Archive for the ‘David Lynch Foundation’ Category

The David @LynchFoundation @TMmeditation Program Brings Relief to Traumatized Moms Who Lost a Child to City Violence

August 28, 2014

Here is a great article by Erin Meyer, and inspiring interview with DNAinfo Chicago Radio News Director that aired August 22, 2014: Moms Traumatized by City Violence Join David Lynch Meditation Program.

Erin answers Jon’s questions based on what grieving mothers who had lost a child to city violence, and have now started meditating, are telling her. This is the first time they’ve been able to experience any kind of inner peace for 20 minutes twice a day. For these program participants, TM is bringing relief to their stress-filled days and nights.

HUMBOLDT PARK — Eyes closed in meditation, a small group of grieving women sat in a circle on the second floor of a Humboldt Boys & Girls Club one recent Sunday afternoon.

The lights were dimmed. Except for the hum of the air conditioner and the far away sound of basketballs hitting the gym floor below, the room was awash in a deep silence.

The quiet, say the mothers — most of whom have lost children to Chicago violence — was coming from within, a rediscovered inner peace thought to have died with their children.

“For all these years, I’ve been fighting with my brain. I took medication to forget, but you can never forget,” said 49-year-old Beti Guevara, who was just a girl when her brother was slain 38 years ago.

Erin Meyer says the mothers struggle to find peaceful moments after the death of a child:

With Transcendental Meditation, “I can think clearly, I’m calmer, and I can finally sleep,” he said.

Guevara and her friends are learning the trademarked relaxation method, called TM for short, at the invitation of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

Lynch, an innovator of cinema best known as the director of the TV series “Twin Peaks” and films including “Mulholland Drive” and “Lost Highway,” views TM as a tonic for victims of trauma and a vehicle to world peace.

The New York-based foundation that bears his name teaches TM on American Indian reservations, in prisons and schools, to homeless people, to former soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and to victims of war in Africa, according to the organization’s website.

Recently, the David Lynch Foundation added to that list Chicago mothers living in the wake of a child’s murder.

Among those participating are: An-Janette Albert, mother of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, whose 2009 beating death outside Fenger High School shocked the nation; Myrna Roman, who lost her first-born in an unprovoked 2010 drive-by in Humboldt Park; and Maria Pike, the mother of an aspiring chef, Ricky Pike, who was gunned down in Logan Square in 2012.

The group met multiple times over the course of a week with a husband-wife TM instruction team, adopted their mantras and started meditating twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Four days into the practice, most of the new students said they have found a surprising measure of peace.

Transcendental Meditation is not an ancient technique, but a method developed by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s. It became wider known when it was adopted by members of The Beatles.

On Sunday, at the Union League Boys & Girls Club, meditation teacher Chris Busch described TM as a nonreligious exercise with myriad mind and body benefits ranging from stress reduction to reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health.

“It’s a simple thing,” Busch said. “Even children 10 years old, they can do it,” he said, describing improvements that some schools in San Francisco have seen through the implementation of a TM program for students.

Lynch told the New York Times earlier this year that he began TM in 1973.

“The Beatles were over with Maharishi in India and lots of people were getting hip to Transcendental Meditation and different kinds of meditation, and I thought it was real baloney,” Lynch said. “I thought I would become a raisin-and-nut eater, and I just wanted to work.”

Then, he heard the phrase, “True happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within.”

“And this phrase had a ring of truth to it,” Lynch said.

He described TM, which usually costs about $1,000 to learn through TM teachers, as “a key that opens the door.”

After spending time with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he decided to set up a foundation in 2005 to spread the meditation approach, according to the Times.

“Things like traumatic stress and anxiety and tension and sorrow and depression and hate and bitter, selfish anger and fear start to lift away,” Lynch said. He launched a Women’s Initiative in 2012.

The Chicago mothers, just beginning to see the potential meditation has to bring order to their lives, stumbled into TM.

Maria Pike was telling friends on a recent trip to Washington D.C. about the daily challenges she encounters just trying to live a normal life in the wake of her son’s murder. The friends turned out to be TM practitioners, Pike said.

They made some phone calls, which led to more phone calls. Eventually, supporters of the David Lynch Foundation offered to pay for Pike and her friends to take the TM training.

“I feel like it was meant to be,” Pike said.

Published with permission from the author. See the complete article with photos here.

See executive director Bob Roth speak at Google Zeitgeist 2014 about the work of the David Lynch Foundation offering Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations, as well as Wall Street executives.

