THE DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION
By Tom Citrano
“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 – bliss – the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.” David Lynch, founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.
This month’s Natural Heroes are Mr. Lynch and the people at the David Lynch Foundation. Director and Producer David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Elephant Man, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive) started his foundation to provide funds for students to learn meditation through Transcendental Meditation centers, hospital-sponsored wellness programs, boys and girls clubs, before-and-after school programs and in schools when invited by the administration.
Instruction is voluntary and provided to children after parental permission has been granted and at no cost to the family, organization or school. This year the David Lynch Foundation granted millions of dollars guaranteeing thousands of students, teachers and families a chance to learn meditation. The Foundation also funds independent research to study the effects of meditation on creativity, intelligence, brain function, academic performance, ADHD and additional learning disorders, substance abuse and depression.
Lynch believes that stress is taking a big toll on children today. He looks for a day when developing student’s creative potential is part of every school’s curriculum. David Lynch has been a TM practitioner for over 30 years and explains, “There are hundreds of schools, thousands of students, who are eager to relieve stress and bring out the full potential of every student by providing this Consciousness-based education.”
The David Lynch Foundation targets the benefits of TM for students in the following areas:
Children need to feel safe in school because pressure, stress and fear undermine learning. Dr. William Stixrud, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, specializing in work with children and adolescents, has studied the effects of stress on the developing brain and had this to say about the David Lynch Foundations programs, “Educators have long known the optimal mind/body state of a student is one of relaxed alertness. The question has been how does the student get there? The answer is The Transcendental Meditation Program.”
Ten million children in America have been diagnosed as clinically depressed and take antidepressant medications. Most of these medications are categorized as having serious side effects. A study (funded in part by the Daimler/Chrysler Fund and the General Motors Foundation) on meditating children at an inner-city Detroit middle school confirms what previous gathered data and research has documented: The Transcendental Meditation program increases happiness, self-esteem, and self-worth, while also reducing anxiety and depression.
If left untreated, ADHD impacts the child in several ways – causing impulsivity, distractibility, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. ADHD is also associated with sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and other disorders. Almost 90% of children diagnosed with ADHD are on medications. Linda Handy, Ph.D., educator and principal of The Waldorf School in Silver Spring, Maryland believes it’s easier for teachers to hold the attention of students who meditate, “Transcendental Meditation has a great effect on students’ learning ability. Teachers can teach more – so students can learn more.”
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is no longer an adult disease. Studies show adolescence is a critical time for the development of hypertension and other coronary disease risk factors. Increasing rates of childhood obesity are further driving up the numbers of children and teens living with hypertension. Vernon Barnes, Ph.D., research scientist at the Georgia Prevention Institute of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta studied the effects of TM on a random sample selected from a group of 5,000 teens with hypertension. Barnes had this to say about the results, “Decreases in blood pressure observed in the present study have clinical significance. The decreases, if maintained into adulthood, are enough to potentially decrease a child’s long-term risk for heart disease and stroke.”
FULL BRAIN POTENTIAL
Science has confirmed that our brains are not fully developed at birth. As we grow and mature, the brain is being recreated to support all of our new and changing thoughts, decision and behavior. There are different areas of the brain for seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc. The part of the brain that is most critical for evaluating all the information is the frontal lobes. Stressful experiences keep the frontal lobes from developing. Research verifies the TM technique is unique in its ability to exercise this critical part of the brain – to make the brain healthier and better able to work together as a whole.
In his book, A Record of Excellence, Ashley Deans, Ph.D., director of The Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa recounts the achievements of his school, which is accredited by the State of Iowa and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, “Hundreds of scientific studies on Transcendental Meditation program and more than 30 years of classroom experience should be enough to convince anyone that Consciousness-Based education can make education complete, healthy, harmonious and productive.”
For more information about
the David Lynch Foundation
and its programs, visit davidlynchfoundation.org.
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