Posts Tagged ‘Ellen DeGeneres’

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

December 25, 2013

Style.com: 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 Style.com to read this intriguing interview and see the photos.

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

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Excerpts From David Lynch Foundation Videos: Changing Lives With Transcendental Meditation

July 19, 2012

David Lynch Foundation: Changing Lives With Meditation

Uploaded by on Jul 11, 2012

Since 2005 the David Lynch Foundation has shared Transcendental Meditation with our most stressed populations. http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org

Veterans: “A year ago this month I was suicidal. I was so low that I just wanted to not be here….Transcendental Meditation saved my life.”

At-Risk Youth: “I used to say I’m gonna get my grades up I’m gonna do better. But still it was just what I said, it never happened. Until I started meditating.”

African Refugees: “After my husband died my in-laws turned against me. They tortured me, almost killed me….those days I used to cry too much but now even the tears, they are holding. I’m great.”

Prisoners: “If you just take the time to meditate, free your mind, everything will come together.”

Homeless: “I was just so frustrated and full of misguided anger I didn’t know where to direct it to….people tell me you’re so calm….it’s surprising even to me.”

Native Americans: “I lost four members of my family to diabetes. I don’t want that to happen to my people….Since I started TM my sugar has been where it should be. So, I’m sold on TM.”

20 minutes twice a day changed them. Meditation changed them.

“Sorrow, anxiety, traumatic stress, depression, hate, anger, rage, fear start to lift away. Life just gets better and better and better.” – David Lynch

“I think this is what people need. They don’t need high minded talk, they need results.” – Paul McCartney

“Speaking as a scientist the amazing thing about Transcendental Meditation is the very well-established research showing the technique impacts things that we didn’t think were changeable.” – Dr. Oz

“The initial research on the effects of Transcendental Meditation in treating PTSD offers so much hope. Better then many things being tried at far less a cost.” – Candy Crowley

To help bring scientifically-validated, stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations around the world, please visit: http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/donate.html

The former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunion for David Lynch’s benefit concert airs on New York’s THIRTEEN, Sunday, April 29

April 12, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
reunite for David Lynch Foundation benefit concert—

To be broadcast on New York’s THIRTEEN
on Sunday, April 29

There will be a special “Change Begins Within” Concert Screening at the Stephen Sondheim Center for Performing Arts this Sunday, April 22, 2012, 7:30 pm in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Two free screenings have been added Friday, April 27, and Sunday, April 29, 7:30 pm.

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on an American stage for the only time in the past 20 years during this historic 2009 Radio City Music Hall benefit concert, which will be broadcast on New York City’s channel THIRTEEN on Sunday, April 29, at 10:30 pm (check local listings for broadcast times and dates in your area).

The Beatle reunion highlights the 90-minute “Change Begins Within” concert to benefit the David Lynch Foundation, a charity set up in 2005 by the iconic filmmaker David Lynch to fund Transcendental Meditation programs for at-risk youth, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and women who suffer from domestic abuse and violence.

McCartney performs a set of Beatles, Wings and solo classics; Starr sings his own set of Beatle and solo hits; and McCartney and Starr join together on stage for a finale of “With A Little Help from My Friends,” Paul’s rarely performed “Cosmically Conscious,” and Beatle fan favorite “I Saw Her Standing There.”

Also appearing on the broadcast are comedian Jerry Seinfeld as well as musicians Sheryl Crow (“My Sweet Lord”), Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper (“Under Pressure”), Moby and Betty LaVette (“Natural Blues”), Paul Horn, newly-elected Rock-and-Roll-Hall of Famer Donovan  and Jim James (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”).

The concert was co-produced by Hoosick Falls Productions and David Lynch Foundation Television with executive producer George Verschoor.

VIEW EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

Press contact: Elizabeth Freund, Elizabeth@BeautifulDayMedia.com, 718-522-5858, for more information or to arrange an interview with David Lynch.

FACTS

The David Lynch Foundation has provided scholarships for more than 200,000 students and veterans to learn to meditate.

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, easily learned technique, practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice daily, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. According to research funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, the technique reduces stress and stress-related disorders, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and substance abuse.

Prominent meditators include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Russell Brand, Ellen DeGeneres, Clint Eastwood, Mehmet Oz, Martin Scorsese, Jerry Seinfeld, Russell Simmons, and Oprah Winfrey.

