Archive for December, 2010

As Above, So Below

December 24, 2010

About 20 years ago, my 6 year-old daughter Shara brought home a large leaf. The outer skin had worn off revealing an intricate skeletal structure. It looked like a miniature replica of a tree. That image and theme inspired this poem. A few years later I wrote Pine Cone Trees, which brought about a variation on this theme. In both cases the last lines surprised me with their spiritual revelations.

As Above, So Below
Yatha pinde, tatha Brahmande*

As above
so below
allowing Love
to help things grow

Repeating the pattern
to copy each other
in the daughter
is the Mother

In each snowflake
a glistening star
this whole universe
is what we are

In each leaf
we see a tree
for every branch
a capillary

In each tree
not seen are seeds
and in each seed
is found a tree

So are we
found in Thee
as Thou oh Lord
in each of me

© Ken Chawkin
Fall, 1990, Fairfield, Iowa

*As is the atom, so is the universe.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.

From the Vedas and Upanishads.

 

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CBC: David Lynch, Meditation and The Troops

December 19, 2010

Friday December 17, 2010

Interview: David Lynch, Meditation and The Troops

If you were sentient in the early 90s, you probably heard about a little show called Twin Peaks.

And chances are you’ve heard of its creator, David Lynch, director of the films The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive.

But what you may not know is David Lynch is just as committed to the practice of Transcendental Meditation as he is to his art. And through his foundation, he’s been helping at-risk populations learn the practice.

This week, along with Clint Eastwood and a host of researchers, David Lynch launched Operation Warrior Wellness — a program to teach meditation to soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Take a listen to his interview with Brent Bambury. Click here to listen on the Day 6 blog.

Meditation May Ease PTSD for Vets

December 19, 2010

Health Stories Meditation May Ease PTSD for Vets

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:59 AM

Hollywood A-listers including Clint Eastwood joined grizzled U.S. military veterans Monday to promote what they called the near-miraculous powers of meditation in overcoming war stress.

The event in New York drew an unlikely alliance ranging from fashion designer Donna Karan to traumatized veterans of World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq.

Uniting them was a belief that transcendental meditation, dubbed TM for short, is the cheapest, most effective, and medication-free way of healing people who have suffered severe stress in war and any other extreme experience.

“I’m a great supporter of transcendental meditation. I’ve been using it for almost 40 years now. I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have,” said Eastwood, best known for playing violent, hardened characters on screen.

The fund-raising event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was organized by experimental filmmaker David Lynch, whose Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace encourages meditation along the lines espoused by famed guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Lynch said his project, named “Operation Warrior Wellness,” aims to train 10,000 veterans in the art of finding inner peace.

Critics have cast doubt on the value of meditation for treating psychological disorders.

But Lynch said there are “a lot of misunderstandings about meditation.”

The director of “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” said the technique can help everyone from disruptive school pupils to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD is an increasingly high-profile problem among servicemen returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, a large number of whom are believed to fear revealing their disorder to military health staff.

Vietnam vet Dan Burks gave a moving account of the mental scars he carried after a battle in which he says he killed Vietnamese soldiers and lost many of his own troops.

PTSD, he said, “is a wound. It takes your life away, just like losing a limb.”

“But guess what: You can get rid of it,” he said, describing his life after discovery of transcendental meditation as “the difference between heaven and hell.”

Another veteran, World War II pilot Jerry Yellin, told the fund-raiser that for three decades after the end of the war against Japan he “found no satisfaction in life in anything I did.”

At age 51, he took up TM and says he found peace. “We have the ability to teach young people who are suffering tremendously … young people who are in a foreign land,” he said of today’s veterans.

One of those, a former infantry soldier in Iraq, said TM “cleared the skies and I could tell where I was going.”

“I felt this warm groovy feeling,” he said. “It just gets better and better.”

The star-studded event hosted by Lynch also saw testimonials from Karan and British comedian Russell Brand.

Brand said he had suffered severe stress from his much-publicized sex-and-drugs addictions and also found solace in TM.

“I felt love, sort of love for myself but also love for everyone else,” he said in a rambling speech delivered in his trademark hyper-energized style.

