@TVJillianParker reports on the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation for @SPECNewsROC

October 16, 2018
Jillian Parker interviews TM Teacher Peggy Birx for Spectrum News

Jillian Parker (rt) interviews TM Teacher Peggy Birx for Spectrum News

Here is another positive TV News report on Transcendental Meditation. This one aired yesterday on Spectrum News in Rochester, NY. Reporter Jillian Parker cited the scientific research and interviewed meditator Jessica Cowie to learn how TM significantly improved her health. Jillian also interviewed TM teacher Peggy Brix who told her why people come to learn. They used clips from the DLF Change Begins Within video. This was so well done it felt like a free TM infomercial! Click on the title below to watch this news piece on their website.

How This Effortless Meditation Technique Improves Overall Health

By Jillian Parker  |  October 15, 2018 @2:22 PM

There’s a 20 minute meditation technique improving sleep patterns, reducing stress and improving overall health.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a technique that was introduced to the United States in the 1950’s. It’s being called one of the most effective techniques to help people sleep, settle the mind, relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.

Jessica Cowie once suffered from anxiety, depression and addiction. She says this technique has been life changing.

Jessica Cowie describes her health benefits from TM

“I’m much calmer, I don’t have as much of an anxious disposition and wasn’t suffering as many anxiety attacks anymore,” Cowie said. “I also was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and suffered with severe chronic migraines. My pain has significantly lowered. I’m off of all my medications for those illnesses. I literally take nothing.”

Young people spend more than six hours a day stressed out according to a mental health study released this year. Practicing TM is known to reduce the stress hormone by 30 percent and it’s the main reason Peggy Birx says people walk into a session for the first time.

“We’re just living in this crazy, high pressured time where people are on call 24/7. They’re connected all the time and expected to be performing constantly. I think so many people have become disconnected with their quiet inner self,” said Birx, Rochester Transcendental Meditation teacher.

In 20 minutes of meditation, someone can gain as much rest that’s required from six to eight hours of deep sleep.

“I used to need to take something to sleep. I don’t need anything to sleep anymore. My dreams are more vivid, I wake up refreshed. My mind is more alert and I don’t have brain fog as much,” said Cowie.

TM is a practice that the American Heart Association has endorsed as the only technique proven to help heart disease reducing the chances of heart attack, stroke and death by 48 percent.

Teachers are based all over the country, including Rochester.

For more on costs and locations visit this website.

# # #

Other cables TV news stations that reported on the health benefits of TM this year are: WTNH New Haven 8 and WXYZ Detroit 7.

Two profound poems by Stephen Levine: in the realm of the passing away & millennium blessing

October 16, 2018

I just discovered a fine poet, Stephen Levine, on this wonderful blogspot, THE BEAUTY WE LOVE. He was an American poet, author and teacher best known for his work on death and dying. He drew upon the teachings of a variety of wisdom traditions. Stephen and his wife Ondrea were also grief counselors. His poetry offers much wisdom on this subject. Here are two beautiful poems that deal with the ephemeral nature of existence; its deathless, limitless source; and a grace that draws us to it, our ultimate destination — in the realm of the passing away and millennium blessing — both taken from his book, Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace.

This is the realm of the passing away. All that
exists does not for long.
Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.
Form arises from formlessness and passes back,
arising and dissolving in a few dance steps between
creation and destruction.

We are born passing away.
Seedlings and deadfall all face forward.
Earthworms eat what remains.
We sing not for that which dies but for that which
never does.

* * *

There is a grace approaching
that we shun as much as death,
it is the completion of our birth.

It does not come in time,
but in timelessness
when the mind sinks into the heart
and we remember.

It is insistent grace that draws us
to the edge and beckons us surrender
safe territory and enter our enormity.

We know we must pass
beyond knowing
and fear the shedding.

But we are pulled upward
none-the-less
through forgotten ghosts
and unexpected angels,
luminous.

And there is nothing left to say
but we are That.

And that is what we sing about.

* * *

Stephen Levine (July 17, 1937 – January 17, 2016)

* * *

Related posts worth seeing: Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, Buddha in Glory, reminds us of our eternal nature within; and John Glenday’s poem, Concerning the Atoms of the Soul, illuminates and nourishes the mind.

Catholic Health World reports on medical students learning Transcendental Meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

October 16, 2018

In the spirit of “Physician, heal thyself,” Catholic Health World reported on Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine offering Transcendental Meditation (TM) as an elective course to students during the past 4 years to help them avoid burnout and develop wellness, preparing them to become more effective physicians. The Uncarved Blog originally helped break the news of the early success of this program.

Medical students learn meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

October 15, 2018 (Volume 34, Number 18)
By Patricia Corrigan

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is believed to be the first major medical school in the country to offer Transcendental Meditation, or TM, as an elective course. Since 2014, the class has been offered to help medical students manage stress.

“A lot of studies show that as many as 50 percent of medical students and residents exhibit symptoms from stress that can develop into burnout, so we’re trying to help students focus on wellness for themselves by teaching skills that they can take with them, skills they will need to be effective physicians,” said Dr. Gregory Gruener, vice dean for education and a neurology professor at Stritch.

w181015_medicalstudents-gruener-2-a

Gruener

In addition to learning the meditation technique, the class reviews the neurophysiology of TM and includes a live demonstration of the brain wave patterns that occur during the practice. Students may attend five lectures over two semesters or view the lectures online. Stritch has even set aside meditation rooms for students.

Gruener counts the TM training as a success. “We don’t push it — it’s one technique — but a significant chunk of the students, about a third of each class, sign up for it, and almost 300 have enrolled since it started.” This year, 66 of the 165 first-year students have signed up so far, and Gruener expects another 10 to 20 to enroll.

Most students who have taken the class have reported the training has “a significant and fundamental impact” on their lives, Gruener said. Danielle Terrell, a resident in pediatric neurosurgery, is one of them.

“Going to medical school — well, that’s not a path to stress relief,” said Terrell. She first took the TM class three years ago and still meditates. “Right after the first meditation class, I instantly felt so much better. The initial benefits are still present, and TM is a great tool to have in my pocket for those days when I am overwhelmed.”