New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement

May 14, 2014

David films in Uttar Kashi

It’s a Beautiful World, is a film made by Richard Beymer as he accompanied David Lynch with Bob Roth and a film crew to India. David went from northern India to the south retracing his master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s footsteps for a documentary film he was going to make. Richard records the early stages of the making of that film on Maharishi.

David first visits Jyotir Math where Maharishi served his teacher Guru Dev for 13 years. After his passing, Maharishi went into silence for 2 years in a small cave-like room in a house in Uttar Kashi, the Valley of the Saints. David takes us right into that cave! A persistent thought brought Maharishi out to travel to a famous temple in Rameshwaram. From there he continued on to the great Temple to Mother Divine in Kanyakumari located at the southern-most tip of India where the 3 oceans meet. Along his return journey northwards a man from the Trivandrum Public Library asked Maharishi to speak. The film takes us to those sites and into that library where Maharishi gave his first series of 7 lectures. People had asked to learn what he was teaching, and that was the start of the TM movement. What had taken Maharishi two years, David covered in 10 inspiring eventful-packed days.

About a year or so before David made his trek to India, he also had the opportunity to visit with Maharishi in Vlodrop, Holland at his International Headquarters. A special interview was arranged and David was able to ask Maharishi some questions. It had been recorded, possibly for David to use in his documentary. I mentioned that interview to Richard and he checked with David for permission to use some of it. David directed Richard to use specific segments of an answer Maharishi gave him to a particular question. The film ends with it, coming full circle, of Maharishi explaining why he came out of the Silence of the Himalayas to bring his message to the world. He told David he thought what he had to offer would be useful to humanity. He said that the nature of life is bliss, and the nature of the individual is cosmic. And all those years of teaching TM had borne that out, later verified by hundreds of scientific research studies on the range of benefits in people’s lives, and the development of higher states of consciousness.

This film is also a rare glimpse into David’s personal life. Throughout the journey David reveals snippets of his film career. It’s an intimate look at David Lynch the man, the director in action, the devoted meditator, and his inspiration to share the gift of Transcendental Meditation with the world through his Foundation. Watch this skillfully edited trailer, then visit the website to order the film to stream or download.

Richard Beymer captures David at his best. You can read an excellent review of the film and place your order at Richard Beymer’s website: as well as Vimeo On Demand:

Of interest may be: Timeless JourneyPilgrimage, and To Jyotir Math, by Sally Peden.

See other films on Maharishi: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007) and Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

Second study to show Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in African Refugees—in just 10 days

February 10, 2014

Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTSD in African refugees within 10 days

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

African civilians in war-torn countries have experienced the threat of violence or death, and many have witnessed the abuse, torture, rape and even murder of loved ones. Many Congolese living in Ugandan refugee camps are suffering from severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

New research shows that Congolese war refugees who learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique showed a significant reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder in just 10 days, according to a study published today in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 1–119).

In the study, “Significant Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Congolese Refugees within 10 days Transcendental Meditation Practice,” 11 subjects were tested after 10-days and 30-days TM practice. After just 10-days PTSD symptoms dropped almost 30 points.

“An earlier study found a similar result after 30 days where 90% of TM subjects dropped to a non-symptomatic level. But we were surprised to see such a significant reduction with this group after just 10 days,” said study author Brian Rees, MD, MPH.

The subjects were assessed using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians, (PCL-C), which rates the severity of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85. A score below 35 means the symptoms of PTSD have abated.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

The subjects in the study initially tested with an average score of 77.9. After just 10 days of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD test scores dropped to an average of 48, which was highly significant clinically.

Thirty days later the subjects were tested again with their PTSD scores falling to an average of 35.3 — meaning that they were nearly without symptoms of PTSD.

“What makes this study interesting is when we tested them in the 90 days before they began the TM technique, their PTSD scores kept going up,” said coauthor Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. “During that period their scores were rising, from 68.5 at the beginning to 77.9 after 90 days. But once they started the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD scores plummeted.”

According to the researchers, during this particular meditation technique one experiences a deep state of restful alertness. Repeated experience of this state for 20 minutes twice a day cultures the nervous system to maintain settled mental and physical functioning the rest of the day. This helps to minimize disturbing thoughts, sleep difficulties, and other adverse PTSD symptoms.

