Is the daily grind grinding you down? Worried sick? It might be time to change your mindset. This summer, the Rubin Museum of Art—the only museum in the US dedicated to the Himalayan region—presents Bodies in Balance. Focusing on the art of Tibetan medicine, the exhibition, which runs till September 8th, will provide you with a better understanding of the forces that run in your body and teach you techniques to achieve peace and wellness.
Tibetan medicine—known as Sowa Rigpa or the art of healing—has been taught and practiced throughout Central Asia for more than 2,500 years. It combines the best elements of Indian ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine, and other medical traditions. In this holistic and complementary healing system, the human body is considered to be based on the “five cosmic energies”—space, air, fire, water, and earth. The biological intermediaries of these five are the “three humors” (nyepas in Tibetan)—wind, bile, and phlegm—which govern the physical and mental aspects of the being. Each of the three is considered to be a sort of energy or force, which circulates through the different channels, organs, and tissues of the body. In Tibetan imagery, they are associated with the colors pale blue, yellow and white. Imbalances in the nyepas create illnesses that are treated with medicines or through modifications in behavior or diet.
At Bodies in Balance, get ready to walk through a couple of millennia of Tibetan medicine. The exhibition demonstrates the advancement of Tibetan medical knowledge through 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present day, including medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments. A multimedia installation shows how Tibetan medicine is used today. There is also an interesting personal component to the show. Before entering the galleries, you are invited to fill out a brief questionnaire that determines which of the three forces is dominant in your constitution. Each of the three results corresponds to a color-coded pathway that will lead you through the exhibition to reveal the works relevant to your energy.
In addition to the exhibition, the Rubin has designed a summer program that will leave you more balanced this summer. The related series of talks, classes, and workshops will transport you to an alternative universe in which you’ll learn all about the art of healing. These include: mandalas that feature the Medicine Buddha, the source of healing knowledge; paintings of trees used in Tibetan medical schools; diagrams of diseases; pulse readings that detect the status of a person’s body, mind, soul, and spirit; and protective amulets based on astrological readings.
Talks, classes and workshops run from July 9th to August 20th, 2014, and will conclude with a conversation with life coach and The New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein, who will explain how meditation can help achieve happiness and well-being. Get your tickets here and peace out.