TM uses meditation skills similar to those found in the Catholic, Jesuit traditions of contemplative care. Deans in the admissions offices, the counseling faculty and the clinical physician supervisors at Stritch would agree. They also have learned the meditation technique, which was first taught in India in 1955 and introduced in the U.S. in 1959. An article about the TM class, published in Chicago Medicine magazine in January 2016, is now made available to all students who apply to Stritch.

w181015_medicalstudents-brown-3-a

Brown

“Two students told us they chose Loyola because of the TM elective,” said Carla L. Brown, who teaches the course at Stritch. She co-directs the Center for Leadership Performance in Chicago with her husband, Duncan Brown, who also teaches TM at Stritch on an adjunct basis.

“TM changes the brain — that has been documented scientifically,” Carla Brown said. “It taps into our innate capacity to experience restful alertness, and that refines the functioning of our physiology.” The website for the meditation method notes that some 380 published, peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM “markedly reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue, improves learning ability and promotes balanced functioning of mind and body.”

The medical school is keeping track of whether former students still practice TM. “We haven’t received all the information yet, but even those that are meditating once a day now say they do still notice a benefit,” Gruener said. “Our real concern is how they do away from the support system that was in place for them here, and we will continue to keep in touch.”

Also, as part of a student’s PhD thesis, some faculty members have had MRI scans before and after meditating to determine whether there are changes in the brain that have to do with “anxiety or stress or emotionality.” The study is complete, but Gruener said the data from the thesis is not yet available.

w181015_medicalstudents-1-a

Dr. Danielle Terrell, a resident in pediatric neurosurgery at Louisiana State University — Shreveport, practices stress-busting meditation techniques she learned as a medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The TM class includes outside speakers, among them retired Col. Brian Rees, a physician who talks about the use of meditation in his work with individuals in the military related to building resiliency and the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Students in medical school want to know about the science supporting TM, and they want to meet physicians who research and also practice it,” Gruener said.

The decision to add the meditation technique to the curriculum was serendipitous. “As we were trying to build a broader menu into our wellness program, we heard from a former medical student who had dropped out of school because of anxiety,” Gruener said. “He saw a billboard advertising TM, took the class and found it had a dramatic impact on his life — and he provided the money to begin a pilot program here.”

That program commenced in the fall of 2013. Later, it was modified and the decision was made to offer the course as an elective, with a more flexible schedule. Gruener noted that one reason some students do not enroll is because of the time required to take the five classes and the need to find 20 minutes twice a day to meditate.

“Some students view that as time taken away from studying, even though we try to let them know that if you take care of yourself now, there is a big payback later,” Gruener said. Laughing, he added, “Also, physicians tend to be hardheaded if something isn’t in pill form or can’t be injected. Carla and I have joked that if we had a pill to relieve stress that cost $1,000, all the students would want to take it.”

Gruener said he practices TM, and he openly credits it with reducing his own stress. “You have to embrace wellness and you have to find the time to take control of your own life,” he said. “Once you begin TM, that gets easier.”

# # #

Permission granted by Catholic Health World, October 15, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
I added all hyperlinks except the SSOM-LUC in the opening sentence.
Article URL: https://www.chausa.org/publications/catholic-health-world/archives/issues/october-15-2018/medical-students-learn-meditation-to-counter-stress-promote-physician-wellness

Mental health tips from London’s leading art figures includes #TranscendentalMeditation

October 10, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018: The Evening Standard GO London wrote a piece for , on how London arts figures look after their minds. They featured 9 individuals. Here is the introduction, and the 7th, Bea Colley, who benefits from her regular practice of Transcendental Meditation, and finds comfort in poetry.

Tips for a healthy mind from London’s leading art figures

Only in the last few years have mental health and physical health begun to be regarded on an equal par. Open conversations about mental health help to break the stigma, but they also remind us that it’s an issue that affects us all.

Self-care is too often relegated to the last priority in the midst of life in a high pressure city, long days at work and digital devices that don’t allow us to ever truly switch off. Opening up about how you’re really feeling is hard enough, and finding and taking practical steps to look after your body and mind isn’t straightforward either.

To mark this year’s World Mental Health Day, we asked leading London arts figures for their tips on self-care and keeping a healthy mind.

Bea Colley

A few years ago, during a particularly difficult time, I learnt Transcendental Meditation. It’s a practice that my parents swear got them through their teaching years and that celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and David Lynch live their lives by. I know that if I can keep up the 20 minutes each morning and evening, the day will be brighter and calmer. Also, being a lover of poetry, I have a theory that a poem will always find you in times of need. Sometimes I head to Southbank Centre’s National Poetry Library, pick up an anthology and wait for a poem to bring me comfort.

Bea Colley is Literature Programmer at Southbank Centre‘s London Literature Festival which runs October 18-28.

Dr. Fred Travis at GIBS: Mind-Brain Development for Excellence and TM Develops Brain Coherence

October 3, 2018

Dr Fred Travis presenting at GIBS

On May 7, 2018, Dr. Travis gave a presentation at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at Pretoria University in Johannesburg, South Africa: Achieving Career Excellence through Mind/Brain Development. This forum explores the essential role that mind/brain development plays in enhanced performance.

Research indicates that the level of mind-brain development underlies excellence in all fields of life. Higher brain integration is associated with higher emotional stability, more openness to experience, greater creativity, and greater problem-solving ability. Research shows that world-class professional athletes, top-level managers, and professional musicians have higher levels of brain integration.* This forum explores the different factors that influence brain integration and performance.​

Dr. Fred Travis earned his Ph.D. in 1988 from Maharishi University of Management and after a 2-year postdoctoral position returned to Maharishi University of Management to direct research in the Center from Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition. He has authored over 80 papers that investigate the relation between natural human development and lifestyle choices on brain functioning and personal and professional success. He has lectured extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

The GIBS Business School published two videos of his talk on their YouTube channel May 14, 2018: Dr Fred Travis – Mind-Brain Development for Excellence (4:15). Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition at the Maharishi University of Management, says studies have found that that a certain level of mind-brain development underlies excellence in all fields of life.

Seated up front is a subject with EEG leads taped to his head and EEG signatures projected onto the screen behind him. A meditation demonstration must have been done, but that footage is not included in these videos, just a screensaver of it for the second video.

Towards the end of the first video Dr. Travis mentions the Transcendental Meditation technique as a practical tool to help you develop excellence in whatever field you’re in. That theme is more developed in this second video: Dr Fred Travis – Meditation Develops Brain Coherence (5:35). MUM/CBCC Director Dr. Travis believes that meditation develops greater coherence across the brain and aligns the flow of information.