DAVID LYNCH FOUNDATION

654 Madison Avenue, Suite 805, New York, NY 10065 • 212-644-9880 • www.DavidLynchFoundation.orginfo@DavidLynchFoundation.org

– ENDS –

PERSONAL NOTE

To find out more about that event visit David Lynch Foundation Television (DLF.TV) to see a brief overview of the pre-concert Change Begins Within Press Conference Highlights that took place at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2009. Then watch the Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Concert Highlights from Radio City Music Hall on April 4, 2009. Also see David Lynch interviews Paul McCartney about meeting Maharishi and his first meditation, which was recorded for DLF before the concert.

As far as I know there won’t be any DVDs of this PBS special available for purchase. It will play in different markets across the country during May, June and July. So you may want to set your DVR to save a copy when it broadcasts in your area. You’ll want to see it, and share it with your friends, over and over again. It was the most intensely joyful and fun-filled concert I had ever attended. All of the musicians and the audience were deliriously happy! And it was for a very worthy cause.

Someone posted these excerpts on June 10, 2012: Paul McCartney/Ringo Starr “Change Begins Within” Concert (39:39).

Russell Brand Interviews Quantum Physicist At David Lynch Foundation Gala

December 6, 2011

DECEMBER 5, 2011, 6:00 PM ET

By Michelle Kung

Russell Brand Interviews Quantum Physicist At David Lynch Foundation Gala

With his manic energy and cheeky vocabulary, British comic Russell Brand hardly seems like a poster boy for Transcendental Meditation.

But Mr. Brand, who credits the meditation technique for helping him stay sober, is indeed a practitioner of TM and served as a master of ceremonies Saturday night for the David Lynch Foundation’s annual “Change Begins Within” benefit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was performing gratis, and hoped his good will would buy him “some wiggle room to act subversively and deviously.”

Mr. Brand was introduced by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who Mr. Brand turned onto TM a year ago, and in turn introduced David Lynch. Though best known to American audiences as the director of atmospheric films like “Blue Velvet” and the television series “Twin Peaks,” Mr. Lynch has also been an avid meditator for over three decades and created the David Lynch Foundation in 2005 to help implement meditation programs for both at-risk students and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Lynch summed up his thoughts about TM by producing a painting of a tree and explained to the audience, which included actors like Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Bell and honoree Russell Simmons, that the key to meditation was to “water to root” of the mind and “enjoy the fruit” of the ensuing knowledge. He also introduced his psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal to the crowd, who thanked his client for his “confidential” introduction and explained the health benefits of transcendental meditation — a subject they have written about for The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page.

After hearing first-person account from war veterans and current high school students about how TM has personally affected their lives, Mr. Brand wrapped up the evening by interviewing quantum physicist John Hagelin — a situation that seemed to fill the actor full of glee. We’ve embedded the interview below:

(The included interview was from last year’s Change Begins Within Gala Event in New York City. You can see this year’s interview here, and the complete Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala, which took place December 3rd, 2011 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) See Ellen DeGeneres and Russell Brand raise awareness about TM for overcoming traumatic stress.

Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala

December 5, 2011

Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and more.

Meditating stars, leaders of veterans groups, and top scientists and educators gather to raise funds and celebrate the success of the David Lynch Foundation’s many outreaches to help people in need overcome traumatic stress and transform their lives from within. For more information on DLF empowering veterans, underserved youth, and other disadvantaged groups to overcome traumatic stress through meditation visit http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org. Watch News Conference View Event Photos.

Watch a replay of this Benefit Gala, and other past events, at the David Lynch Foundation website. Also watch a replay of the David Lynch Foundation Launch of Operation Warrior Wellness Los Angeles, and related media coverage: David Lynch gives $1M to teach vets meditation. And WSJ: Russell Brand Interviews Quantum Physicist At David Lynch Foundation Gala. Leslie Hendry reviews David’s talk in How Hippie Meditation Helps Us All. See People Magazine photo of Katy Perry and her dapper husband Russell Brand make a cozy pair at the Change Begins Within benefit gala in Los Angeles on Saturday, and another one where Perry popped up at the David Lynch Foundation’s Change Begins Within benefit celebration in Los Angeles on Saturday. See Ellen DeGeneres and Russell Brand raise awareness about TM for overcoming traumatic stress.

What do Stephen Collins, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and Oprah have in common?

December 1, 2011

Stephen Collins
Actor, co-founder of The Creative Coalition

Six Degrees of Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and Oprah

December 1, 2011

What do I have in common with Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Oprah, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, and Russell Simmons? Probably not all that much, but… we all practice TM, Transcendental Meditation.

We have virtually nothing in common in terms of personal style, the art we attempt, or, for all I know, our politics. Our only common denominator is that we each do TM. I learned in 1976, a few years after The Beatles. Paul McCartney and Ringo still meditate, and so do I.

