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Lodro Rinzler
Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of the best-selling "The Buddha Walks into a Bar...", the award-winning "Walk Like a Buddha" and the brand new "The Buddha Walks into the Office." Over the last decade he has taught numerous workshops at meditation centers and college campuses throughout North America. Lodro’s columns appear regularly on the Huffington Post and Marie Claire online and he is frequently featured in Reality Sandwich, the Interdependence Project, Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, and Good Men Project. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, an authentic leadership training and job placement organization, and lives in Brooklyn with his dog Tillie and his cat Justin Bieber.

For more teachings and articles by Lodro visit
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Entries by Lodro Rinzler

Are You Worthy of Love?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 9:34 PM

I was leading a day-long meditation workshop in Boston. After studying Buddhist teachings and talking about how to apply them to our lives, I encouraged the participants to write down something they were struggling with and submit it anonymously. We put a dozen slips of paper in a bowl and,...

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Let's Talk Heartbreak

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 1:14 PM

The Author is Present - Lodro Rinzler at ABC Carpet & Home from Lodro on Vimeo.

The thing about heartbreak is that it's a devastating but very honest emotion. Try to name another that straight up tells you what it feels like. With heartbreak it's aptly named: it literally feels like your heart is being torn asunder.

I've had my fair share of heartbreak in this lifetime. I've loved women and lost them, in ways that were clear to me and others that baffled me entirely. I've had loved ones die way too soon. I've had other loved ones die in a way that logically made sense but still left me devastated. I've been shocked to the core of my being by the prejudice and violence perpetuated in our society...almost weekly these days. My guess is that I'm not alone. My guess is that we all experience heartbreak in big and small ways but don't talk about it enough for fear of exposing our vulnerability.

That's why I'm writing a book on heartbreak and I need your help.

I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to put my own heart on the table and talk heartbreak with you. From September 21-27 I will be at ABC Carpet & Home in New York City, meeting with anyone who wants to share their heartbreak story. Each morning I will bear witness and hold the space for you to share your heart. In the afternoon I will move to their storefront window and write this book. In that way it will be a collaborative effort. If you choose to come meet with me, your story may make it into the book. At the very least, I'd like to offer a thank you gift for being so open with me: a pass for a free class at my new meditation studio, MNDFL.

Why sit down and talk heartbreak with a complete stranger? In my own experience, one of the things that helps the most is when I sit down with someone and they actually are present with me, seeing my pain as I verbalize it. That helps me see my way through it, because I'm actually being honest with the feelings as they arise. Sometimes the best way to see ourselves through our heartbreak is to be with our heartbreak, with or without another human bearing witness to our pain.

I recently wrote a book on relationships, How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), with my good friend Meggan Watterson. I'll never forget when we sat down to discuss heartbreak and she said something that has always stuck with me. "You know the thing about romantic relationships," she said, "it's not the heart that breaks. It's the ego." When we have a story line in our head about a perfect relationship and that person turns to us and cuts it by walking out, it's not our heart that's destroyed; it's our whole collection of story lines around who we think we are in relation to them.

When you let go of the story lines around why this person left or who is to blame for your tragedy or why this national crisis occurred, you are left with a feeling of vulnerability. You are left with tenderness. You are left with a powerful experience of your own heart. A broken heart is really just our natural heart stripped of its comfortable story line armor. It's not a good feeling, from a conventional point of view, but it is good for us. When we are able to stay with our openness and vulnerability we find that we possess tremendous strength.

I'd like to sit with you in that space September 21 - 27. If you're not able to join me, I'd like to close with a bit of advice. When strong feelings arise in your heartbreak, like despair or anger, don't feel like you need to do anything. Just rest. Breathe normally. Let them wash over you like a wave. You will be able to see your way through them. I promise. If it's helpful, you could even stand in front of your mirror. Place your hand over your heart and say "I will love again" three or seven times. There is power in proclaiming things out loud. Doing so serves as a reminder that you always have the ability to love, either romantically or in other ways.

Either with me or right now, on your own, please join me in being open to your heartbreak. Please be willing to explore this potent emotion. I'm here for you, and know you can see your way through to engaging your world again wholeheartedly.

Parts of this article are adapted from How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), out September 15th, 2015 through Hay House.

To schedule a heartbreak appointment with Lodro visit ABC Carpet & Home any morning between September 21 -...

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Please Don't Start Meditating (Unless You're Willing to Change)

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 2:32 PM

A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don't do it unless you're willing to change. If you're one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news...

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The NYPD Needs Training in Compassion

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 10:19 AM

In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, and the lack of indictment of the officer who killed him, I am heart-broken. I did not know Eric, nor did I know Michael Brown before him, but my heart goes out to their family and friends. I have known premature...