*Here are some of those cited references, from June 18, 2012, Research breakthrough: High brain integration underlies winning performances. World-class performers in management, sports and music often have uniquely high mind-brain development. On June 4, 2014, another study finds brain integration correlates with greater creativity in product-development engineers. See Does practice make perfect? Or are some people more creative than others? If so, why?

For an explanation of how and why the TM technique is effortless, and can be easily learned and practiced by anyone, with immediate results, read this report: Research validates the defining hallmark of Transcendental Meditation—effortlessness.

Also see this recently published paper using fMRI:  New study highlights unique state of “restful alertness” during Transcendental Meditation.

Ideal Energy’s solar-plus storage system for MUM is first large-scale installation of its kind in Iowa

October 3, 2018

A detailed creative article on this innovative project written by Bob Saar for The Hawk Eye was published September 9, 2018. Click on the title to see more photos at their website. A recent synopsis published in MUM’s The Review, Vol. 34, #2, October 3, 2018 is added at the bottom.

Ideal Energy CEO Troy Van Beek with account manager Michael HalleyThe Hawk Eye caption for Ideal Energy

Here comes the Sun

Fairfield company Ideal Energy brings Iowa to national attention with new solar array installation at Maharishi University of Management.

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

That Buddhist concept fits the solar energy business: The first mountain was long-term storage, but that has been alleviated with modern battery technology, paving the way for local, independent companies like Ideal Energy, Inc. in Fairfield, Iowa to enter the energy-supply business.

But that in turn led to another mountain: How will those smaller companies interconnect with utility giants like Alliant and MidAmerican Energy when they’re in competition with them for energy dollars?

Depending on who you ask, Iowa ranks somewhere in the top 20 states in solar energy development and production, based on a multitude of factors from metering to rebates to tax credits and electricity prices, but Ideal Energy is rising like the morning sun to heat things up for the Hawkeye State.

Founded in 2009 by CEO Troy Van Beek and chief marketing officer Amy Van Beek, Ideal Energy is pioneering modern solar storage technology in Iowa. One of their hottest projects is installing a large solar field for the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield.

MUM’s array, Iowa’s newest and largest privately owned solar array, will track the sun as it moves across the sky, charging a battery system designed by Ideal Energy, providing the college affordable electricity when prices are highest. Called a solar-plus storage system, it’s the first large-scale installation of its kind in Iowa. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is sponsoring a study to encourage the spread of this new renewable technology throughout the state.

Ideal Energy is constructing the 1.1-megawatt solar tracking array on five acres of land. The panels in the array will move 120 degrees each day to track the sun’s journey. Each row of panels can move independently to maintain its own optimal angle to the sun.

Key to the dream of living entirely off the sun in the form of solar and wind energy is the need to store the sun’s output during peak times — noon on a cloudless day, for example — for use during low times — with solar, that’s all night long. Exacerbating the problem is the tendency for demand to increase at periods during low-light times.

The answer is batteries.

The array will provide electricity to the university and charge a vanadium flow battery system. When electricity is in highest demand and prices peak — hot summer days, for example — the university can draw from its own battery supply. Over time, reducing these “demand charges” will help MUM reduce its electricity bill. The battery power can also be used during emergency outages.

Renewable energy is obtained by collecting naturally replenished resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, all of which support sustainability.

Sustainability avoids the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. In 1987, the UN said “sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations.”

Fossil fuels are nonrenewable — the earth has a finite supply of decomposed dinosaurs — thus a world economy based on coal and oil is not sustainable.

If the major industrialized nations worked toward sustainability by developing renewable energy sources, we wouldn’t be talking these days about global warming, melting polar icecaps or the threat of year-round hurricanes.

Back in the early 1970s, when America was bleeding out in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia, the Baby Boomers stumbled across several fresh concepts including sustainability, Buckydomes and — thanks to people like the Beatles, Donovan Leitch and the Beach Boys — a technique called Transcendental Meditation, via the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian guru who first met those musicians in 1967.

Those so-called counter-culture concepts were not considered cutting edge; rather, they were ignored by the mainstream as being on the fringes of American societal thinking.

But mountains crumble with time and rivers flow relentlessly to the sea, thus today America embraces such previously alien concepts as solar energy, non-dependence on fossil fuels, electric cars, and Dick Tracy two-way wrist radios.

Back then, the problem was how to get off the grid; today, the problem is how to get on the grid with your solar energy system. Solar energy is big business growing larger each year, and big business means government regulation, utility giants and infrastructure.

The symbiosis of small outfits like Ideal with the big utilities — Alliant and MidAmerican in Iowa — is a topic beyond the scope of this story, but look at it this way: Companies like Ideal are the Davids standing tall for the common man, and Alliant is Goliath, only this time, the two are not combatants but are, instead, reluctant dance partners carefully avoiding stepping on each others’ toes.

One of the early solar energy problems was storage: Efficient use of solar requires storage for dark hours and peaks. Used railroad engine batteries were used by some off-gridders, but they had too short a cycle to keep a factory running all night, and thus battery technology had to grow up before solar could become truly viable.

At the heart of the solar problem was the duck curve — that’s the graph of usage versus time of day, which, when plotted out, looks like a duck’s silhouette. The fact the peak demand does not occur when the sun is high means peak usage is somewhat the inverse of peak solar input. In other words, while everyone leaves the office or factory to drive to McDonald’s for lunch, they aren’t using electricity, even though the sun is at it’s zenith. Conversely, when those same workers go home in the evening to fire up the stove, the TV, the hot tub, the Xbox to play Minecraft — that’s when the sun is crashing on the western horizon.

That’s why America needs companies like Ideal Energy.

Ideal wisely focused on battery storage. Today’s battery technology far surpasses those bulky D-cells you used to slide into your dad’s big flashlight, and two technologies are leading the way: vanadium flow and the batteries used in Tesla automobiles.

The vanadium flow battery is a non-toxic, pH-balanced battery whose performance does not degrade over time. Ideal was considering lithium-ion batteries, but those degrade: after 15 years, the top of the line lithium-ion batteries will only hold 50 percent of their initial charge. NEXTracker, owned by Fluxtronics, Ideal’s source for vanadium flow batteries, warranties their batteries for the life of the solar power system as long as Ideal follows a recommended annual maintenance schedule. That means after 25-plus years, the vanadium flow batteries will still hold 98 percent of charge.

A 2-by-4-by-6-foot vanadium battery sits at the end of each row on the MUM array, which consists of 3,150 panels rated at 350 watts each.