I’ve kept it up all these years for a very simple reason: TM is incredibly easy. You don’t have to “try,” you don’t have to “not think anything,” you don’t have to “quiet your mind.” You can do it on a plane, in a car (assuming you’re not driving), on a bus or a train. I’ve meditated on a New York subway.

If you think you can’t meditate, TM may be perfect for you. For me, my twice-daily, 20-minute meditations are like taking welcome mini-vacations. Most of us go on vacations to recharge, rest, or get away from the busy-ness of our lives. Sadly, vacations often fail us in this way. But when I finish TM, I’m recharged and ready to take on my day. On a film or TV set, or in rehearsal for a play, meditating after lunch helps me get through the rest of what’s usually an incredibly high-pressure work day.

So when the brilliant director David Lynch started the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) to teach meditation in schools, prisons, and to returning soldiers with PTSD, it was a natural fit for me to get involved. The scientific research is amazing on TM: how it literally melts away stress in all the forms in which science understands that the body stores stress. Blood pressure decreases, reaction time improves, substance abuse decreases, anxiety decreases — with meditation, not medication. Schools that use DLF to make TM available to students and teachers report big drops in absenteeism and big upticks in grades. Maybe more important, students and teachers say that their school day flies by and is much less stressful.

Returning vets with PTSD who learn TM show greatly reduced states of anxiety. Prisoners who do TM are dramatically less liable to become violent and they show a major statistical tendency to stay out of prison once they’re released. In the U.S., our biggest problem with “corrections” is that released prisoners usually commit a new crime and get sent back to prison. The cost to society of this revolving door of inmates is astronomical. TM stops this process. Imagine prisons getting emptier because a prisoner has actually been rehabilitated! What a concept.

I’m proud to sit on the board of DLF. As David loves to say, “Change begins within.” We can’t create peace in our world or in the world, if we don’t carry a measure of peace around inside of us.

Sound too woo-woo for you? Ask Clint Eastwood. Ask Laura Dern. Ask Howard Stern. Or Jerry Seinfeld. They’ve all been doing TM for decades.

A persistent myth about artists is that we need to exhaust ourselves or lead wildly disordered lives in order to be creative. In reality, to succeed over a lifetime in the stressful entertainment world, we need tools to keep us rested so we can work at the high level expected of us, under usually grueling schedules.

TM isn’t a system of thought or a philosophy. It was brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian physicist who became a meditation teacher. There are no required meetings, no membership dues, no tithing, no worshipped leader. Everyone pays a fee to learn TM, but that initial payment is all you’ll ever have to fork over. After that, you can have your meditation “checked” with a TM teacher anywhere in the world for as long as you live, without charge.

DLF makes meditation available for free to the populations I mentioned. Russell Brand, Ellen DeGeneres, David Lynch, and Russell Simmons will be appearing at a gala “Change Begins Within” event on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Los Angeles County Art Museum. I’ll be there, too.

To find out more about DLF, or to learn TM yourself, check out davidlynchfoundation.org and tm.org. I’m on Twitter at @stephencollins.

Listed on HuffPost Celebrity

Also see: Russell Brand Does Stand-Up for Transcendental Meditation | Bob Roth, Executive Director, David Lynch Foundation, Discusses Transcendental Meditation On Free Your Mind Projects Radio Show | Oprah meditates with ladies in MUM Golden Dome | HUFFPOST: David Lynch: Why I Meditate | Oprah says she and her staff meditate, enjoy a Quiet Time twice a day—Facebook Live interview


Russell Brand Does Stand-Up for Transcendental Meditation

November 29, 2011

Medical Unit

By Susan Donaldson James

Nov 29, 2011 2:39pm

Russell Brand Does Stand-Up for Transcendental Meditation

Comic actor Russell Brand credits his sobriety with practicing Transcendental Meditation.

Russell Brand, who credits Transcendental Meditation for helping him stay off addictions to alcohol, drugs and sex, will do a stand-up comedy show tonight at the Palace of the Fine Arts in San Francisco to benefit the David Lynch Foundation.

Brand has said publicly that meditation had helped him find a “deeper state of happiness.”  Other celebrities — including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres — are devotees of TM.

“What it felt like to me was the dissolution of the idea of myself,” he said at a press conference last year. “Like, I felt separateness evaporated, this tremendous sense of oneness. I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalized person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection. My tendency towards selfishness, I felt that exposed as a superficial and pointless perspective to have.”

