Founder of 3 Jewels Yoga + Radical Bodhicitta.
Curator of Safe (r) Sacred Space.
Teacher of Contemplative Tools to Cultivate Compassion, Embodied Self-Awareness + Spiritual Self-Care.
Facilitator of Spiritual Inquiry + Practices for Transformation + Healing.
Dharma Practitioner. Sangha Builder. Space Holder.
Mother. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt.
Lantern-Bearer. Seed-Planter. Healer. Good Spiritual Friend.
For me, dharma is the path of skillful action. It is the commitment and ability to discern my purpose or duty at any given moment, in every situation and in my life journey. As a student of the dharma, I see life as the ultimate teacher and endeavor to make skillful choices by living mindfully—being present, listening deeply, trusting my inner wisdom and personal rhythms, and not being attached to outcome.
We are often asked to authenticate our experience by marking the passage of time.
Fueled by a fascination with the magical, mystical and mysterious nature of being alive, I’ve been walking a spiritual path since childhood. Practical feet eventually guided me to weave together my passion for the brain, mind, and behavior with intersections of race, gender, culture, linguistics, media, and communications to earn a BA in Psychology and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University.
In November 2003, after a series of soul-altering events that included living in Brooklyn through the cataclysmic events of 9/11, I returned to my Lansing roots with the intention of putting into practice an intriguing adage: to live simply so that others may simply live.
Back on home soil, I awakened fully to the understanding that my spiritual compass was aligned with yoga and Buddhism.
And, in the magically effortless way that life unfolds when we are attuned and moving in alignment: the teachers appeared! I discovered my root sangha (Lansing Area Mindfulness Community) and soon began a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in the lineage of Kriya Yoga (Sybil Shelton-Ford | As You Are Yoga, 2006).
To some, my academic pursuits seem leagues away from a dharma hall or yoga studio. But each step along the circuitous road has prepared me for a vocation in the healing arts, and these contemplative practices have truly been an extension of my lifelong inquiry into human relations, spirituality and communication.
the thread: looking deeply.
After 9/11, it was no longer bearable to view life as a spectator, through the filter of a camera lens and someone else’s fractured perception of reality. I needed to be directly engaged, no filter. It was the call for a deeper sense of spiritual understanding and connection that transformed my critical gaze into the clear-seeing eye of compassion.
Since 2006, I’ve been continuously blessed with opportunities to teach—and learn with—diverse groups of people throughout the greater-Lansing area. In 2008, I founded 3 Jewels Yoga (formerly, dharma yoga arts) with the two-fold vision to build and nurture sangha (community) in order to inspire the art of skillful living through movement, mindfulness and meditation and to foster compassion, skillful understanding, and authentic connection. Three years later, I was inspired to begin hosting Sunday afternoon meditation practices, which made fertile ground for the seeds of sangha to blossom.
beginning anew: beyond asana
To follow what has heart and meaning is to be brave and bold enough to know when something has run its course and is no longer a skillful means for our growth, learning, healing or connection. It requires letting go, moving on, stretching, testing, failing while being fear-facing, discerning, and faithful to one’s heart.
November 2016 marked my 10th year of teaching and the next evolution of 3 Jewels Yoga. Responding to the deep and urgent call to expand my work as a facilitator of community wellness and transformative healing, I transitioned away from offering yoga as a fitness/movement format. Instead my heart turned toward the strengthening of sangha to be more than a refuge, but — inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s evocative words — also a sacred space where we developed our spiritual resilience and resistance by uplifting practices that cultivate justice, liberation and healing.
Life swiftly opened up with invitations and opportunities that affirmed this new direction:
— Spring 2017, I piloted my new healing justice workshop, When + Where We Enter, and presented Toward Wholeness: Centering Wellness in Social Justice at the HNI Spring Conference (MSU-Extension).
— Summer 2017, I presented Deep Listening: An Embodied Meditation as part of the healing justice track at the Allied Media Conference (WSU); introduced the Teen Social Justice at 4H Exploration Days (MSU); and launched radical bodhicitta, a new digital space for my contemplative-based initiative to support our discernment of practices that move us from personal healing and transformation to critical thinking and collective action.
I have trusted and leaned into this deep call to center the sacred, in all its expressions, by doing the slow, patient and radical work of transformative listening and healing so that we can build our capacity for living into community as our whole selves.
3 Jewels Yoga has organically an unapologetically evolved into a contemplative community of refuge, resistance, and resilience for good spiritual friends.
20 November 2020 Update
After a year-long sabbatical, I have discerned that my work going forward
will not include leading and facilitating Sangha at this time.
I will continue to offer 1-with-1 spiritual direction and
will be establishing a separate website with those services.
In the meantime, information can be found here.
This site will continue to function as a historical marker of my spiritual journey.
CLICK TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT.
QUESTIONS? CONTACT: TARA@3JEWELSYOGA.COM
Areas of Practice, Study + Trainings
2020 — Diaspora Death Doula Training (Old School Bruja)
2018 — Transformative Justice Intensive (Mia Mingus)
2017 — Mental Health First Responders Training (Muslim Mental Health Conference)
2016 — Dharma + Direct Action Training (Buddhist Peace Fellowship)
2016 — Health Equity + Social Justice (MI Power to Thrive)
2015 — Community Dialogue Facilitation (MI Power to Thrive)
2013 — Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Leadership Training Certification (Nikki Myers)
2012 — Aerial Yoga Teacher Training (Dr. Son Nguyen)
2009 — Yoga for Adolescents (Sybil Shelton-Ford | As You Are Yoga)
2008 — Anatomy for Yoga (Paul Grilley)
2007 — 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Certification (Sybil Shelton-Ford | As You Are Yoga)
2003 — Reiki Level 1 (Margaret Ann Case | Reiki Arts Continuum NYC)