Our Story


Three Jewels' founder, Geshe Michael Roach, is the first American-born Buddhist monk to be awarded the "Geshe" title in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. He achieved this rank after 25 years of study and  rigorous examinations.  Initially, Geshe Michael taught upon request at students' apartments around New York City. With a growing contingent of inspired students, a public center became necessary to make teachings more accessible.  Three Jewels opened its doors in 1996 as a "drop-in" dharma center with a lending library of precious Buddhist texts, free meditation courses, and free dharma teachings.

Three Jewels has expanded to include yogic studies, guided meditation classes, 15 free courses in traditional Buddhist philosophy from the Asian Classics Institute, and opportunities to get involved in local and international community outreach. Three Jewels is run by a team of dedicated practitioners and volunteers who work diligently to provide a place of sanctuary to all beings. Our mission is to provide a vibrant place of study and investigation through dharma, meditation, yoga and diligent service to the world at large.


108 Lives Project


The 108 Lives Project connects global communities through unconditional giving. The 108 Lives was established by Three Jewels President Hector Marcel in 2008 as an offering to 108 beggars in Kathmandu, Nepal. Hector took portraits of each beggar to create a photo essay on the unifying act of unconditional giving. The local connections  Hector made germinated over the years, yielding a rich network of opportunity to give. Now, each year, 108 Lives volunteers return to Kathmandu and nearby villages to serve schools, monasteries, and orphanages by conducting trauma workshops and teaching lessons on English language, hygeine, art and yoga.  Funds raised also contribute to rebuilding community infrastructure, providing technology, and other essential resources.

Now, various 108 Lives Projects around the world serve as a platform for emerging social entrepreneurs to build, lead and deliver on project goals that include, education, shelter, food, children’s activities and self-sustainability. This is a perfect practical application of traditional Buddhist teachings for students studying with the Asian Classics Institute to develop bodhichitta and wisdom. The trips are immersive, colorful, and lively. If you're interested in attending the October 2017 trip to Kathmandu, please email info@threejewels.org.