I love finding serene spots in the city. New York City is home, and I enjoy all of the activities, events, and new people to meet, but sometimes I need to s-l-o-w down and relax. Although I’ve only been twice, MNDFL Meditation has become one of my favorite serene spots in New York City. MNDFL is a meditation studio in Greenwich Village. The founders, Ellie Burrows and Lodro Rinzler met when Ellie began volunteering at Lodro’s non-profit, the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. Ellie asked Lodro why there wasn’t a “modern, non-religious, drop-in studio where she could explore traditional meditation techniques in a contemporary context.” Instead of waiting for a place like that to exit, they created it. MNDFL exists to enable humans to feel good.
MNDFL Meditation Review
MNDFL has 30 and 45 minute thematic classes taught by teachers from a variety of meditation practices. Classes include: sound, breath, intention, emotions, mantra, movement, sleep, mammas, kids, energy, and heart. So far, I’ve taken a 30 minute sound class and a 90 minute event called “I’ll Be Happy When.” But I plan on taking them all!
I jotted down a few notes after the “I’ll Be Happy When” class which focused on the idea that people tend to say “I’ll be happy when…I have a boyfriend, I get engaged, I get married, I have kids, I graduate from college, I go to grad school, I get a promotion, I get a raise, and more. But we are often only happy for a short amount of time after we reach that goal. Right after it happens we start desiring the next thing and the cycle starts again. The teacher explained that desire isn’t a bad thing, she views desire as a GPS for where we want to go, but that we shouldn’t be afraid to let our goals and desires change. Happiness is internal, you should look for happiness inside instead of looking for it from external places and sources…like work, a boyfriend, getting engaged.
She also recommended that people start a meditation practice by meditating 20 minutes a day (right when you wake up before coffee and breakfast and in the afternoon before dinner). Use guided meditation at first because being alone with your thoughts can seem like torture before you learn how to do it. I often get frustrated with myself when my mind wanders during meditation, but she gave helpful advice. One suggestion was to repeat one over and over as your mind wanders. The other is to realize that what you are thinking about is what you really care about at the time. Focus on that! I also enjoyed her suggestion to inhale while thinking “let” and exhale while thinking “go.”
What to Wear and Bring:
Wear comfortable clothes. They have cushions and everything else you will need for class.
What to Expect:
You feel zen right when you walk in the door. Take your coat and shoes off, get some tea, and relax. The space reminds me of a spa relaxation room meets meditation studio. They want the studio to be a community space where people stay and get to know each other. There is a private meditation room with a living wall that you can meditate in on your own. The studio is filled with plants, neutral colors, comfy pillows, and candles. Stop by the front and look at the books and meditation accessories recommended by the teachers. I bought one of the best books I’ve ever read! Expect to feel relaxed and get a sense of clarity.
Your first class is $10. If you go (which I recommend) please say I referred you. (Full Disclosure: I will get a free 30 minute class.) (Full Disclosure Two: I will use it to fulfill my goal of taking all of the relevant classes!)
Images via MNDFL and my Instagram.