Tim McHenry concedes that many people don't know how to approach the Himalayan art that makes up the collection of the Rubin Museum in Chelsea, where he is the director of public programs. But most people--particularly anxious New York types--probably have spent some time pondering a more existential question, which he puts bluntly: "What the hell is happiness, anyway?"
"People don't actually know," Mr. McHenry said.
The concept of contentment is at the heart of the Buddhist philosophy that animates much of the Rubin's collection. Its meaning is the driving question for Happy Talk
, a series that starts this weekend, and will pair writers, actors, artists and musicians with Buddhist philosophers, neuroscientists and psychologists to sift through notions of happiness and its gloomier opposite.
The series will also include Rosanne Cash and her husband, John Leventhal, in an acoustic performance (described as "exploring happiness as expressed in enduring love relationships") with two other musical couples, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer, and Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.
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