The Tesla Powerwall is the same battery utilized in Tesla’s cars; it can be integrated into a modular system and built out for commercial applications. Tesla also does this for residential homes, but the level Ideal is dealing with is large commercial installations.

Troy Van Beek earned his bachelor’s degree in sustainability from MUM and brought his Navy SEAL experience to the company.

“A part of the mission that has created Ideal is that we look at resource security as part of what we’re doing,” Troy said. “We’re in the process of creating abundance for our clients, and that’s really important because of the effect that it has on opportunity. The more opportunity there is, the less need for conflict.”

Amy Van Beek said the MUM project is the first solar and storage, large-scale battery project in the Midwest.

“It’s pretty significant because the National Renewable Energy Labs put out a study about a year ago indicating Iowa is one of the top ten states in the country to benefit from battery energy storage for peak demand mitigation,” she said.

Demand mitigation can reduce energy prices for hours with high price spikes by reducing the marginal generating cost of the system.

“The University is one of these peak demand customers,” Amy said. “We in Iowa have some of the lowest utility rates in the country, but for peak demand users, they’re in the top ten highest utility rates in the country. That can be a big problem for universities, manufacturers, even non-profit organizations — anybody that’s a large electric user.”

Troy Van Beek said that together, the vanadium flow battery technology and the tracking system makes the MUM project unique.

“It gives the U a good energy profile for its particular type of energy curve,” he said. “So that gives nice shoulders on the energy that’s being produced throughout the day. It really gives them a good payback on the project itself.”

That’s enough battery talk for today. Here’s something you can meditate upon tonight: The Sun is free and you can harvest whatever heat, light and wind by-products you want, all day, for free.

The technology to do so is not free. The delivery infrastructure is not free. The maintenance, legislation and continuing R&D are not free.

In the end, there will be no more solar mountains as more energy companies shine as brightly as Ideal Energy.

Read more about Ideal Energy’s projects at www.idealenergysolar.com.

The lyrics to Donovan’s song “There is a Mountain” refer to a Buddhist concept often attributed to Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his “Essays in Zen Buddhism.

###

Also see Iowa Entrepreneur profiles Ideal Energy, Fairfield. IPTV first aired this 13-minute story, on July 28, 2017.

On Oct 10, 2018, Ideal Energy posted Women Empowered: a short film about the leaders driving Iowa’s energy future.

See The Review story below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bobby Hutcherson plays Bouquet with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock at One Night with Blue Note

September 26, 2018

Bobby Hutcherson Bouquet with Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter

The first time I heard jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson play was with pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Ron Carter performing Bouquet. It was on a Netflix DVD, One Night With Blue Note: The Historic All-Star Reunion Concert, recorded live for Blue Note’s 50th anniversary at New York’s Town Hall on February 22, 1985. When the historic Blue Note record label was revived in 1985, this all-star concert was held bringing together their legendary roster of musicians, a who’s who of jazz.

The concert was great! It opens with Herbie Hancock performing his popular tune Canteloupe Island featuring Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Joe Henderson on sax,  Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. But I bought the DVD primarily for Bobby’s beautiful ballad Bouquet.

Now, years later, I searched the internet and found the concert, as well as just the performance of Bobby Hutcherson’s Bouquet with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock. The YouTube video includes the short introduction from the DVD. This excerpt on Dailymotion doesn’t, but the quality is better. The audience was so moved they applauded before the piece was actually finished, but the musicians quietly played on to the end.

You can hear Bouquet on Hutcherson’s album Happenings in the Remastered 2006/Rudy Van Gelder Edition. This slightly mellower version includes Herbie Hancock on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and the smooth brush work of Joe Chambers on drums. It’s about a minute longer than the concert version and has a rich clear tone.

The three hours of brilliant performances were distilled down to the two-hour DVD, One Night With Blue Note All-Star Reunion Concert. You can see it here, or in this larger format. It’s also available in better quality on Dailymotion divided into two one-hour sections: Part 1 and Part 2.

I’ve posted other favorite beautiful musical selections across genres on my blog, like this harp music performed in nature; Canadian harpist Kristan Toczko performing Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune; a kind of musical onomatopoeia in Bill Evans’s Peace Piece; the hauntingly beautiful Celtic music of Davy Spillane on uilleann pipes and low whistle; and the angelic voice of Eva Cassidy, who interpreted and delivered popular songs in her own inimitable way, with purity, passion and power.

The Hawk Eye interviewed Fairfield native Cameron Mullenneaux on her Emmy nomination, competing against news giants ABC and CBS

September 18, 2018

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, honoring the best and brightest in the world of television, was held Monday night at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards will be held Monday, October 1, in a ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Complex at Columbus Circle in New York City. The event will be attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. It will be webcast live at 7:30pm ET on emmyonline.tv.

A short film directed and produced by Fairfield native Cameron Mullenneaux will be in the running. Condé Nast Inc. funded “Angelique” for Glamour Magazine, posted it online last November, and submitted it to The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) for an Outstanding Feature Story in a Newsmagazine. Angelique’s story, the adversities she had to overcome, and the way Cameron captured it is truly inspirational. The film will be competing against ABC’s 20/20 and CBS’s 60 Minutes!!

Bob Saar interviewed Cameron on her nomination and filed this report for The Hawk Eye’s Sunday edition: Fairfield native pitted against CBS, ABC.

The entertainment business is rarely looked upon by Americans as “business” because they’re attracted to the Hollywood glamour and gossip.

You might hear some guy say, “Those guys are artists, not businessmen.”

Two problems here: They aren’t all guys, guys. And those who succeed are, indeed, business-men or -women.

Southeast Iowa filmmaker Cameron Mullenneaux is an artist and businesswoman, and this week, she’s in New York at the Emmy awards. Director-producer Mullenneaux is up for an Emmy against giants ABC and CBS — and their big guns Diane Sawyer and Leslie Stahl.

Cameron Mulleanneaux

Cameron Mullenneaux, producer/director of “Angelique”, is competing against news giants ABC’s 20/20 and CBS’s 60 Minutes for an Emmy for Outstanding Feature Story in a Newsmagazine.

Mullenneaux, formerly Bargerstock — she married in June — is a Fairfield native, the daughter of Betty and Andy Bargerstock, a professor at Maharishi University of Management. Mullenneaux, who now lives in California, wrote, produced and directed “Angelique,” a film about a straight-A homeless high school student in Asheville, North Carolina.

