DECEMBER 5, 2011, 6:00 PM ET
By Michelle Kung
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.