In this video, Dr. Travis explains the neurophysiology of trauma and how TM relieves it. He says, “Something very profound is happening. Because experience changes the brain, and trauma locks in a specific brain functioning (the over stimulated amygdala), you’re stuck in a specific way of thinking and feeling, (vigilance, fear and mistrust) and appreciating the world.” He further explains how the experience of transcending, with Transcendental Meditation, calms the amygdala, relieves PTS symptoms and frees the individual “to see more possibilities.”

Congolese refugee Esperance Ndozi and her 5 children

Congolese refugee Esperance Ndozi and her 5 children

Esperance Ndozi was one of the Congolese refugees traumatized by the civil war. The 35-year old mother of 5 was part of the group of refugees that learned TM. Before learning the effortless technique, Esperance couldn’t find relief from a flood of dark disturbing memories. She could hardly sleep. After a week of meditating 20-minutes twice a day she describes increasing relaxation and relief from PTSD symptoms. “Your mind, your body relaxes. You feel you are out of the outside world. You are just in your peaceful world. No negativity. It doesn’t come near me now.” Like other refugees in the study the calm and peace grew to last throughout the day. Watch the video.

A previous study of Congolese refugees, which involved 42 subjects found that the Transcendental Meditation group had an average Checklist score of below 35 after 30 days, a non-symptomatic level, while the average score of the control group actually worsened over the same period.

“This is now the fourth study to show an improvement in PTSD,” said Dr. Rees, a colonel in the US Army Reserve Medical Corps. “The Transcendental Meditation technique is increasingly being seen as a viable treatment by the US military.”*


Study co-author Dr Fred Travis is a professor of neurophysiology at Maharishi University of Management, an accredited university to the PhD level, where Transcendental Meditation is incorporated into its curriculum and practiced by faculty and students. This provides a way for students, including veterans, to reduce the effects of past stress and trauma, and make learning easier and more enjoyable.

This study was funded in part by the David Lynch Foundation.

The Journal of Traumatic Stress is published on behalf of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Source: EurekAlert!

*Two earlier studies have shown the Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique to effectively lower post-traumatic stress in veterans of Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

See first refugee study: New study shows Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTS in African refugees

New study out on Transcendental Meditation shows reduced teacher stress and burnout

February 3, 2014

Transcendental Meditation Reduces Teacher Stress and Burnout, New Research Shows

Effect of Transcendental Meditation on Employee Stress, Depression, and Burnout: A Randomized Controlled Study

This graph shows the average level of change in total burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in burnout symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in burnout over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in total burnout, as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in burnout symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in burnout over the duration of the study.

A new study published in The Permanente Journal (Vol. 18, No.1) on health showed the introduction of the Transcendental Meditation® technique substantially decreased teacher stress and burnout.

Research indicates that stress and burnout are pervasive problems among employees, with teachers being especially vulnerable to feeling frequent stress from their jobs. Burnout, a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and job dissatisfaction, has been found to contribute to lower teacher classroom performance and higher absenteeism and job turnover rates.

This current study sought to determine whether practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program results in lower psychological distress and decreased burnout in teachers and support staff at the Bennington School in Vermont, a special in-residence school for students with behavioral problems.

This graph shows the average level of change in perceived stress, as measured by the Perceived Stress Scale, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in perceived stress in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in stress over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in perceived stress, as measured by the Perceived Stress Scale, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in perceived stress in the TM group, with the control group showing a small increase in stress over the duration of the study.

According to Dr. Charles Elder, MD, MPH, lead author of the study and a Senior Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, “The results of this randomized controlled trial are very striking and demonstrate the utility of introducing a stress reduction program for teachers and other public and private employees. The four-month study found significant and clinically important decreases in perceived stress, emotional exhaustion associated with teacher burnout, and depressive symptoms in those practicing the TM program compared to a wait-list control group.”

“Burnout and other psychological distress factors have been linked to negative health behaviors, obesity, and hypertension, all of which are major contributors to cardiovascular disease,” emphasized Dr. Sanford Nidich, EdD, study principal investigator and Professor of Education at Maharishi University of Management. “Prior medical research has found that practice of the TM program is effective in reducing both risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular events. Taken as a whole, this present study and prior research provide evidence for the value of the TM program for enhancing mental and physical health and well-being, explained Dr. Nidich.”

This graph shows the average level of change in decreased depression symptoms, as measured by the Mental Health Inventory-5, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in depression symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small decrease in depression over the duration of the study.

This graph shows the average level of change in decreased depression symptoms, as measured by the Mental Health Inventory-5, in the Transcendental Meditation group compared to controls. The graph displays a marked reduction in depression symptoms in the TM group, with the control group showing a small decrease in depression over the duration of the study.