“I was looking for a bright, creative, and resilient young person who didn’t let their difficult life circumstances hold them back from pursuing their dreams,” Mullenneaux said. “I met her through Asheville High School social worker Pam Pauly.”

Mullenneaux attended Maharishi School and graduated Warren Wilson College before earning an MFA in Documentary Filmmaking at Wake Forest University.

Here’s a brief synopsis distilled from a description submitted by Condé Nast to the Television Academy: ‘Angelique’ is a short documentary following the life of a homeless high school girl who battles the odds to stay in school, get good grades, and go to college despite the challenges of living with a mother who suffers from bipolar disorder and an absentee father.

@LynchFoundation CEO @meditationbob offers #TranscendentalMeditation to those in need

September 16, 2018

Last year, Alexandra Wolfe wrote a great profile on teacher and David Lynch Foundation CEO Bob Roth for the Wall Street Journal‘s Weekend Confidential. Transcendental Meditation for Everyone was published June 30, 2017. It’s posted below with added links. See the 5-column printed article with photo by Chris Sorensen: Bob Roth: The nonprofit executive is working to bring Transcendental Meditation to all.

Bob Roth, chief executive of the David Lynch Foundation, teaches Transcendental Meditation to a range of students, from elementary-school children to CEOs.

Bob Roth knows his field sounds a little like “woowoo” spirituality, as he says. But as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, he now works with a wide-ranging clientele that includes celebrities such as Katy Perry and Jerry Seinfeld, hedge-fund managers, inner-city students, prisoners and veterans. He has the same goal for everyone: to teach them the virtues of T.M., as it’s called—a practice that involves silently reciting a mantra over and over for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day.

Proponents say that the practice reduces stress and raises self-awareness. Bridgewater founder and co-chairman Ray Dalio, a student of Mr. Roth’s for more than a decade and a donor to the foundation, is a believer. The practice has been “integral to whatever success I’ve had in life,” he says. “It makes one feel like…a ninja in a movie, like you’re doing everything calmly and in slow motion.”

Mr. Roth, 66, is chief executive of the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit he co-founded with the film director in 2005 that is dedicated to teaching Transcendental Meditation, particularly to at-risk populations, “to improve their health, cognitive capabilities and performance in life,” as the foundation’s website says. Some of its funds come from teaching courses to companies and individuals; a four-day training course costs up to $960 a person. The foundation has 60 employees in the U.S. as well as partners in 35 countries.

In early June, Mr. Roth opened the nonprofit’s first office in Washington, D.C., where he says he is currently teaching a dozen members of Congress. His organization has also been participating in studies in prisons recently. In a study published last year in the Permanente Journal, 181 male inmates at the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem either took a Transcendental Meditation program through the foundation or did nothing outside their usual routine. The researchers found greater reductions in anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms in the group that had taken meditation.

Mr. Roth finds an analogy in the sea. “The ocean can be active and turbulent on the surface, sometimes with tsunami-like 30-foot waves, but is, by its nature, silent at its depth,” he says. “The surface of the mind is the active, noisy, thinking mind—often racing, noisy, hyperactive, turbulent. But like the ocean, the mind of everyone is quiet, calm, silent at its depth.”

T.M. was developed in India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a physicist turned meditation teacher, in the 1950s; it gained popularity in the 1960s when he worked with the Beatles and other celebrities.

The son of a doctor and a teacher, Mr. Roth dreamed of being a senator when he was young. He started meditating in college at the University of California, Berkeley, after a friend suggested it as a way to relax amid the student riots on campus.

He was skeptical at first but soon became hooked. After he graduated in 1972, he started teaching meditation to children in inner-city schools in San Francisco. A few years later, he traveled to Europe to study under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before returning to California to continue teaching over the next decade. In 1982, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he eventually met Mr. Lynch, the director of “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks,” who had taken up the practice in the 1970s. “If you are a human being, [Transcendental Meditation] works,” says Mr. Lynch.

Contrary to what you might expect for a meditation teacher, Mr. Roth often wears a suit with a crisp white shirt. (More predictably, he has a serene demeanor.) He lives alone in New York, and in his downtime enjoys trying new Asian fusion and Italian restaurants and watching sports, especially baseball. “I grew up with Willie Mays, who was my first hero,” he says.

He spends half his time teaching and the other half running the organization. For all of his new students, instruction is the same. He conducts a short ceremony in which he acknowledges past teachers and gives each student a mantra—a sound or word that has no meaning and is to be repeated silently during the meditation. (The student keeps that mantra forever.) After that, the student closes his or her eyes for 20 minutes and silently recites the mantra while sitting in a comfortable position.

In follow-up sessions, Mr. Roth discusses the benefits of the practice, refreshes students’ techniques and answers any questions they have, often meditating alongside them. Critics have said that the practice isn’t any better than therapy, exercise or medication at reducing stress, but Mr. Roth points to studies that have shown it to be effective, including in reducing high blood pressure. “It’s not a matter of ‘either or,’ ” he says. “It’s a wiser matter of ‘and also.’ ”

The foundation is now participating in a study with the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab to research whether T.M. can reduce violence and improve scores in a trial with 2,000 children in five Chicago public schools. Next year, the research will expand to 800 students in two public schools in New York.

Mr. Seinfeld has been working with Mr. Roth for the past eight years and has performed at some of the foundation’s benefits. “It completely changed my ability to do work and be active and do the things I want to do,” he says. “Wives like to go out to dinner and husbands just want to lie there, but now I find I can do anything, with the T.M. to restore me,” he adds with a laugh.

Excellent interview with @DAVID_LYNCH about #TranscendentalMeditation & @LynchFoundation

September 16, 2018

Huffington Post writer/interviewer Marianne Schnall produced this wonderful, comprehensive Interview With David Lynch: His Mission to Change the World Through Meditation. It was posted December 9, 2014 and updated February 8, 2015.

