We Are Building American Buddhism

Rubin Museum

150 west 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
Website: www.rmanyc.org

Description of Organization

The Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) presented its fourth annual BRAINWAVE series in spring 2011, bringing together some of the world's foremost artists and neuroscientists in a groundbreaking series of talks, performances, and screenings, to explore the brain and its connection to art, culture, our thoughts, health and wellbeing. From Tibetan lamas, to prominent artists, actors and directors; from neuroscientists to novelists and playwrights; participants in BRAINWAVE created, with conversation and collaboration, a unique opportunity for the general public to witness the melding of the cutting edge with the deeply historic and cultural.

Most of the Asian art of the Himalayas on display at the Museum focuses on the potential of the mind, body and spirit. Many of the works were created in pursuit of enlightenment and eternal truths of the universe, and as such, act as meditative tools through which practitioners seek to control the mind. BRAINWAVE serves as the nexus between three compelling arenas: Himalayan art and culture, popular interest in the potential of the human brain, and a growing scientific understanding of the brain. This powerful combination has infinite possibilities to inform and educate us; the programming for BRAINWAVE seeks the voices of those who represent the leading edge of all three of these disciplines.

About Brainwave 2012

Now in its fifth year, Brainwave brings people from diverse walks of life together to engage with neuroscientists in one-on-one conversations in order to better understand the workings of our minds. Starting February 2012 we will focus on how memory is processed in the brain.

"Central Asia is home to some of world culture's greatest feats of memory. The 12th century epic poem of King Gesar, the early mythic king of early Tibet, is assessed at a million verses long, for example. Tibetan Buddhist culture in particular makes use of 'artificial memory' in retaining sacred teachings through the form of elaborate iconography in painted and sculptural form. In this year's series we will look at the role of memory has played in the past, and the debatable role it plays in our contemporary cut-and-paste culture." - Tim McHenry, Producer

For more information go to: http://www.rmanyc.org/brainwave

Grant(s) Awarded

The Lenz Foundation awarded the Rubin Museum a $10,000 grant for their 2011 BrainWave series. 

In 2013, a grant addendum provided an additional $2,500 in support of the sixth annual BrainWave series. 

In 2019, a grant in the amount of $6,000 was awarded to The Rubin Museum to support their signature meditation program, Awakening Practices, which has its roots in the living traditions of the Himalayas. This practice is offered on select Saturday mornings by Rubin staff member, Tashi Chodron. Awakening Practice explores the connections between Himalayan culture, art, and practice. Each 45-minute session occurs in the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine room and includes a 20-minute guided meditation, mudra (seals or gestures that aid in meditation), mantra (sound meditation), and contemplation. 

Results / Update

The Rubin Museum of Art is grateful to The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism for its generous support of the 2012 BRAINWAVE series (February 4 - April 28, 2012). The success of this series, which surveyed matters related to the human brain and memory is evidenced by its sold-out programs and positive press from such sources as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, NPR, and ABC News. The BRAINWAVE programs, with The Lenz Foundation's sponsorship credit, were recorded in HD with a view to broadcasting on a major lifestyle channel in the fall, in addition to positing them on the museum's website, broadening the series to a multi-million audience platform.

Sponsorship credit to The Lenz Foundation was included on the BRAINWAVE website, which received over 16,000 page views during the program, in the BRAINWAVE brochure, and in press material, with the credit line: Brainwave 2012 is made possible, in part, by support from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism (www.FrederickLenzFoundation.org).

Return to Grant Activity