Mirror Meditation Makes Narcissism Mindful

At the Rubin Museum, dedicated to Nepalese art, they're kicking off Mirror Meditation.

A woman kneels in a chair dressed in her brassiere and stockings, admiring herself in a hand mirror and arranging her hair, 1940s.

Mirror meditation allows people to stare in the mirror in search of numerous health benefits (Photo: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Before, staring in the mirror for hours on end could lead to a sense of narcissism; now, the same practice is deemed “self-care.” At the Rubin Museum of Art, dedicated to art from the Himalayas and surrounding regions, they’re kicking off a series of mindfulness programs, including Mirror Meditation and a Spring Reawakening Ayurvedic Detox. This is the first time mirror meditation is taking place in a group setting at the museum, allowing practitioners to ask “Who’s the fairest of them all?” while surrounded by strangers.

Rubin Shrine

Meditators meet in the Rubin Shrine on the fourth floor of the museum (Photo: Courtesy the Rubin Museum).

Dr. Tara Well, a professor of psychology at Columbia, will lead the workshop. Dr. Well described drishti, a precursor to mirror meditation, as “gazing on a fixed point.” Similar to yoga when one is attempting to balance, gazing upon a fixed point is supposed to help focus. “In mirror meditation, you are your own focal point, and of course much more complex than a spot on the wall,” Dr. Well said.

Shrine Room

The Rubin Museum of Art is dedicated to honoring Nepal’s people, traditions and art (Photo: Courtesy the Rubin Museum).

The practice helps people confront themselves in the mirror, instead of sleeping during a sound bath. Next time someone comments on your fondness for admiring yourself in the mirror, simply tell them you’re meditating.

While this program is sold out, the museum has a series of wellness events coming up, allowing people to meditate surrounded by art in the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine room. If you don’t get off of the wait list in time, you can always practice in a mirror of your own.

Mirror Meditation Makes Narcissism Mindful