The study included 40 teachers and support staff measured at baseline and then randomly assigned to either immediate start of the TM program or delayed start (wait-list control group). Compliance with practice of the TM technique throughout the four-month intervention period was high; 100% of the participants assigned to the TM group meditated at least once a day. Of those, 56% meditated regularly at home twice a day.

This is the first study to investigate the effects of Transcendental Meditation on teacher burnout. Recent published studies have shown a positive impact of this program on student graduation rates, academic achievement, and psychological distress. Transcendental Meditation has seen widespread implementation in secondary schools across the country within the context of school-wide Quiet Time programs.

The study was funded by the Nine East Network and David Lynch Foundation.

About the Transcendental Meditation technique

The TM technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Extensive peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM reduces psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, and promotes overall mental and physical health.

The TM technique is available in the USA through Maharishi Foundation USA, a federally recognized non-profit educational organization. Through partnerships with other non-profit organizations and foundations, full TM scholarships have been given to more than 250,000 at-risk children, school teachers, veterans suffering from PTSD, homeless people, and others. Visit for more information.

About Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management is an accredited university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business, where Transcendental Meditation is also practiced by both professors and students. Visit for more information.

Source: EurekAlert!

David Lynch addresses Israelis on Skype call after they see his film Meditation Creativity Peace

January 23, 2014

Here is an article in the Israeli paper Haaretz about a film on David Lynch’s 16-country tour made several years ago. One of the countries he had visited was Israel. The film was shown at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque Monday night, January 20, 2014, David’s 68th birthday. David also connected with the audience after the film via Skype to answer questions.

David Lynch’s remedy for Mideast peace: Transcendental Meditation

Real peace isn’t just the absence of war the legendary director tells Israeli filmgoers via Skype, and sets the record straight on the ‘Twin Peaks’ rumors.

Article and photo by Avshalom Halutz | Jan. 22, 2014 |12:54 PM

David Lynch speaks to Israeli moviegoers via Skype, on Monday

David Lynch speaks to Israeli moviegoers via Skype, on Monday

Moviegoers might associate director David Lynch with wailing babies, dead women in plastic bags and severed ears, but the audience at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque Monday night got nothing but peace and positivity from the man responsible for the perversity in films like “Blue Velvet,” “Eraserhead” and “Mullholland Drive.”

It was the Israeli premiere of the documentary “Meditation, Creativity, Peace,” which follows Lynch’s tour through 16 countries in Europe and the Middle East. The main topic: Transcendental Meditation.

Most of the documentary was shot by film students. The movie, which was edited by Noriko Miyakawa, was completed in 2012 and is in theaters across the United States now. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of one of history’s great filmmakers.

After the screening, Tel Avivians were treated to a Skype conversation with Lynch himself, who was celebrating his 68th birthday. He answered questions at length on meditation, cinema and creativity – and the Mideast conflict.

The documentary begins with Lynch’s visit to Israel in 2007, when he met with President Shimon Peres and thousands of enthusiastic film students. It opens with Lynch speaking to the camera while holding a jelly doughnut.

“This is a doughnut,” Lynch says. “It is very sweet, and very good. But if you’ve never tasted a doughnut, you wouldn’t really know how sweet and how good a doughnut is …. Transcendental Meditation is like that. Transcendental Meditation gives an experience much sweeter than the sweetness of this doughnut. It gives the experience of the sweetest nectar of life: pure bliss consciousness.”

The film then spends 70 minutes following Lynch on his tour. He explains how Transcendental Meditation, which he has been practicing morning and evening for 40 years, has changed the way he thinks and creates.

Lynch doesn’t lecture, he goes straight to the Q&A. So the film is mostly questions by film students and his take on topics like his love for Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” how to write a script, and living a more positive life.

During a session in Edinburgh, one questioner asks how he dares talk about meditation and world peace after visiting Israel, and how meditation can help Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Lynch answers that people are similar all over the world, and that he was happy to meet Israeli film students, Peres and the mayor of Haifa. He wasn’t at all ashamed to visit Israel.

But the trip to Israel had a special objective: to achieve regional peace by establishing “peace groups” that would practice meditation and effect change.

Take it from the Maharishi

When Lynch appeared on the cinematheque’s big screen live via his home computer, the audience sang “Happy Birthday” and followed with an ovation. It’s not every day Israelis interact with giants like Lynch, though the birthday boy remained humble throughout.

