhist Asia. On view through 24 March, 2014, with nearly 80 featured sets of prayer beads -predominately from private collection, from Bhutan, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, and Burma.

The exhibition delves into the histories and varied uses of prayer beads, emphasizing how their arrangement, complexity, materiality, and visual attributes reference their symbolic meaning, practical use, or status. The show addresses the importance of the structure and number of beads in a set to their function in religious practice. And includes a few select examples of prayer beads from the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions to help orient audiences and provide parallels with more familiar objects of similar purpose, such as rosaries. Count Your Blessings provides us with an opportunity to explore shared cultural approaches to the use of prayer beads in personal devotional practices, chanting, recitation of mantras, and of signs of status, and to highlight their enduring significance from centuries ago to present.


Create your own strand of sacred prayer beads in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Geshe Lobsang Ngodup and bead experts from Chelsea neighbors Beads of Paradise NYC. Participants will learn the symbolism and proper use of their own strand of 108 beads and will have the opportunity to have their new mala blessed by Lama Ngodup.

Wednesday August 7th, 2013 @ 7:00 PM Includes a gallery pre-tour of Count Your Blessings at 6:15 p.m.


Rubin Museum of Art is recognized as the premier museum of Himalayan art in the Western world. The museum seeks to present and preserve a collection that reflects the vitality, complexity, and historical significance of Himalayan art, and to further both the popular appreciation of and scholarly commitment to it. The museum’s collection of more than 2,000 works of art includes some of the finest examples of Himalayan paintings, sculptures, textiles, ritual objects, and prints spanning the 2nd to the 20th century.

Geshe Lobsang Ngodup received his Master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (a private monastery of HH the Dalai Lama) in Dharamsala, India, and received his Geshe Degree (a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy) from Sera Jey Monastic University, Bylakuppe, India. He is also a graduate of Yeshiva University, New York, where he received a Master of Social Work. He has been teaching Buddhism and meditation since 1989 in the United States and India. He has worked with a number of social services in New York over the past seventeen years. He is currently the Director of Sera Jey Buddhist Culture Center in New York.

Beads of Paradise NYC, founded in the 1980s in the East Village as a purveyor of African beads, has been bringing art and antiquities from all over the world to New York City for three decades. Now located in the historic Flatiron district, their diverse selection now includes South and South East Asian Art as well as vintage beads and ethnographic jewelry from multiple continents, prayer beads and Buddhist and Hindu religious artifacts, as well as their own line of contemporary semiprecious-stone jewelry and repair services.