Brand, who is best known for his films, “Get Him to the Greek” and “Arthur” –  and for being the husband of pop start Katy Perry – gave up alcohol nearly a decade ago. He has said,  ”I was really, really committed to that drug addiction.”

The David Lynch Foundation, the brainchild of the filmmaker of the same name, has been committed to helping those who suffer from trauma since 2005. The often dark and abstract director credits his creativity with 37 years of meditation.

Their meditation programs have helped those in the military, who are at higher risk for post-traumatic stress and in schools where students grow up in a climate of fear with bullying, violence and substance abuse. They also work with other at-risk populations like Native Americans and the homeless.

The Lynch foundation now teaches 150,000 students for free in 350 schools around the world; 15 of them are in the United States.

Click here for video of David Lynch discussing His First Meditation.

“It’s not a religion,” Lynch told ABC last year. “It’s not against any religion, it’s not mumbo-jumbo. It truly does transform life. Kids come to school and they meditate together for 15 minutes in the morning. And before they go home they meditate for 15 minutes. A lot of them come from, you know, bad situations, and so this gives them this thing you know, at the beginning and the end of the day, the rest of the time you just watch the violence stop. Watch relationships improve. Watch happiness in the hallways, in the classroom, watch creativity flow more and more, watch that heavy weight that we are living under gently lift away.”

Brand learned TM at the foundation headquarters in Fairfield, Iowa, during a time when he was making a  documentary on happiness with directors Oliver Stone and Albert Maysles.

David Lynch Foundation Executive Director Bob Roth asked Brand if he wanted to learn TM. “I have all the time in the world,” Brand responded, according to foundation spokesman Ken Chawkin. “He taught him and he loved it and came back a second time.”

Brand went to India, where he was married to Perry last year, to research the film. The comedian is a vegetarian and devotee of Buddhism and Hari Krishna. He also practices yoga.

Oprah also meditated with 500 other women at the “dome” in Iowa, according to Chawkin. ”Her companies are now instructed as part of their daily routine,” he said. “It’s awesome. She really got it.”

On Dec. 3, Brand will join actress Ellen DeGeneres and Def Jam’s Russell Simmons in Los Angeles for another benefit performance. The foundation will webcast from their website  a live global news conference on Dec. 2 on its gift of $1 million to teach veterans to meditate. The celebrity event will be replayed online Sunday, Dec 4.

Various studies funded by the David Lynch Foundation have shown that those under stress, particularly ethnic and racial minorities, can reduce their stress levels by 36 percent by practicing TM. Students in “quiet programs” that include meditation have also shown higher rates of achievement.

 ”It allows the thinking process to naturally settle down,” said Chawkin. “And just automatically and quietly you transcend beyond to the source of thought within. You are twice as deep as the deepest point of sleep, while awake inside.”

Brand has said that his stress was rooted in his celebrity. “I used to be poor, now I’m not,” he said last year at a conference with young people. “I didn’t used to be famous, now I am. And I thought that both of these significant transitions would bring a certain amount of satisfaction.

“They did a bit, initially as being famous gives you enormous access to– given there are some young people here– partners in physical nocturnal activities.”

SHOWS:

User Comments

Brand is FUNNY but when he talks about profound stuff like how TM helps him he is REALLY good. I wish I could be there tonight!

Posted by: quirkysquirrel | November 29, 2011 November 29, 2011, 3:15 pm

I’m really impressed with David Lynch’s work as well as Russell Brand speaking up and stepping up to help promote David’s foundation. TM has been a remarkably helpful and profound practice for me, in all areas of my life. Whether you are a vet, a student, a down and out artist to be or a person who could use more chill, more health, more creativity in your life – it’s a fantastic tool.

Posted by: Tlccabin | November 29, 2011 November 29, 2011, 6:42 pm

——–

The David Lynch Foundation will host two events: a live global news conference, webcast from the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Friday, December 2, 11 AM (PT), 2 PM (ET); and the Third Annual David Lynch Foundation Benefit Gala, Saturday, December 3, 5 PM (PT), 8 PM (ET) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will replay online Sunday, December 4, at 5 PM (PT), 8 PM (ET). Click here for more information: http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/emailing/2011_11_29.html.

Also see: An Evening of Stand-Up With Russell Brand — a Benefit for the David Lynch Foundation Tuesday, November 29th at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco | The SF Examiner: Russell Brand makes it to the Palace | The Times of India: Russell Brand to headline comedy show for charity | Examiner.com: Russell Brand makes San Francisco laugh for The David Lynch Foundation | What do Stephen Collins, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons, David Lynch and Oprah have in common?


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