One questioner wanted to know if Lynch considered his visit to Israel a failure given that there was still no peace. Lynch mentioned the father of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

“I think the journey was to plant some seeds. And those seeds are still there, and they do need some watering, for sure. They say that Maharishi is the man who revived the science of consciousness and the technologies of consciousness,” Lynch said.

“One of the technologies of consciousness is Transcendental Meditation, a mental technique that any human being can take, and which allows any human being to transcend, to dive within and experience that unbounded eternal level of life. This unbounded eternal level of life is also a field of infinite unbounded peace.”

This peace has always been there, it just needs enlivening, Lynch said.

“Maharishi brought out the technologies of the peace-creating group – a group of human beings practicing the Transcendental Meditation that enliven the field of unity, this field of peace within, so powerfully that it can bring peace up in the field of diversity and raise collective consciousness,” he said. It can make people feel happier and more harmonious.

“And they say when real peace comes it is because this field within has been enlivened in the field of diversity. You can say it’s unity in the midst of diversity. I was telling all the people in Israel that I met: Start a peace-creating group for Israel, enliven that field of unity, get real peace.”

According to Lynch, “A peace treaty is a piece of paper on the surface of life. It does not address the hate, the anger, the torment inside the human beings. We want peace and here is a technology to truly bring real peace, and real peace is not just the absence of war – real peace is the absence of all negativity.”

Lynch was also asked about the situation in Israel compared to other conflicts around the world.

“The situation in Israel exists in lots of places: People just don’t get along. Surface cures will never work. Never work. If you want to get rid of that negativity that causes disputes you need to enliven that field of unity and peace that has always and forever been there,” he said.

“This is the big, big, big secret: Get to work, help form a peace-creating group for Israel and watch what happens, it will be so beautiful. It’s the real thing. Get to work and make this thing happen.”

When asked if he liked any new Israeli movies, Lynch said he didn’t have time to watch films lately. He said he didn’t understand how Martin Scorsese had the time to watch every movie that exists and still have the time to make more films than him.

Many questioners tried to pry information from Lynch about his next projects; they were eager to see more of his work. One brought up the rumor about a new version of “Twin Peaks,” the cult TV series from the early 1990s.

“Rumors are just rumors. There have always been rumors about things. So there is no real truth to it,” said Lynch.

“I don’t know where these rumors come from, but I think they were based on some misunderstanding of what’s going on. It’s true that there will be a new Blu-ray [disc] of ‘Twin Peaks,’ including the pilot, first season and second season. And there will be some special things that haven’t been seen before. That’s about all I can say.”

Below is a Teaser: “Meditation, Creativity, Peace” – David Lynch 16 Country Tour Documentary posted on the DavidLynchFoundation YouTube channel.

See The David Lynch mystery, a related article in Haaretz by Uri Klein, Oct. 17, 2007.

Related videos worth watching:

Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary

David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum

David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace

Two Transcendental Meditation @TMmeditation articles in @THR on @DAVID_LYNCH and @DrOz

January 11, 2014

Here are two excellent articles about Transcendental Meditation published in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, part of a Health series on how stress effects celebrities and what they do to relieve it. One mentions David Lynch, the other, Dr. Oz. Click on titles to see original articles with photos.

How David Lynch and His Hollywood Friends Are Bringing Back Transcendental Meditation

One of film’s darkest directors, with help from Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Jackman, is shining a light by bringing meditation to everyone from PTSD sufferers to inner-city kids.

January 10, 2014 | by Seth Abramovitch

Call it the ultimate comeback. Transcendental meditation — which involves speaking a silent mantra to oneself for 20 minutes, twice daily — is an ancient practice that is now attracting some of Hollywood’s biggest names, who insist that its stress-relief benefits are nothing short of miraculous: Among its most powerful practitioners are Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman and Russell Brand — who all have become supporters of David Lynch and his plans to bring meditation to people in dire need of stress relief. A directing genius whose dark dreamscapes are littered with severed ears and plastic-wrapped homecoming queens, Lynch, 67, has morphed into one of the world’s most enthusiastic if unlikely TM cheerleaders.