I can remember being absolutely hooked and engrossed into the surreal world of the cutting-edge television series Twin Peaks back in the ’90s. That was when series creator and director David Lynch became a household name and the show developed a massive and passionate cult following (which the show still has — there was much excitement over the recent announcement that Twin Peaks will return as a limited series with new episodes written, directed, and produced by Lynch to air on Showtime in 2016). In addition to receiving numerous Emmy nominations for his work on Twin Peaks, Lynch has also received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay for iconic films like The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. All these years later, I found myself playing my own cameo in a seemingly surreal scene: hanging out with David Lynch in a hotel cafe in NYC, sipping lattes and talking about topics such as meditation, consciousness, the Unified Field, and “positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions.” What I experienced during our inspiring and thought-provoking time together is that while he is an explosive force of nature creatively, in person he is a gentle, soft-spoken, thoughtful, and deeply caring and compassionate soul. In addition to being a consummate artist in a variety of mediums (as well as being a film and television director and writer, he is also a musician, actor, author, and visual artist), David has one passion that is especially dear to his heart: the David Lynch Foundation, a non-profit founded by the legendary filmmaker to help people overcome trauma and transform their lives through the Transcendental Meditation technique. It began when he first experienced how dramatically TM transformed his own personal life experience, which he says granted him “access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity, and happiness deep within.” But he says, “I had no idea how powerful and profound this technique could be until I saw firsthand how it was being practiced by young children in inner-city schools, veterans who suffer the living hell of post-traumatic stress disorder, and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence.” The organization was founded in 2005 as the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to ensure that every child anywhere in the world who wanted to learn to meditate could do so. Now, the foundation has expanded and is actively teaching TM to adults and children in countries everywhere and offers a variety of pioneering campaigns and programs, including many innovative initiatives aimed at youth and a variety of at-risk communities. The positive effects of the organization’s work is backed up by measurable results and emerging scientific data and research, as well as support from celebrities and fellow TM practitioners such as Russell Brand, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, Ringo Starr, Ellen Degeneres, Lena Dunham, and Katy Perry. In the following interview, David Lynch shares the story of his own personal transformation and his belief in the power of meditation to not only positively affect one’s own enjoyment of life, creativity, and ability to cope with stress and trauma but also transform our “collective consciousness.” As he told me, “The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed, and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.”

Marianne Schnall: Tell me a little about your journey that led you to found the David Lynch Foundation and just in general how you wound up at this place, your own experience with Transcendental Meditation.

David Lynch: I started Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973 in Los Angeles, California, on July 1st on a beautiful Sunday morning, about 11:00. I loved my experience with Transcendental Meditation. I loved my experience, I just loved it. And I’ve been meditating twice a day for 41 years now, never missed a meditation in those 41 years. I went to Fairfield, Iowa, one time to visit a high school where the entire school’s teachers and students practiced Transcendental Meditation. While I was there on a cold and raining night, I was invited to a high school play and I thought maybe it would be one of the most boring nights of my life. I went to a little theater that was packed with people. Then on the stage came students, high school students, and they put on a play that blew me away.

A lot of things about the play impressed me so much, but the main thing was a glow on every face — this glow of consciousness, of intelligence, of happiness. None of them were actors. They were high school students. They weren’t going into acting, but they were so beyond good and the timing of everything was so good, the humor of everything, where it was supposed to be humorous, was so good. It was tight. And it was performed so beautifully. There was some kind of extra thing coming off them that was thrilling. After that, I thought every actor, every actress, should learn Transcendental Meditation. It’s that thing, that charisma, that magic thing that was coming off the high school students.

Around this time, I started hearing about different schools around the country. I started hearing about students bringing guns to school and then more and more through the years, about more and more violence in schools, metal detectors, no learning, fights in the school, a lot of depression, a lot of pharmaceutical drugs, a lot of illegal drugs — the whole thing that by now everybody’s heard about. And I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if students knew about Transcendental Meditation? And one thing led to another and this foundation got born in 2005.

The main focus was on schools, called Consciousness-Based education, meaning that every human being has a treasury within of consciousness — of pure consciousness, unbounded consciousness within every human being. When a human being transcends, they experience that pure consciousness. And that consciousness within has the all-positive qualities of unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, unbounded peace — within every human being. We just need the technique to get there to that deepest eternal level.

When a human being gets this technique of Transcendental Meditation — the ability to transcend — they start getting happier. All the torment that’s in the human being starts lifting away, the students’ grades go up, relationships improve, their ability to focus and comprehend becomes bigger every day. When whole schools start practicing Transcendental Meditation, within one year there is a 180-degree turn around. The school becomes a school that we would love to go to or have our kids go to.

Then the Foundation’s projects branched out, to not only students, but vets and Native Americans, homeless, prisoners — people who really were suffering — girls in prostitution, boys in prostitution, young kids having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, real bad traumatic stress that was just ruining their lives.

I just read this thing this morning about vets. People are trying all different kinds of things to help the vets, and I read about the fact one of the things they’re giving them is fish oil [laughs] and they’re giving them all of these different things to try to help. But these things they are trying are all surface cures. It’s like trying to help a sick tree at the level of the leaves. The experienced gardener knows to water the root. Get that nourishment from the deepest level and then the whole tree starts coming up to perfection. The vets I know that started Transcendental Meditation say, “I’ve got my life back again. This is such a blessing.” And if you can tell the vets in your report that this thing of Transcendental Meditation is not a surface cure. It goes to the deepest level and it will rid people of traumatic stress.

People who are suffering have got to give this technique a try. With this technique of Transcendental Meditation, in simple terms, you could say gold is coming in, garbage is going out. It works. And the vets and all the people suffering with the stress of today have got to get this technique and the government has got to get behind this, the government has got to support this.

MS: There is a lot of research and statistics emerging that are beginning to back this up. Do you think that we are evolving to that place, where it would get that kind of widespread, mainstream support?

DL: Big time. The word’s gone out. There’s hardly any resistance to it. Still, there are people who don’t know about this technique, and there’s still probably a thing in some people’s head about Transcendental Meditation being a weird Eastern religion or it’s just too weird to sit and meditate. It’s not a macho thing, maybe they think, or it’s not an American thing. The problem is, it works, and people have got to know that. When you meditate, it’s not something weird. You sit in a comfortable chair, close the eyes and practice this technique the way the teacher taught you, and it works. It’s easy and effortless — it’s not a concentration technique, it’s not a contemplation technique, it’s a unique form of meditation, which is very natural. It’s a very natural thing for every human being to do. It’s such a powerful and beautiful thing to experience the treasury within. When a human being transcends every day, life gets better every day. Say goodbye to suffering. Say goodbye to that torment and start enjoying life.

MS: And for you personally — obviously you are a multi-talented artist in so many mediums — how do you see your own evolution as a human and an artist? How has this transformed your own consciousness?

DL: Well, first of all, this word “consciousness” is something that most people don’t fully understand. There used to be what they called “consciousness-raising groups” — they weren’t raising consciousness, they were raising information, and there’s a big difference. Consciousness is the “I-am-ness of life” — you can only say I am, because of consciousness. Consciousness is really life itself. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. The potential for each one of us human beings is infinite consciousness. This is called supreme enlightenment, and it just needs unfolding by transcending each day. The more consciousness we have, the better life is.

