Making space is one of the preliminary instructions to begin a meditation practice. A carefully curated, inspiring environment tangibly represents the internal process of space-making facilitated by daily practice. An altar is one way we create a space externally for our practice. When we clean this special place we can imagine we are cleaning our mind – in this way we come to see it as an outward representation of our inner environment.
Similarly, yoga asana is the perfect way to prepare the physical body for meditation - making space inside. Linking breath and movement connects us to the energy flowing within. With consistent effort, it is possible to harness these winds of energy and direct them for specific purposes. We utilize the outer method of yogic postures to prepare for the deeper mental dive we take when we sit for meditation. When I sit to meditate daily, I can more easily observe my instinctual response to stressful situations and consciously choose how to respond, creating mental space to act and react mindfully. Meditation helps us to go deep below the turbulent surface of the mind to find the place of peace that resides within.
Ideally, practicing in a space steeped in goodness creates the optimal conditions for transformation. A conducive space includes everything you need, is physically comfortable, and is free from irritants like insects and safe from violence. The perfect space also encompasses sangha – a community of beings who understand the path, encourage you along the way, and expand your mind through enlightening exchange.
It is such a gift to practice yoga and meditation steeped in ancient tradition and wisdom at a space imbued with the goodness of decades of practice by individuals striving for the liberation of all beings. There truly is nothing as precious as finding a refuge like this in the middle of New York City. . I am so thankful for Three Jewels. Practicing yoga and meditation at our sweet space helps me to stay bright, sharp and resolute in the intention to serve all beings everywhere.
--Allison Joy Phillips