Lynch first encountered TM in 1974, as he searched for ways to combat mounting anger and depression relating to his epic struggle to get his first feature, the mind-bending Eraserhead, to the big screen. “I had a weakness inside,” says Lynch from his Hollywood Hills studio, a splash of sunlight illuminating his famous white pompadour. “That kind of thing, in this business, you’re a sitting duck. You could get slaughtered.” It was then that he decided to try his hand at TM, an ancient practice revived by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an expat from India who rocketed to stardom during the 1960s as The Beatles‘ spiritual adviser. Lynch feared TM might dull his artistic edge, but he says the opposite happened — it helped him to access untapped fonts of creativity. He even goes so far as to credit the practice with potentially having saved his life: “I was even thinking at the time, ‘If I didn’t have this meditation, I might have seen that a way out was suicide.’ ”

The Twin Peaks mastermind hasn’t missed a single day of meditation in the 40 years since. In 2005, that devotion led him to found The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, a nonprofit that brings TM to inner-city students, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and victims of domestic violence. The foundation has taught the fundamentals to more than 500,000 at-risk candidates, and Lynch says the effects have been astonishing: “Before too long, they’re saying, ‘Thank you very much. I got my life back again.’ ” In celebration of Lynch’s birthday on Jan. 20, DLF Live, the foundation’s live-performance arm, is mounting a benefit at the El Rey Theatre, where Ringo Starr is set to receive the Lifetime of Peace & Love Award. Ben Harper and Ben Folds are slated to perform. And on Feb. 27, Dixie Chicks will headline a night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel honoring record producer (and longtime TM practitioner) Rick Rubin. For the admittedly shy director, Hollywood’s ongoing love affair with TM offers a highly effective method of spreading the gospel. “Life gets better and better and better,” says Lynch of his 40-year journey. “That’s the long and the short of it.”

Stress-Free 2014: Dr. Oz Reveals How He Takes the Edge Off Shooting a TV Show

The talk show host shares his tips for dialing down the shooting-schedule meltdowns, including sacred mantras.

January 10, 2014 | As told by Dr. Oz

In medical school for cardiothoracic surgery, I learned early on the acute effect of stress on performance, decision-making and emotions. As I  looked inside people’s chests at their hearts, I saw the effect of chronic stress: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity. Stress is the No. 1 driver of aging. It’s downright toxic.

In 2009, we launched The Dr. Oz Show. I found a new type of stress as I acclimated to taping, field shoots, voiceovers, rehearsals, script review and appearances. I continued with surgery on Thursdays. The operating room, once a place of total chaos, became a respite for me, offering a familiarity that grounded me.

This may surprise you, but I see many similarities in making a television show and working in the operating room. In both, a team of experts with diverse job responsibilities is exercising expertise toward a grand outcome — either a healthy patient or a great show. Both require teamwork and careful choreography. Both have a team of technology experts whose job is to keep delicate machinery running. Both are fast-paced. And perhaps most similar: Both involve glaring lights under which you are expected to literally perform magic! Ergo, both involve extraordinary stress.

Like the staff at the hospital, my team at the show had comparable stress, and it showed. Unlike other industries, the world literally sees our mistakes. This provides an additional stress dynamic. I saw scripts so revised that it felt like we were back to square one. Tempers would flare occasionally.

I deployed various measures for the staff at the show to deal with the stress. First, you have to eat the right foods. A certain talk-show host whose studio was across the hall and who shall remain nameless good-naturedly served beer, pretzels and cupcakes for his late-night staff. Our tables served granola, quinoa and 2 percent Greek yogurt. I even sent a few healthy snacks across the hall.

I encourage staff to exercise. I also brought in teachers of transcendental meditation, and each employee receives group and individual training. We do meditations in the office twice daily — at 8 a.m., before morning taping, and at 5 p.m., At these times, an announcement is made over the office intercom, and staffers are encouraged to report to the conference room, where a group meditation takes place. Oftentimes, teachers will give staffers a personal mantra, which is secret, that they then repeat over and over. Keeping it to yourself makes it feel sacred.

These Pret-a-Reporter stories first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

@MaharishiU Dean of Faculty, Dr. Cathy Gorini, interviews author Steven Verney on MUM’s KHOE

January 2, 2014
Steve Verney Cathy Gorini

Steve Verney  Cathy Gorini

Author Steven Verney is interviewed by Dr. Cathy Gorini, Dean of Faculty at M.U.M. on the KHOE radio program “A Chat with the Dean.” Titled “The Best of all Possible Worlds” Steven Verney’s novel is based on his experiences as a teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi‘s Transcendental Meditation.

Steven sprinkles gems of Maharishi’s knowledge before the reader along with threads of life-changing experiences many teachers of TM will relate to while going about the business of bringing enlightenment to the individual and the world and balancing life in the “real world.” Readers have found it difficult to put down this well-written book.

