Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of five books on meditation including the best-selling "The Buddha Walks into a Bar..." and the award-winning "Walk Like a Buddha.” Over the last fourteen years he has spoken at meditation centers, college campuses and locations as diverse as Google and Capitol Hill. Lodro’s work has been featured on WNYC, WBUR, FOX, the CBC and Fast Company. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, an authentic leadership training, and M N D F L, a meditation studio in New York City. His latest book is How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People).
What do you do best?
My work revolves around making a 2600 year old meditation tradition accessible and applicable to modern day life. I think I do it relatively well in my writing, although I find myself speaking at all sorts of places and am constantly looking for ways to make it available to more people.
What makes you the best?
I’ve never purported to be the best at anything. I think I’m pretty damn good at knowing myself, which allows me to be present, show up for others, and be authentic in their company. The way I do that work is by meditating regularly.
How will you become the best?
Meditation allows you to access all of who you are. You become familiar with the nooks and crannies of your own mind and heart so as to more fully be there for all of your experiences, both painful and pleasurable. For new people I recommend ten minutes of shamatha, or calm-abiding meditation, a day to start. That alone will make you kinder, less stressed-out, and more compassionate.
What are your aspirations?
Personally, I’d like to take more down time. I’m launching a number of projects at once: a new book, New York City’s first non-denominational drop-in meditation studio, a new season of my online meditation program, and I’m teaching across the globe. In two years time I want to be settled, physically, somewhere where I have enough space and time to go much deeper with my meditation practice. Less activity, more being with what is.
In terms of business aspirations, my work at this time is to make meditation very accessible to anyone who wants to learn how to do it. So I think MNDFL, my meditation studio, is going to be my great business love for quite some time, with the aspiration that it helps many people.
What fascinates you?
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” - H.H. the Dalai Lama
I’m partial to my partner, Adreanna Limbach, because she loves me unconditionally and is always trying to help other people. Also, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, my Buddhist teacher. I would not be who I am without the wisdom and compassion I have received from him.
I am newly back from Prague, which is one of my favorite spots in the world. I’m also partial to New Orleans. These are the places where I find I am most able to relax into myself.
I wrote much of The Buddha Walks into the Office from a bar called Sophies in New York’s lower east side during what has been, to date, the darkest period of my life, so I’m partial to that spot too.
I may be old-fashioned, but I love books.
I was serving in Ohio as a field organizer on the Obama campaign in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. I had placed all of my belongings in a storage unit on the South Street Seaport. When I returned from the campaign I found I had lost most of my physical possessions. Since then there are only a few I really get too hung up about - those with sentimental value.
In my spare time I kick small dogs. I am kidding. But wouldn’t that be fascinating? If you interviewed a Buddhist teacher who spent the whole time talking about meditation and compassion and at the end admitted a secret fetish for kicking puppies? I think that would be fascinating, personally.