I was creative before I started meditating, but I had, looking back, a weakness. I wasn’t self-assured. I had a little bit of melancholy. I had a lot of anger for my situations in life, and I would take this out on my first wife. Also on the day I got the go ahead to make my first feature film, having been given a place to work in the stables area of a 55-room mansion and all the equipment I could dream of, I felt I should have been the happiest person in the world. But I looked inside, and that happiness was only on the surface, not so deep. Beneath it was hollow. Up until that time, I had been thinking meditation was a joke, a fad and a waste of time. Around that time I heard a phrase: “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.” And this phrase had a ring of truth for me. I thought maybe this thing of meditation is a way to go within and find that happiness. And I started looking into different kinds of meditation — there are so many different meditations out in the world. I thought, like everybody else, you could get meditation from a book — why do you have to pay for meditation? What is this? I read about this kind of meditation and that kind of meditation, but nothing felt right. One day my sister called, and said she started Transcendental Meditation. I liked what she told me about it, and I said, “This is for me.” And I went and got it and never was sorry I did.

Within two weeks of starting Transcendental Meditation, my wife comes to me and asks, “What’s going on?” I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “The anger, where did it go?” The changes in me were so natural, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t angry anymore. I didn’t try to get the anger away. It just went. I realized all these changes are so natural — you just naturally get happier, you just naturally feel better in your body, you just naturally have more fun in the doing of things, you just naturally appreciate people in the world and life. It just creeps up on you. And I always say this negativity that we live under is like the suffocating rubber clown suit of negativity. This clown suit starts to dissolve when you transcend every day. And this gives a person a huge freedom. Surface cures are not going to get rid of the torment that’s inside the students or the vets or the prisoners or anyone suffering from this torment. Drugs cover it over, but they don’t get rid of it. When a human being is transcending every day, that torment dissolves. It lifts away.

MS: You were talking earlier about its use in a school setting — I would love programs like this to be in my daughters’ school. When I think about children today, I look at my daughters, I have a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, and kids today are all constantly on their phones and devices, so many inputs coming at them — I do have concerns about the role of technology and, as you were saying, the angst and stress that we’re seeing in our youth. I do feel like it would be important to learn these skills and practices in school, to be part of educational system. Maybe we’re headed that way.

DL: I think we are definitely headed that way. Education should unfold the student’s full potential. The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation does unfold the human being’s full potential. So consciousness-based education, which I am helping to promote, is basically the same education that good schools are giving today with Transcendental Meditation added for the students, teachers, staff, and principal. In learning or education, they say there is the knower, the process of knowing, and the known. In schools today, we have the process of knowing and the known, but nothing much is being done for the knower — the student, the human being, so many of whom are filled with torment. You give them this technique of Transcendental Meditation and start them unfolding their full potential. They start understanding more and more. They get that ability to focus. Their relationships improve. They become great, great, happy creative, energetic, and peace-loving human beings. And they get very much more self-assured and self-sufficient. They’re feeling great with this all-positive coming in from their practice of Transcendental Meditation and they’re seeing the negativity and torment lifting away. This goes for the teachers, staff, and principal as well. Transcending is what they call a holistic experience, so all avenues of life improve. And this secret has always been within, within, within.

MS: As you are saying, this has obvious benefits for one’s own personal experience, but I know you also talk a lot about how it’s connected to outer world change. How do you see that connection?

DL: In the world there’s a thing called collective consciousness. All of us billions of human beings together create that collective consciousness. With all the problems in our world today, you can see that the collective consciousness is not so high. The human being is like a light bulb. If a human being is super stressed, depressed and filled with negativity, this is what that human being radiates out into the world. On the other hand, if a human being is filled with happiness and positivity, this is what they radiate out into the world. We each affect our environment and that collective consciousness. The more people who are diving within and transcending and are getting that happiness and positivity, the better the world will be.

Then there’s the phenomenon of the peace-creating groups. Maharishi brought out advanced techniques and if these techniques are done along with Transcendental Meditation in a group, their effect is quadratically more powerful than the same number scattered about. Peace-creating groups are like a lighthouse of positivity, creating a huge glow of harmony and happiness in collective consciousness. I would like to help establish peace-creating groups on a permanent basis in our world.

A university would be a great place for a peace-creating group. The freshman students would learn these techniques and join the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The students would practice these techniques for an hour or so in the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon together as a group. The rest of the time they can go about their university business. This would be such a powerful thing for every country to have — a university as a lighthouse for peace.

All that’s needed is the square root of one percent of a population. That number is very small. And it seems to me it would be easily accomplished. So you see, for the whole world it would only take one big peace-creating group of at least 9,000 to bring enough harmony and happiness to collective consciousness to make a huge difference in the entire world. It’s amazing to me that this hasn’t happened yet. The main reason is that people just don’t believe it and they try to solve the problems of hatred and violence the old way, through killing and through war, etcetera. It doesn’t matter if all the people don’t believe this — just a few have to believe this and it would be great for the people who want to do this. They’d really be floor boarding their own evolution and they’d be doing a giant service for the world.

MS:
You talked earlier about some of the great programs and initiatives the David Lynch Foundation has–there are so many people dealing with so many different forms of pain and trauma. I run a women’s non-profit organization, and I am remembering hearing about the Women’s Initiative event you had at the Paley Center. Using even that as an example, how does that initiative seek to help women who have experienced various forms of violence?

DL: Domestic violence and violence against women in general seems to be a big problem everywhere in the world. It seems to me this problem comes from stress, pent-up anger, frustration, and all kinds of negativity within human beings. If people in a relationship are both filled with torment inside, it’s easy to see how violence can erupt. And people do things on the spur of the moment without having a chance to think about the consequence of their actions. If the people in a relationship were able to get rid of this torment within and replace it with happiness, love, and a sense of well-being, they would never think to hurt another human being. They would be filled with an understanding of others and an appreciation of others and have an ability to reconcile differences without any violence whatsoever, to reconcile differences in a very loving way, a very happy way.

As collective consciousness goes higher and higher, all the differences in the world will be appreciated more and more. A definition of peace is unity in the midst of diversity. Or you could say happiness, love, and peace in the midst of all diversity. All the differences would be appreciated fully in the light of this peace.