Click to listen: Steven Verney and Cathy Gorini – mp3 58 min, 16.8MB

A generous percentage of book sales will benefit the David Lynch Foundation teaching Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations.

To find out more about Steven and his book, read this post and listen to an earlier interview on KRUU FM: Writers’ Voices interviews B. Steven Verney, author of “The Best of All Possible Worlds”.

Visit Steve’s new website one of his son’s designed for him and blog. Read the overview of the book and see the Xlibris Book Trailer: The Best of All Possible Worlds.

Steven is at work on his second book, about a lama that got away. The main protagonist is also a philosophy professor. I’ve read an excerpt and can’t wait to see the book when it comes out. If it’s anything like his first one, which I thoroughly enjoyed, then we’re in for another treat!

@JerrySeinfeld talks about @TMmeditation at David @LynchFoundation #ChangeBeginsWithin

January 1, 2014

On Tuesday, December 3rd, at the David Lynch Foundation‘s 5th Annual Change Begins Within Gala at the Conrad Hotel in New York City, Jerry Seinfeld took the stage to open the event. We were waiting for this to come out on YouTube. Jerry is absolutely brilliant! He opens with a funny diversion about Amazon and drones, and then segues to the main topic.

Jerry shares how he started Transcendental Meditation in college and has been practicing it for 41 years. But he reveals for the first time that he had only been meditating once a day instead of the twice-a-day instruction. Still, it was because of TM, he says, that he managed to keep it together during the nine years he was producing his successful hit show Seinfeld.

 “When I was doing the TV series in which I was the star of the show, the executive producer, the head writer, casting and editing, for 22 to 24 episodes on network television—not cable! Network—for 9 years. Okay? That’s a lot of work. And I’m a regular guy, pretty much. You know, I’m not one of these crazy people that has endless, boundless energy. I’m just a normal guy. But that was not a normal situation to be in. And so what I would do is every day when everybody would have lunch I would do TM [Transcendental Meditation] and then while we’d go back to work and then I would eat while I was working because I had missed lunch. But that is how I survived the 9 years, it was that 20 minutes in the middle of the day would save me.”

George Shapiro, Jerry’s manager and fellow meditator, had written into Jerry’s contract that he was to not do interviews or be disturbed during lunch hours, when he would go to his trailer during the taping of the Seinfeld show. Now we know why. What we didn’t know was that he was only doing it once a day, at that time. And look what he accomplished!

Jerry’s handling a lot these days, touring on weekends, producing his internet show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, raising 3 young kids, and yet has the energy to enjoy it all, at 60, when he was thinking he should be slowing down. Meditating twice a day has transformed his life. Here’s the part where he mentions Bob Roth reminding him to do his morning meditation, at 6 mins, 54 secs, and what happened as a result.

By the way, David Lynch never missed his twice-daily TM during the over 40 years he’s been meditating. He also used to do his meditation (second), in private, on film sets when everyone else went to lunch.

Bob Roth interviewed Jerry Seinfeld for the new Sirius XM radio show on TM starting January 2014. Jerry is his first guest. David Lynch will also be on an episode of the show, as will other high-profile celebrities and expert guests.

New York is really the hub of American consciousness—media, finance, fashion, food, arts and entertainment. TM has created quite the buzz in the city. It’s a more peaceful and friendlier place to be in these days. 2014 holds much promise. May it bring us greater joy and success. Happy New Year!

Related stories:
George Stephanopoulos interviews Jerry Seinfeld & Bob Roth on the importance of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD
Renowned (TM) meditation teacher Bob Roth featured on The Third Metric and HuffPost Live
Alec Baldwin asks Jerry Seinfeld about learning Transcendental Meditation on Here’s The Thing David Lynch and Italo Zucchelli on their creativity and Transcendental Meditation
David Lynch on Esquire Network, How I Rock It, talking about Transcendental Meditation
David Lynch on meditation in the NewStatesman: Heaven is a place on earth
David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace
Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern share stories about their Transcendental Meditation practice David Lynch and Italo Zucchelli on their creativity and Transcendental Meditation

December 25, 2013 The Transcendentalists: David Lynch and Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli on their shared passions: creativity and Transcendental Meditation

By Matthew Schneier. Photographs by Olivia Malone
Published December 24, 2013

On a winding road high in the Hollywood Hills, not far from Mulholland Drive, is a Brutalist-looking concrete structure that’s equal parts manse and bunker. It’s the studio of David Lynch, and appropriately for his many pursuits—he is an auteur across media, from film and television to painting, music, self-help books, and coffee roasting—it has a variety of different spaces: a screening room, a recording studio, storage for his photographs and artwork, a kitchen with an industrial-grade espresso machine. (Lynch die-hards may recognize it as the house from Lost Highway.)

