Episodes

  • For most, deep and lasting enlightenment doesn’t come in an instant. When considering how to navigate a path of study and self-inquiry, what is important? Psychologist, author and teacher of meditation Tara Brach shares her own story of how her life took an unexpected turn, what it was like to find her own path as both a student and teacher of Buddhism, and how her spiritual journey led to one of radical acceptance and compassion.

    Tara responds to a sculpture of Gautama Budda who holds his hands in a gesture of teaching known as the dharmachakra mudra, indicating the act of instruction. It originally signified the Buddha’s first teaching when he symbolically turned the wheel of the Dharma.


    Visit the podcast webpage to see the art that inspired this episode, read a transcript, donate, and more:
    https://rubinmuseum.org/mediacenter/finding-a-path-with-meditation-teacher-tara-brach-awaken-podcast

    About the podcast:
    AWAKEN is a 10-episode series from the Rubin Museum of Art hosted by acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson that explores the dynamic path to enlightenment and what it means to “wake up.” Each episode dives into the personal stories of guests who share how they’ve experienced a shift in their awareness, and as a result, their perspective on life. From deep introspection to curious life-changing moments, awakening can take many forms, from the mundane to the sacred. Taking inspiration from the exhibition “Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment,” each story uses artworks as a jumping off point as we hear from authors, artists, wisdom bearers, and Buddhist teachers, because every journey is different.

  • What if enlightenment is not something to strive for, but an innate quality born to every human being? Gender non-conforming writer, performer, and public speaker Alok Vaid-Menon challenges us to see the divine nature in every person, including ourselves, and asks who we might be if we choose to step outside of the limitations of judgment.

    Alok considers a sculpture of the Buddha Triumphing Over Mara, which depicts the moment the Buddha overcame ignorance, touched the earth as his witness, and became enlightened, declaring, "I am not a man, I am awake."


    Visit the podcast webpage to see the art that inspired this episode, read a transcript, donate, and more:
    https://rubinmuseum.org/mediacenter/our-divine-nature-with-writer-alok-vaid-menon-awaken-podcast

    About the podcast:
    AWAKEN is a 10-episode series from the Rubin Museum of Art hosted by acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson that explores the dynamic path to enlightenment and what it means to “wake up.” Each episode dives into the personal stories of guests who share how they’ve experienced a shift in their awareness, and as a result, their perspective on life. From deep introspection to curious life-changing moments, awakening can take many forms, from the mundane to the sacred. Taking inspiration from the exhibition “Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment,” each story uses artworks as a jumping off point as we hear from authors, artists, wisdom bearers, and Buddhist teachers, because every journey is different.

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  • Life can be chaotic. Do we really have to face it in order to taste enlightenment? In our first episode, we speak with comedian Aparna Nancherla about her own relationship to inner turmoil, from pushing discomfort away to the relief of acknowledging it. She shares what it was like growing up a child of immigrants, her journey to recovery from an eating disorder, and how her struggle with anxiety and depression found its way into her standup routine.

    To begin, Aparna engages with a contemporary painting by Tsherin Sherpa, titled Luxation 1. Luxation means dislocation or displacement, and across sixteen panels that depict fragments of a Buddhist deity, the painting references the cultural dislocation felt by the artist.


    Visit the podcast webpage to see the art that inspired this episode, read a transcript, donate, and more:
    https://rubinmuseum.org/mediacenter/facing-chaos-with-comedian-aparna-nancherla-awaken-podcast

    About the podcast:
    AWAKEN is a 10-episode series from the Rubin Museum of Art hosted by acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson that explores the dynamic path to enlightenment and what it means to "wake up." Each episode dives into the personal stories of guests who share how they've experienced a shift in their awareness, and as a result, their perspective on life. From deep introspection to curious life-changing moments, awakening can take many forms, from the mundane to the sacred. Taking inspiration from the exhibition "Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment," each story uses artworks as a jumping off point as we hear from authors, artists, wisdom bearers, and Buddhist teachers, because every journey is different.

  • Welcome to AWAKEN, a new podcast presented by the Rubin Museum of Art and hosted by acclaimed musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson. AWAKEN explores the dynamic path to enlightenment and what it means to “wake up.” In ten episodes we dive into the personal stories of guests who share how they’ve experienced a shift in their awareness, and as a result, their perspective on life.