MS: Do you think part of the problem is we’re all so busy, almost an autopilot — people are just trying to get through their checklist each day, almost sleepwalking — not even aware of being able to come from this conscious place just because of all the inputs and demands of modern life?

DL: Yes, everyone knows there’s so much more input these days, so much more information coming to us, it’s no longer just from around the house or around the neighborhood, but it’s coming to us from all around the world. All this adds to the stress, the worry, the fear and it causes people to do strange things, sometimes violent things, sometimes hurtful things. And even if they don’t mean to do this, they still do it. It’s like they can’t help themselves. The torment causes it.

Transcending gives a human being a chance to think before acting. And experiencing this beautiful treasury within gets rid of that torment and replaces it with happiness, inner peace, creativity intelligence, love, energy. This fuels a real good life and fuels an appreciation for all human beings. It’s so powerful and it’s a blessing for humanity.

MS: You are of course a multitalented artist, and I know right now in the world we could use lots of creative ideas. In addition to just enhancing one’s well-being and help deal with stress, can you talk a little bit about how it is connected to fostering creativity, either for yourself or in general?

DL: I say negativity is the enemy of creativity. For instance if you’re filled with depression, you can hardly even get out of bed, let alone feel like creating something. If you are filled with bitter, selfish anger, this occupies the mind and leaves little room for creative ideas. It’s like we have a conduit that ideas flow through. Negativity squeezes this conduit. By transcending every day, the negativity starts lifting away and that conduit opens up.

When we transcend we are diving into a field of unbounded creativity. This is real creativity and when we experience that and grow in that, we can more easily find solutions to problems. We can get ideas for whatever it is we’re working on. And we will get happier by transcending every day and we will find that we’re happier doing almost anything. We’ll get more energy to do our work.

Artists don’t want to lose their edge and they worry that meditation might take away that edge and make them calm and worthless. This was one of my worries before starting meditation, but I find way more of an edge, way more creativity flowing, way more happiness in the doing, way more energy to do the work. And I say that this transcending every day fuels the work and a very good feeling in life. No one likes to suffer. Sometimes in a romantic way, artists think suffering is part of the art life. But looking a little deeper we see that it is only romantic for others, it’s not really romantic for the artist to be starving, cold and suffering in the garret. It’s absurd to think suffering fuels creativity. The artist should understand suffering, but the artist doesn’t have to suffer to do his or her work. Suffering and negativity kill creativity. So let’s get real and experience that treasury within which fuels real creativity.

MS: Obviously there is a lot of negativity in the world right now — it’s hard to not turn on the news and feel overwhelmed by the violence and war and the images that we see. At the same time, I feel very hopeful that there are people like you, and more and more influential people like Oprah using her network and programming like Super Soul Sunday. There seems to be a new consciousness emerging, which is becoming more mainstream. Where do you see humanity right now — because some people feel we’re in a very dangerous place — do you feel hopeful that we can, as a collective, move ourselves in a positive direction?

DL: You wouldn’t know it from watching TV, but people who study these things say that there’s far less violence in the world today than in the past. Things seem to be getting better. Like I said before, the peace-creating groups are so important for raising the collective consciousness and bringing real peace. This Unified Field within, this ocean of consciousness is where all the power is anyway. People know how powerful the atomic level is, well, the treasury within is the deepest field and millions of times more powerful than the atomic level. It is the most profound, most beautiful, eternal field and it’s all-positive. It’s such a life-transforming thing for the good to experience it, to enliven it. It’s so beautifully powerful. They say that once enlivened by peace-creating groups it moves isotropically at the speed of light. Positivity moving at the speed of light in all directions. This positivity projects out, seeing no barriers and it makes a huge difference for peace in the world. So let’s get going on peace-creating groups and completely end the torment and suffering in our world.

MS: You could have just used this practice to enliven your own experience and continue your art, but you were moved to found this incredible organization to help people. What drives you, what is the source of all of your energy and passion around this work?

DL: I’ve seen so many cases where lives have been transformed for the good and heard so many stories about this. This technique of Transcendental Meditation really works for the human being. The David Lynch Foundation is headquartered in NYC and is run by the great Bobby Roth and his team. As I said before, there are many programs now going through the David Lynch Foundation, programs for schools, for prisons, for the homeless, for the vets suffering with Post Traumatic Stress, for abused children, for people suffering with ADD, ADHD, bipolar, etcetera. But EVERYONE is really at risk these days because of the amount of stress and negativity still in the world. Unless one is supremely enlightened, Transcendental Meditation is something to be seriously considered for a better and better life. In Transcendental Meditation, you need a legitimate teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. And if you can’t afford the price, you can write a letter to the David Lynch Foundation and if we have the money, we will try to get a scholarship for you — either a reduced fee or if you can’t even afford that, for no fee at all.

Transcendental Meditation is not a religion, it’s not against any religion, it’s for human beings, no matter what color, what religion, what walk of life. If you’re a human being, it will work for you. And you will be very glad you found this technique and took advantage of it.

MS: I believe in putting out these positive visions — what is your wish for the future of humanity? What would it look like if we manifested everything you want for people and the world?

DL: We would have heaven on earth, peace on earth. Everyone would be enjoying life. There would be affluence, happiness, good health and a clear path for the fulfillment of desires. Some old desires of course would change and new positive desires would naturally come up. In this world of peace, your fulfillment of desires would not only benefit you, but would in turn benefit everyone else. No one would feel to hurt anyone, we could travel anywhere in the world and meet a friend, not an enemy. This could very easily be the reality if we enliven that all-positive eternal field within us and help establish large peace creating groups on a permanent basis.

Another name for this field within is the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Bible it says, “First seek the Kingdom of Heaven which lies within, and all else will be added unto you.” Seeking implies finding, finding implies experiencing. Anyone who experiences that kingdom of heaven within infuses some of that every time they transcend. Staying regular in their meditation, in their transcending every day, in time they infuse Totality, infinite consciousness and that is “all else is added unto you.” This is the full potential of every human being. It’s every human beings’ birth right to one day enjoy supreme enlightenment, immortality, total fulfillment, infinite bliss, a state described as more than the most. All we really need is this technique of Transcendental Meditation, which allows any human being to easily and effortlessly transcend. When you get this technique of Transcendental Meditation, stay regular in your meditation twice a day and you will begin to rapidly unfold your full potential as a human being and see life get better and better and better.

Mankind was not meant to suffer — bliss is our nature. The individual is cosmic. Let’s rock.

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