“I am a human being and it is applicable to all human beings. Someone, everyone can draw from it.”

Skeptics may question whether war veterans already unwilling to speak about their mental problems will embrace regular meditation. Lynch says they can.

“Clint Eastwood is about as macho as they get and he’s been meditating longer than I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re behind this technique and we think it can help veterans reclaim their lives and save themselves, their families, and their friendships.”

Copyright AFP

Newsmax is one of the nation’s leading news sites; and AFP, Agence France Presse, is one of the world’s major news services. This AFP story was picked up by hundreds of news markets around the world.

13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen

December 17, 2010

I posted Five Haiku, published in THIS ENDURING GIFT – A Flowering of Fairfield Poetry, 2010. They were selected by editor Freddy Fonseca from: 13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen, originally published in The Dryland Fish, An Anthology of Contemporary Iowa Poets, 2003, edited by Matthew MacLeod. The 5 haiku already selected were: Defined, Translated, The Fall, Winter Memo, and Forest Flowers, numbers I, IV, VII, XI, and VIII, respectively. Rather than present the remaining 8 haiku, here is the complete collection in their original order.

13 Ways to Write Haiku: A Poet’s Dozen

I
Defined

3 lines, 2 spaces,
17 feet to walk thru;
then,   the unending

II
Discovered

a poem unfolds
as words take their place in line
this one’s a haiku

III
Transformed

Caterpillars spin
increments of commitment;
Butterflies fly free!

IV
Translated
(Inspired by Gareth Jones–Roberts’ painting “Egrets in Morning Light”)

on the edge of space
two egrets in morning light
woken from a dream

V
Galiano Island

West Coast  Island   Time
Nothing  Moves,   Nothing   Changes;
Roosters  Crow   At  Noon!

VI
Cliffhouse Deck at Dusk

Tiny bells call me
Arbutus blossoms falling
Sounding the Silence

VII
The Fall

sudden drop of leaves
a negligée to the floor
trees stand stark naked

VIII
Forest Flowers

tiny white flowers
a constellation of stars
so low yet so high

IX
Be Spring

Brown Branch Bursting Buds
Beneath Benevolent Beams
Boughs Bearing Beauty

X
I Wonder

Do trees have a say
When to drop anchors away
As ripe acorns fall?

XI
Winter Memo

On seeing snowflakes
written on a piece of bark
I copied this down

XII
Foggy Perception

a yellow raincoat
from out of a thick white fog
appears      to be seen

XIII
Concrete Impression

cement truck droppings
on the road     solidified
········like elephant dung

© Ken Chawkin

Also see Another Fall Haiku

Watch David Lynch Foundation Press Conference and the Change Begins Within Benefit Celebration

December 14, 2010

Watch livestream rebroadcasts of two extraordinary events: the David Lynch Foundation Press Conference to launch Operation Warrior Wellness, from the Paley Center for Media, and the Change Begins Within Gala Event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Monday, December 13, 2010. See David Lynch Foundation’s Photos – Change Begins Within and Broadway World photo coverage of the 2nd Annual David Lynch Foundation’s Change Begins Within Benefit Celebration. Watch highlights of both events: the press conference and the second annual benefit gala.

The Age: How Clint Eastwood keeps his cool

December 14, 2010

How Clint Eastwood keeps his cool

December 14, 2010

Cheap and effective–Clint Eastwood endorses transcendental meditation.

Hollywood A-listers including Clint Eastwood joined grizzled US military veterans on Monday to promote what they called the near-miraculous powers of meditation in overcoming war stress.

The event in New York drew an unlikely alliance ranging from fashion designer Donna Karan to traumatised veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Iraq.

Uniting them was a belief that transcendental meditation, dubbed TM for short, is the cheapest, most effective and medication-free way of healing people who have suffered severe stress in war and any other extreme experience.

“I’m a great supporter of transcendental meditation. I’ve been using it for almost 40 years now. I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have,” said Eastwood, best known for playing violent, hardened characters on screen.

The fund-raising event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was organised by experimental filmmaker David Lynch, whose Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and Peace encourages meditation along the lines espoused by famed guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Lynch said his project, named “Operation Warrior Wellness”, aims to train 10,000 veterans in the art of finding inner peace.

