I have never been a morning person. As a part-time teaching artist/freelance writer/non-profit founder/occasional babysitter, I tend to make my own work schedule. A lot of the time, that means working til 3 or 4am. So on freezing winter mornings, you’ll usually find me making a cup of coffee and then getting back under the covers for a few more hours of zzzz’s.
However, winter days being short, dark, and less than motivating, I came back from the holidays with a plan to change up my schedule. When I told friends that I was going to try out this FREE meditation class everyday at 8am, most of them just laughed. Against all odds (and my better judgment) every morning for the last week, I set 2 alarms and made my way to a little Buddhist center and bookstore near Astor Place called Three Jewels.
The Three Jewels is a cozy, hole-in-the-wall yoga and meditation center just north of the Mudtruck. Every weekday morning from 8-9am, teachers come and lead a guided meditation. Anyone and everyone is welcome to show up. It’s non-religious, non-exclusive, and while it’s only three flights away from the crazy street, oozing of calm. However, the times I’ve been, only a handful of people showed up. It certainly is a more-the-merrier kind of place, so I’m letting you all in on the secret!
Do whatever it takes to get there. Roll out in your PJs. Bribe yourself with a steaming large MudMocha on the way to class. Cause most likely you’ll be happy you did. Who knew that the city was so clear and crisp at this time of the day? It’s a wonder walking up Lafayette Avenue as the reddish glare of the rising sun splashes off the building windows. Makes me feel like I’m getting to know a whole new side to this city.
Of course, an hour meditation for a newbie like me is nothing to scoff at. Last week, even thought I made it to class, I had an extremely hard time staying awake once there. There we all are, sitting upright in front of a lovely teacher who is guiding us through this meditation, and I’m nodding off, swaying, and jerking my body back and forth for at least half the class! Needless to say, I’ve got a long way to go with my meditation practice. Still, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I fall over. It would be pretty hilarious.
Along with daily meditations, Three Jewels offers yoga classes and evening meditation classes. The schedule can be found here. If you’re the little bit interested, I urge you to check it out. And you know I’ll be up for breakfast afterward!
Guided Meditation Weekdays at 8am
61 Fourth Avenue (between E. 9th and E. 10th Sts.) [Astor Place/East Village]