(So)(Co) Sit Down with Lodro Rinzler


I'm excited to share this week's (So)(Co) Sit Down with you! I was introduced to this week's guest contributor earlier this year through Laura Fisher because of a project Lodro Rinzler was working on with his nonprofit, the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. We've spent more time together over the past month or so because of his new meditation studio, MNDFL that he opened with his co-founder Ellie Burrows.. Lodro is an extremely accessible, kind and compassionate individual. He knows firsthand the benefits of meditation and is working towards making it more mainstream and accessible for your everyday person. 



How do you spend your days?

These days I seem to live at MNDFL, the meditation studio I co-founded, since that just opened up in November. I’ve served as a meditation teacher for fifteen years and an author for four, so my days usually involve meditating, writing, and meeting with either individual students or groups to talk about the intersection of meditation and everyday life.

What are three things you are grateful for?

My teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, without whom I would understand very, very little about a great many things. My partner, who stands by me even in the most uncomfortable times. And my friends, who are family to me.

Explain your lifestyle in 5 words or less.

[Trying my hardest to] authentically engage others with kindness

If you were to attend a potluck dinner, what would you bring?


If you could gift everyone you meet with one book, what would it be and why?

Turning the Mind into an Ally, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. It’s the simplest, clearest book I can recommend to anyone who wants to get a meditation practice going.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

One moment of practice, then petting each of my three animals equally so none of them get jealous.

If you could change one thing in your daily routine, what would it be? What would it take for you to make that change?

I’d like to avoid email until at least 10 am. I think once the dust settles at MNDFL I’ll be able to do that. Opening a business is pretty demanding on my inbox though, who knew?

What does being healthy mean to you?

For me, it includes doing four things in one day: eating well, sleeping well, meditating, and exercising.

Have you ever been faced with health concerns that pushed you to change your lifestyle? Explain.

Years ago, when I was hit with a trifecta of losing my job, my fiancé leaving me, and my best friend dying, I fell into a deep depression. All the ways I take care of myself flew out the window. It was an extremely hard time. Sometimes when people think “health concerns” they think physical health. Mental health is deeply important too. Thankfully a good friend guided me to a great therapist and that helped me get back on track in terms of caring for myself and others.

What song can immediately change your mood in the best way possible?

Butterfly, by Crazy Town

What is one piece of advice someone has given you that shifted your way of thinking?

My friend Marina, when she was negotiating job offers as a nurse practitioner years ago, told me something that is relevant to careers but also to life overall: “You’re worth what you think you’re worth.”

What article of clothing/outfit do you feel most empowered wearing?

A good tie.

Complete this sentence: “In order to be happy, I need to….”

Relax into the present moment, accepting it for what it is as opposed to what I want it to be.

What do you have going on in your life that you’d like to share with the (So)(Co) Community?

I’d love to invite the (So)(Co) community to come visit me at MNDFL. We’re NYC’s first drop-in non-denominational meditation studio with 30 and 45 minute classes taught by a wide variety of expert teachers. Each of our classes revolve around a theme. If you’re stressed out try MNDFL Breath. If you are having trouble sleeping, try MNDFL Sleep. If you are feeling low energy try MNDFL Energy. There are 25 teachers from Tibetan, Zen, and Theravadin Buddhist backgrounds as well as Vedic, Kundalini, Jewish meditation teachers and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction folks as well. Book your cushion here.

Lodro Rinzler is the award-winning author of five books including the best-selling The Buddha Walks into a Bar: A Guide to Life for a New Generation and a practitioner and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Over the last decade he has taught numerous meditation workshops throughout North America at meditation centers, universities, and locations as diverse as Google and Capitol Hill. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, a leadership training for aspiring changemakers, and MNDFL, New York City’s premier meditation studio.

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