Critics have cast doubt on the value of meditation for treating psychological disorders.

But Lynch said there are “a lot of misunderstandings about meditation”.

The director of Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive said the technique could help everyone from disruptive school pupils to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD is an increasingly high-profile problem among servicemen returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, a large number of whom are believed to fear revealing their disorder to military health staff.

Vietnam vet Dan Burks gave a moving account of the mental scars he carried after a battle in which he says he killed Vietnamese soldiers and lost many of his own troops.

PTSD “is a wound”, he said.

“It takes your life away, just like losing a limb.

“But guess what? You can get rid of it,” he said, describing his life after discovery of transcendental meditation as “the difference between heaven and hell”.

Another veteran, World War II pilot Jerry Yellin told the fund-raiser that for three decades after the end of the war against Japan he “found no satisfaction in life in anything I did”.

At age 51, he took up TM and says he found peace.

“We have the ability to teach young people who are suffering tremendously … young people who are in a foreign land,” he said of today’s veterans.

One of those, a former infantry soldier in Iraq, said TM “cleared the skies and I could tell where I was going”.

“I felt this warm groovy feeling,” he said. “It just gets better and better.”

The star-studded event hosted by Lynch also saw testimonials from fashion designer Karan and British comedian Russell Brand.

Brand said he had suffered severe stress from his much-publicised sex-and-drugs addictions and had also found solace in TM.

“I felt love, sort of love for myself but also love for everyone else,” he said in a rambling speech delivered in his trademark hyper-energised style.

“I am a human being and it is applicable to all human beings. Someone, everyone can draw from it.”

Sceptics may question whether war veterans already unwilling to speak about their mental problems will embrace regular meditation. Lynch says they can.

“Clint Eastwood is about as macho as they get and he’s been meditating longer than I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re behind this technique and we think it can help veterans reclaim their lives and save themselves, their families and their friendships.”

AFP

Also see AFP: Meditation soothes war veterans | Eastwood and Lynch launch Operation Warrior Wellness to teach 10,000 veterans to meditate | Watch David Lynch Foundation Press Conference and the Change Begins Within Benefit Celebration | David Lynch Says TM Will Cure Soldiers of PTSD.

The Huffington Post: Jeanne Ball: David Lynch Talks About the Benefits of Meditation

December 13, 2010
Writer for the David Lynch Foundation,
Meditation Teacher for 25 Years
Posted: December 13, 2010 05:49 PM

David Lynch Talks About the Benefits of Meditation

“Change Begins Within,” a benefit event featuring David Lynch, Clint Eastwood, Russell Brand, Katy Perry, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Candy Crowley, takes place tonight, Dec. 13 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. You can watch it LIVE beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

We know David Lynch for his award-winning films — “Mulholland Drive” was recently voted movie of the decade by the LA Film Critics Association. Seems like every night there’s a “Twin Peaks” party going on somewhere. Lynch is also known as an artist, musician, philanthropist and proponent of meditation. He has been meditating twice a day for 37 years. His interests in meditation have led him to India and the Far East, as well as university EEG labs where brain researchers are exploring meditation’s effects on the brain.

I caught up with him amid his preparations for the David Lynch Foundation‘s upcoming benefit, happening tonight, to provide meditation training to 10,000 veterans with PTSD.

Click here to read the interview.

WATCH David Lynch speak about consciousness and creativity:

Pine Cone Trees

December 12, 2010

(more…)

Eastwood and Lynch launch Operation Warrior Wellness to teach 10,000 veterans to meditate

December 8, 2010

EurekAlert! Public Release: 8-12-2010: Clint Eastwood and David Lynch launch Operation Warrior Wellness to teach 10,000 veterans to meditate

Clint Eastwood and David Lynch, along with a panel of researchers, veterans and active duty soldiers will launch “Operation Warrior Wellness”—a national initiative to teach 10,000 veterans and their families a simple meditation practice for preventing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The live Webcast highlights a conference on the research and applications of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD at the Paley Center for Media in New York, Monday, December 13, at 11 am (ET). http://www.livestream.com/davidlynch.