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3 Tips for Practicing Meditation in the Office

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 8:16 PM

Wherever we are, we have the ability to be present. On the meditation cushion, we can be present with the physical sensation of our breathing. Off the meditation cushion, we can be present with the people we encounter, our morning commute, the food we eat, everything. That is the purpose...

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The Buddha Walks Into the Office: Be Who You Want to Be

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 3:57 PM

When I was seven years old, my first-grade teacher asked everyone to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. I remember walking around my classroom during parent-teacher night with the room plastered with drawings, learning all about my classmates' long-term aspirations. Who knew? It was a room...

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Meditation Isn't Enough: A Buddhist Perspective on Suicide

(109) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 6:32 PM

The news of Robin Williams' passing is shocking and touching so many of us. I was waiting for a friend at a bar when I first heard. All around me people erupted in a variety of emotional reactions as the word quickly spread. In the time since, a common reaction...

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Mindful Education: Meditation as a Compassionate Movement

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 6:21 PM

The other day I went to visit my friend Colleen's fourth grade classroom. They are working on a year-end magazine and given the fact that I write for Marie Claire and other publications, I was asked in to grill them on their angle for each article. Gradually it came out...

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Mindfulness Isn't a Trend, It's a Movement

(6) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 12:28 PM

I helped organize a Buddhist youth conference in 2003. Two hundred young meditators from around the world came together hoping to learn the secrets of life from the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. They wanted to hear career advice, ways to make their relationships...

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Can Mindfulness Breed Compassionate Leaders?

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Recently there has been some good discussion in the media about how the term "mindfulness" is being co-opted, distanced from traditional Buddhist teachings that include compassion practices and more esoteric teachings such as those on emptiness. The discussion seems to raise a few questions: Is mindfulness a trending topic because...

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Selfies and Self-Love: Why You Should Spend Valentine's Day With Discomfort

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 3:02 PM

In 1839 the photographer Robert Cornelius was able to produce a daguerreotype of himself, becoming the first person who took a selfie. The term "selfie" came into the popular vernacular around 2002 as phones with cameras became more prevalent. Today, you can't go online without seeing someone you know post...

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Creating Social Change Through Inner Change: Meditation and Meaningful Work

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 4:23 PM

The other night I had a chance to sit down with Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, one of the foremost Buddhist teachers working on transformational activism today. We sipped on wine and she let me interrogate her about her work bringing the grounding practice of meditation into the activist world. As...

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You Are Worthy of Love

(6) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 4:30 PM

To close out meditation programs I lead, each participant has the opportunity to anonymously offer an issue that they are working with in their own life. Given the cloak of anonymity people feel free enough to strike at a core feeling of despair. We would be sitting in a circle...

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Even Psychopaths Need Love: Buddhism and Guns

(19) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 3:17 PM

Q: How do Buddhists reconcile with the idea that psychopaths (aka sociopaths, like Hitler, Manson, Bundy), may not be born with basic goodness, thereby shattering the tenet that all beings are born with basic goodness?

As unpopular as this view may be in today's world, the Buddhist perspective is that...

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What Work Do Millenials Want to Do?

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 10:09 AM

It was January 23rd, 2013: newly re-elected President Barack Obama stands before 7000 people who worked on his campaign thanking them for their effort. He speaks about how these members of the Millenial generation will go on to do great things. Then he folds up his notes. He...

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Coming Out as a Buddhist

(154) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 3:38 PM

Q: How do I explain Buddhism to my religiously conservative parents?

I remember being in a bar one night and a newer meditator asked me about coming out to their parents as a Buddhist.

"You make it sound like you're telling them you're gay," I said.

"Well, I...

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A Buddhist Meditation Practice for the Boston Marathon Tragedy

(5) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 11:12 AM

Monday morning I woke up and did what I have done every Monday morning for the past three weeks: I practiced a compassion meditation in honor of my recently deceased father. He had been sick for many years before he passed and, as odd as it may sound, had a...

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Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving

(7) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 5:20 PM

A woman hosts a costume party in her home where everyone is supposed to show up dressed as an emotion. The woman finds herself shocked when she opens her front door and her friend is completely naked, except for a pear around his penis. "Larry! What are you supposed to...

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A Buddhist Practice for Your New Year Resolution

(7) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 10:14 AM

I recently read that out of the millions of Americans who set a New Year's resolution for themselves only 8 percent are successful at achieving them. It's not easy to intentionally effect change in your life, yet through setting an intention and building a lifestyle around that motivation it can...

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A President I Want to Become

(2) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 3:21 PM

On July 13, 2012, 29-year-old Obama campaign staffer Alex Okrent collapsed unexpectedly in the Chicago headquarters. He was rushed to the hospital where he died, surrounded by his loving family. That evening, Mitt Romney tweeted, "Ann & I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alex Okrent. Prayers...

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