I’ve come here from New York, along with fashion designer Italo Zucchelli, to discuss one of Lynch’s abiding passions, Transcendental Meditation. The director established his own nonprofit, the David Lynch Center for Transcendental Meditation and World Peace, in 2005. He credits the practice with much of his success, and he’s devoted as much time to raising awareness of it as he has to virtually any of his other endeavors. His 2006 book, Catching the Big Fish, is dedicated to the subject.

Transcendental Meditation is an ancient practice, but its profile was raised in our era when the Beatles took it up in 1968, under the guidance of its twentieth-century guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It comes with, and rules out, no religion, faith, or creed, but because of its new-wave aura, it has largely bubbled away at the fringes of culture. Lately, however, it is experiencing a new boom. “In the last year, something tipped,” says Bob Roth, the affable executive director of The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. “If one [particular] thing happened, I haven’t seen it—and I’ve been on the front lines. But something happened, [because] I don’t have enough teachers to teach all the people in New York City who want to learn.”

TM has a very healthy celebrity fan base, which no doubt helps its public profile, and the foundation, which exists to provide scholarships to at-risk populations so they can learn the practice, including schoolchildren, survivors of domestic abuse, and military personnel, has taken advantage of that fact. Paul McCartney, a practitioner, performed at the foundation’s first benefit concert. Hugh Jackman and Jerry Seinfeld, Transcendental Meditators both, were honored at its most recent benefit gala, in December. Mario Batali and Martin Scorsese will both speak at its upcoming conference in February. The list of adherents is even longer. Ellen DeGeneres does it. Oprah does it. Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, does it. And in the realm of fashion, so does Zucchelli, who is celebrating his tenth year as creative director of menswear for Calvin Klein Collection.

“It” is a relatively simple practice. It consists of devoting twenty minutes twice a day to meditating, which in the Transcendental iteration means silently chanting a Sanskrit mantra. (The mantra must be given by a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, as part of an instruction that can cost upwards of $1,000.) Devotees say that it combats stress, improves mood, and staves off illness and disease. Remarkably, science confirms much of this. The American Heart Association found in a study that Transcendental Meditation, alone among meditation practices it tested, reduces high blood pressure; other studies indicate it can improve functional capacity in patients with congestive heart failure. Over the past forty years, more than 300 studies have been published about the effects of the practice in peer-reviewed medical journals, and the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense have both given millions for further testing. While a quick Google search does turn up skeptics and critics—more of charlatan practitioners than of the practice itself—the tide seems to be now firmly in TM’s favor.

“In 1968, meditation was a fad,” says Roth. “In 2013, because of the research, Transcendental Meditation is being incorporated into the actual fabric of our culture.”

There’s something undeniably intriguing about the beatific bliss that Lynch and Zucchelli radiate—in the filmmaker’s case, in stark contrast to his dark, often violent work. I wanted to find out more about the connection they both draw between the practice and their creative lives. Below, condensed and edited, is a transcript of that free-flowing discussion.

Visit to read this intriguing interview and see the photos.

See David Lynch on Esquire Network, How I Rock It, talking about Transcendental Meditation.


David Lynch on Esquire Network, How I Rock It, talking about Transcendental Meditation

December 21, 2013

How I Rock It: Filmmaker David Lynch & Transcendental Meditation

Filmmaker David Lynch describes how he develops and gains personal happiness and inner peace in his style and work through the art of Transcendental Meditation.

David describes his first blissful experience of transcending

David describes his first blissful experience of transcending

I tried to embed the video but it didn’t work in this space. Click on this link to see this short (2:20) impressive video on the Esquire TV Network website: It’s really good, as David would say.

In addition to the interview, some of the footage is taken from a pre-screening reception for the film, Meditation Creativity Peace, about David’s 16-Country tour, shown in the Billy Wilder Theater. Watch the hilarious, but informative, post-screening discussion with David Lynch, Russell Brand, and Bob Roth.

Read this lucid description by of his experiences with TM: Daily Reset – A Look Into Transcendental Meditation. And see The GQ Guide to Transcendental Meditation: The Totally Stressed-Out Man’s Guide to Meditation.

Related: David Lynch and Italo Zucchelli on their creativity and Transcendental Meditation.


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