The conference is being replayed at the same link. Also watch the live Change Begins Within Gala Event tonight from the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 9:00 pm ET.

David Lynch Says TM Will Cure Soldiers of PTSD – Tonic: The Anti-Gossip

December 6, 2010

David Lynch Says Transcendental Meditation Will Cure Soldiers of Post-Traumatic Stress

By Jo Piazza | Monday, December 6, 2010 9:36 AM ET

We made a valiant effort to chat with David Lynch about the amazing work his foundation is doing to spread Transcendental Meditation. And we only asked him about ‘Twin Peaks’ twice. We’re still fuzzy on who killed Laura Palmer.

On December 13, Hollywood director David Lynch will be joined by Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Dr. Mehmet Oz to launch the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness, a national initiative to help 10,000 veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder through Transcendental Meditation.

Suicide, divorce, domestic violence, crime and substance abuse rates among veterans at home are skyrocketing. With the support of Dr. Oz and Eastwood — both avid meditators — along with veterans from World War II, the Vietnam war, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the aim of Operation Warrior Wellness is to help soldiers use Transcendental Meditation to cope with PTSD and other effects of combat.

The David Lynch Foundation has been providing scholarships since 2005 for over 150,000 inner-city students, veterans, homeless adults and children, American Indians, and inmates and guards in maximum-security penitentiaries to learn TM over the past five years. Lynch himself has been meditating for more than three decades. We took some time with him last week to chat about how TM has changed his life and how he really, really, really believes it can change everybody else’s.

Tonic: What exactly will Transcendental Meditation do for returning vets suffering from PTSD?

David Lynch: From what I have heard, the veterans with PTSD are suffering big time. I have learned that 18 veterans commit suicide every day. One of the treatments is to show veterans programs of violence until they finally get numb to them. This to me is inhumane. You give them Transcendental Meditation and it is like giving them the key to the treasury within every human being. They sit comfortably. They chant their mantra and they dive within. With each meditation they get more of this consciousness and more peace. This is modern science’s unified field. It is a field so beautiful and positive that when you experience it in meditation you grow in all positive qualities. Tension, anxiety, sorrow, hate and anger all start to go away.

Tonic: How did you first get into Transcendental Meditation?

Lynch: I heard a phrase: true happiness is not out there; true happiness lies within. I felt a truth to that but the phrase doesn’t tell you where the within is.

I got interested in meditation because I thought that was a way of going in. Maharishi Mahesh has said most of the forms of meditation out there don’t deserve the name meditation. The Transcendental experience is one that utilizes the full brain. I looked into all kinds of meditation and one day my sister called and said she started Transcendental Meditation and I heard a change in her voice. I heard more happiness and I heard more self-assuredness and I said this is what I want. And I went out and got it. You’re an expert from your first meditation. My first meditation was so beautiful I have been doing it twice a day for 36 years.

Tonic: So can anyone learn it?

Lynch: If you’re human you can learn it. You need a legitimate teacher. But it is easy and effortless. It takes about four days to learn and then you have this technique. But if you are meditating correctly it will work.

Tonic: What is the cost for the average person to learn?

Lynch: Right now the cost is $1,500 but if it’s a hardship, because now we have the financial downturn, you can get it for $750. If you write to the Foundation chances are you can get it for $375.

Tonic: Has it helped your creative process?

Lynch: The field within the unified field is the ocean of pure consciousness. It is a field of infinite creativity. When you experience it you will grow in creativity. Life gets better. You get more creative and your IQ goes up. It’s a technique that opens the door to the deepest level within which is all positive.

Tonic: What are you working on besides your work with the Foundation?

Lynch: A bunch of music and paintings and trying to catch the next idea for a film and working on a documentary of Maharishi.

Tonic: Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and George Lucas are all joining you in Operation Warrior Wellness. Do they meditate too?

Lynch: Clint and Martin do. I’m not sure if George does. Clint is really behind helping the veterans.

Tonic: Do you ever get sick of everyone asking you questions about Twin Peaks?

Lynch: [Laughs] Not at all. I love that people still love that world. I love that world too.

Photo courtesy of the David Lynch Foundation.


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