/ Hollywood Yogi

Hollywood Yogi

Aug 06, 2013

Director David Lynch is Transforming Youth with Meditation

Hollywood director David Lynch hasn’t missed a meditation session in 33 years. While spiritual fads come and go in the entertainment world, Lynch has been remarkably serious about his commitment to Transcendental Meditation, practicing it for 20 minutes, twice a day since the 70s. TM was introduced in the late 50s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who received much attention for being a spiritual advisor to the Beatles.

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, mental technique, which gives a unique quality of rest to mind and body. It is believed to allow stress and tiredness to be released in a natural way, resulting in greater energy, clarity and enjoyment of life. TM is said to bring the practitioner to a special state of consciousness often characterized as "enlightenment" or "bliss." The method involves entertaining a mantra. Lynch equates the meditation with “diving within” and credits it for allowing his negativity to dissolve and bringing about a continual feeling of happiness and peace.

It wasn’t always peace and happiness for Lynch though–you wouldn’t automatically assume a blissful internal state from the director of Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the series Twin Peaks, Lynch was dealing with excessive stress in the movie-making business when he was first introduced to TM by his sister. “I have been ‘diving within’ through the Transcendental Meditation technique for over 30 years,” comments Lynch, “It has changed my life, my world. I am not alone–millions of other people of all ages, religions, and walks of life practice the technique and enjoy incredible benefits.” Lynch maintains that one needn’t be in a state of suffering to understand and display TM artistically.

Lynch’s positive results inspired him to create the David Lynch Foundation, which uses TM as a means of generating consciousness-based education and world peace. Lynch has worked with scientists and scholars at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, and recently announced a plan to teach one million students around the world to meditate to curtail school violence and foster creativity and peace. He has been supported by quantum physicist John Hagelin Ph.D., who speaks widely on the scientific basis of using TM to achieve peace on a national scale. Hagelin himself founded Maharishi Central University in Smith Center, Kansas, which is scheduled to open in fall 2007.

One school which decided to take the plunge and get their students to “dive within”, has reported positive results. The Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit has been having students meditate twice a day, for ten minutes each session. NBC’s Today Show reported the positive impact on grades and emotional and mental soundness resulting from the practice. Another school was ready to jump on board, but found some trouble from the parental front. The Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, California backed out of initial plans to utilize a $175,000 grant from Lynch’s foundation after parental concerns surfaced of TM being a cult. Lynch, however, is optimistic of his vision of a more blissful learning environment for future students.

“Someday, hopefully very soon, ‘diving within’ as a preparation for learning and as a tool for developing the creative potential of the mind will be a standard part of every school’s curriculum,” comments Lynch. “The stresses of today’s world are taking an enormous toll on our children right now.” The TM brand of consciousness-based education is what Lynch feels can reduce stress and elevate joyful states for youth everywhere. “In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence”, comments Lynch on the blissful state he and other TM practitioners assert they have attained. “There is an enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us.”

With increasing school violence across North America, and educators at their wits end to alleviate problems, Lynch’s program may be a solution. Some schools with large numbers of students suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are seeking meditation as an option over medication. While a sounder and more relaxed student body is the initial result Lynch is promoting, he feels in the long run, a more lofty vision of world peace will materialize, if enough individuals jump on board. “Research and experience document the profound benefits to society as a whole when our children dive within”, comments Lynch. “Individual peace is the unit of world peace–by offering consciousness-based education to the coming generation, we can promote a strong foundation for a healthy, harmonious and peaceful world.”

For Lynch, much of the proof of the fruits of TM practice, aside from the personal positivity he reverberates, is the students he has come across who have experimented with the practice and not partaken in drugs and alcohol abuse. The self awareness he has witnessed is a source of his strength to continue teaching TM to as many schools as possible. “They are amazing, self-sufficient, wide awake, energetic, blissful, creative, powerfully intelligent and peaceful human beings,” boasts Lynch of students practicing TM. “Meeting these students, for me, was the proof that consciousness-based education is a profoundly good thing for our schools and for our world.”

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the method, the commitment of over three decades to TM speaks volumes of Lynch’s belief in his work. His vision of world peace and harmony is one often talked and waxed philosophical about, but has on many occasions left people scratching their heads on how to achieve it. Many habitually complain on the current state of world affairs, but feel helpless or are content to sit back and watch things decay. Like the approach or not, Lynch’s goal is lofty, and one that he is actually taking massive action to attain. And, he clearly believes that he has the potential to transform youth around the world. “This is the way to save the coming generation.”

It’s a nice thought to meditate on.



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