Magnificent Tibetan Rugs and Ritual Utensils Now on View at Metropolitan Museum

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NEW YORK, NY.- Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism, an installation dedicated to ritual practice in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, explores the role of the ritual objects that were employed by its practitioners in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Comprising 30 tantric ritual rugs and utensils—including knives, vessel, fire-offering ladles, ritual staff, daggers, offering table—the installation illustrates an esoteric Buddhism that flourished in Tibet from its beginnings in the eighth century through to the 20th century. While many of the objects on view—depicting gruesome images such as exposed brains in skull cups and flayed human skins—may be shocking to those unfamiliar with the meaning and purpose of Tibetan religious art, the deployment of these objects celebrates the power of detachment from the corporeal body that advanced Buddhist practitioners strive to attain. The