The Meeting Of Meditation And Art

As the practice (and the benefits) of meditation become more widely understood, its influence continues to have profound effects in many different circles. From architectural designs to intricate gardens and now museums, having a quiet place to contemplate and turn inwards is becoming more mainstream.

In this latest NPR post from Pat Dowell, The Rothko Chapel is uncovered. Serving as both an interfaith sanctuary and a center for human rights, the art museum features 14 monumental paintings by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. Located in Houston, the center opened its door over 40 years ago.

What makes this museum special is found in the main room: wooden benches arranged to create a space for people to meditate. Today, over 55,000 people come to the center annually to explore both the art as well as their inner lives.

Concerts, conferences, lectures, weddings and memorial services all take place in the chapel throughout the year, but on most days you will find visitors — about 55,000 annually come to see, to meditate, to write in the large comment book in the foyer, to read the variety of well-thumbed religious texts available on benches at the entrance…

“People feel it’s their place,” she says. Her relaxed, almost musical voice fits well with the atmosphere of the place. “They come, and they have a problem, and they cry in this space. If you look at the comment books, they make comments to each other as though this was their personal little diary.”

Read more about meditation at The Rothko Chapel here.

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