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Colorful album cover of Songs from the Bardo, a collaborative project between artists Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith.

This program is online only via Zoom. Advance registration is required.

Meditation helps us build a relationship to a place of inner quietude. The Hirshhorn is partnering with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and Smithsonian Folkways to present a 30-minute online sound meditation featuring Buddhist-inspired music by Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, and Jesse Paris Smith from the album Songs from the Bardo. A conversation about the album will follow the meditation practice.  The program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Laurie Anderson: The Weather.

This special one-time session is part of a series of free, 30-minute online meditation sessions hosted three times a week by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art,  led by DC-based meditation teachers. The practice of meditation is rooted in a variety of Asian spiritual traditions. Each month, the National Museum of Asian Art uses a different theme as a lens through which to explore these traditions. Sessions include inspiration from art in the museum collections as well as appearances by special guest teachers and artists. All are welcome and no previous experience is required.

Meet the meditation teachers: Aparna Sadananda and Philip Bender.


Songs from the Bardo, from internationally renowned multimedia artist Laurie Anderson, instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal, and composer and activist Jesse Paris Smith, guides listeners through an introspective 80-minute investigation of the text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The album is a transporting experience, meant to draw the listener into the present moment and provide a framework for inner exploration. Choegyal says, “I have tried to channel the wisdom and traditions of my ancestors through my music in a very contemporary way while holding the depth of my lineage.” Like a guided meditation, this album suspends time, allowing listeners to fully lose themselves in the piece, as well as bringing to a new light the ideas expressed in the text, connecting the past and the present by illuminating death, the one constant in the impermanent human experience.

Enjoy an excerpt.

Songs from the Bardo can be purchased in the Hirshhorn Museum Store or online via Smithsonian Folkways.

Image courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways.



May 6, 2022
12:00 pm–12:30 pm
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States
View Venue Website


National Museum of Asian Art
Smithsonian Folkways