Millionaire to Monk to Top Motivational Speaker: Pandit Dasa’s Story on Resilience, Mindfulness, and Work Life Balance

Pandit Dasa comes from an unconventional background as far as most popular keynote speakers go. He lived 15 years of his life as a monk in, of all places, New York City. He found his way there after a turbulent early life. His parents moved from India to the US with next to nothing, building up a multi-million dollar jewelry business over the course of eight years. However, disaster struck, and their entire business was lost in a fire.

Once again with nothing, Pandit’s family migrated to post-communist Bulgaria in the early 90s. His life having been turned upside down, this transition gave Pandit ample cause to turn his consciousness inward and led him to much questioning and introspection. After two years, his family did move back to the USA, and in 1999 Pandit took a one-month sojourn to a monastery in Mumbai, India, to contemplate how he wanted to live the rest of his life.

This one-month stay was extended to six months as Pandit came to realize the appeal of the monastic lifestyle. Upon his return to the United States, he continued this journey, spending the next 15 years living in a monastery in New York City’s Lower East Side.

There, he developed the depth of understanding and mindfulness that he shares with organizations as a keynote speaker today. A major factor in his decision to become an urban monk was the fact that there are so many people in cities who are experiencing extreme levels of stress, anxiety and loneliness and are in dire need of guidance and support. Through his roles today as an author and keynote speaker, Pandit is helping individuals find a healthy balance between their work and personal life by encouraging them to not neglect their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Pandit has shared many of his insights on mindfulness, why it’s important, and how to achieve it through his two published books. The first, Urban Monk, shares the story of his life’s journey up to that point, along with his exploration of some of the most fundamental concepts of life, purpose, meditation, and spirituality.

More tightly focused on the theme of secular mindfulness and how it plays into our modern lifestyle is his second book, Closing the Apps. Within its pages, Pandit provides actionable advice on how people can implement mindfulness in their personal and professional lives. By focusing on the present, people are effectively closing the apps running in their minds, letting them live a fuller and less stressful life. When the apps in the mind are closed, we can think with greater clarity and focus.

Today, much of Pandit’s time is spent giving talks as a keynote speaker to a wide variety of organizations. On top of having delivered talks for companies like Google, Chase, IBM, Citibank, NASA, London Stock Exchange and dozens more, he has also brought his insights to a TEDx conference. Pandit gives talks that are focused on helping organizations create a positive workplace and work-life culture and developing mindful leadership.

Pandit has always enjoyed spreading his awareness of mindfulness and its importance. During his time as a monk, Pandit was teaching courses at Columbia University, Teachers College and would travel extensively to college campuses around the country speaking on and sharing his insights on mindfulness, well-being, and resilience. As word gradually began to spread, top-tier organizations started inviting Pandit to address their workforce and leadership teams. His passion for extending this valuable message eventually led him to pursue his role as a keynote speaker, helping people within organizations of all kinds understand what mindfulness is and how they can make concrete changes in their lives to achieve it.

As a keynote speaker, Pandit delivers both inspirational speeches and effective workshops on mindfulness and mindful leadership. The concepts that he brings across and his simple, straightforward, and actionable ideas on how to improve workplace and work-life culture have already benefited many organizations across the country and internationally.

LA Weekly