Rubin Museum of Art

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On Meditation

How do you document an inner journey?

Attend the special advance screenings of short portrait films – rare glimpses - that give insight to different approaches to meditation. Each vignette is followed by an on-stage conversation between practitioner and mind scientist.

On Meditation is a continuing series. Further screenings and sessions beyond the six listed below featuring Arlene Shechet, Mark Epstein, and Sharon Salzberg will be scheduled later in the year. Please sign up for our monthly e-news to receive notice of the extended schedule as it is finalized.

On Meditation: Gabrielle Bernstein
Wednesday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m.

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 a psychologist 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.
Learn More


Past Programs

The Monk
The Venerable Metteyya + neurosurgeon Philip E. Stieg
Saturday, February 8 at 3 p.m.

Born in Lumbini, Nepal (the birthplace of the Buddha), the Venerable Metteyya is a renowned student and teacher of meditation ordained as a Buddhist Monk in 2007. He takes the stage with Weill Cornell Medical College neurosurgeon Philip E. Stieg following a short film portrait in which he talks about his lifelong pursuit of enlightenment and shares his observations on the relationship between mind and body.

The Actor
Giancarlo Esposito + neuroscientist Moran Cerf
Saturday, February 8 at 6 p.m.

Film and television actor Giancarlo Esposito, known for his roles in films such as Do the Right Thing, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York, and his portrayal of drug kingpin Gustavo "Gus" Fring on the AMC series Breaking Bad, shares how meditation has transformed his personal life and informed his acting technique. The conversation with neuroscientist Moran Cerf follows the short On Meditation portrait.

The TM Teacher
Bob Roth + experimental psychologist Barry Cohen
Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m.

In this short portrait, acclaimed film director David Lynch, a longtime practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM) talks about how meditation has affected both his personal and professional lives in unimaginable ways. Bob Roth, director of the David Lynch Foundation then takes the stage with NYU's Barry Cohen to discuss the psychophysical effects of meditation practice.

Barry Cohen is Clinical Associate Professor in the Psychology department at New York University. Dr. Cohen studies how we use our bodies as part of the thinking process -- in particular, our motor systems. He has studied eye movements, as well as muscle tension changes, as markers of specific cognitive activity and is involved in researching the general effects of mental effort, meditation, and relaxation on various physiological systems, and in theories of emotion.

The Zen Teacher
Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi + neuroscientist Brent A. Field
Wednesday, February 19 at 7 p.m.

Author Peter Matthiessen is the featured portrait in this session. He is a three-time National Book Award-winning American novelist, non-fiction writer, and environmental activist who has been a student of Zen Buddhism for more than three decades. In the short film that starts this program, Matthiessen talks about the calming influence of his spiritual practices at his home in Sagaponack, Long Island, where he keeps a zendo, a beautiful space dedicated for meditation.  His friend Zen teacher Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi takes the stage after the film to discuss, with Princeton neuroscientist Brent Field, the particular world view of the Zen Buddhist.


The Yoga Teacher
Elena Brower + neuropsychologist Kenneth Perrine
Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m.

After her short film portrait, Elena Brower, one of the most respected Hatha yoga teachers in the United States, talks about how meditation, once a struggle, has become crucial to her well-being and shares how meditation can be incorporated into one's life anywhere and everywhere, even in the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Dr. Kenneth Perrine is a clinical neuropsychologist at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center and an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He sees patients for pre-surgical evaluations prior to surgery for epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and tumor resection as well as a variety of other disorders to determine the presence, breadth, and extent of cerebral dysfunction for treatment planning. Dr. Perrine is part of the Pediatric Concussion Clinic, for which he sees children with mild TBI or concussions, and is also the consulting neuropsychologist for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders sports teams where he evaluates players with concussions. His clinical work and research interests include clinical neuropsychology, epilepsy, movement disorders, dementia, traumatic brain injury/concussion, brain tumors, and other conditions affecting cerebral functioning.


The Congressman
Tim Ryan + cognitive scientist Emma Seppala
Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m.

Six term Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and author of A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit, shares with empathy specialist Emma Seppala how his personal commitment to daily meditation has influenced his efforts to bring mindfulness training into the health care system and the military.

ON MEDITATION is a production of Snapdragon Films. The series will be helmed by the award winning director/executive producer team of Rebecca Dreyfus and Susannah Ludwig, joined by renowned yoga teacher and author Elena Brower, who is for the first time lending her talents as an executive producer.