Archive for the ‘David Lynch Foundation’ Category

#TranscendentalMeditation teacher Bob Roth @meditationbob profiled on @50PlusPrime

March 10, 2019

50PlusPrime with Tony Fama is the national TV News Magazine for Baby Boomers celebrating the lives of the 108-million Americans age 50+. Tune in this weekend for a 30-minute special on Bob Roth @meditationbob and the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) with Tony Fama on @50plusprime. They talk about Transcendental Meditation (TM) and how it can bring more creativity, peace, and equanimity to your day.

The Teacher Helping 50+ Celebrities Find Success in Peace

This episode airs on AXS TV, Saturday, March 9, at 8:30am ET, and Sunday, March 10 at 11:30am ET, and in New York City on Sunday at 1:30pm on WABC 7. It was published on the 50PlusPrime TV News Magazine for Baby Boomers YouTube channel Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Tony Fama interviews Bob Roth about his trajectory since he was a young person to today as co-founder of the David Lynch Foundation teaching TM in 35 countries around the world. The show shares excerpts of DLF interviews with students, veterans, and celebrities, like Ellen DeGeneres and Jerry Seinfeld.

In his enthusiastic introduction to the show, Tony says, “This guy’s a product of the sixties, and he’s just a cool cat!” He asks Bob why he’s the go-to-guru for the rich and famous. Bob tells him no one is immune from stress, even the wealthy and famous. They talk among themselves. TM, he tells him, is not a luxury. “It’s a medical intervention, it’s a medicine. It’s a way to reduce stress and wake up the brain.” It makes sense. It cuts healthcare costs, makes you and your employees happier. It’s “a gift of rejuvenation; it’s a gift of awakening; it’s a gift to yourself.”

Tony covers a New York City gala where celebrities like Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Orin Synder discuss how Roth, having taught them TM, has enhanced their lives. The show includes clips from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr talking with David Lynch on why they support the work of the Foundation in benefiting at-risk kids and US military veterans.

Bob Roth on 50PlusPrime TV News Magazine for Baby Boomers

At the end, as the credits roll, Bob Roth sums up the main point of what TM can do for us in a stressful world.

At the same time, stress is real, and if we have headaches, or if we can’t sleep, or if we’re depressed we can’t get out of bed, that stops us from being able to fulfill our desires, to grow. And so, in one simple process of just accessing this field of calm that lies within, we eliminate the buildup of stress, and we unlock that full creative potential of the brain, so we can be more creative and more resilient, and do the things we want to do.

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students

February 20, 2019

Tues, Feb 19, 2019: A study published in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. Students also experienced relief from depression. A comparison group from University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the same diagnosis received no treatment and showed no change in their symptoms.

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College students diagnosed with PTSD at Maharishi Institute (MI) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) were tested at 15, 60 and 105 days. After 3.5 months, the MI group practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) went below clinical thresholds, while controls at UJ showed no change.

A very high percentage of young people in South Africa suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A college that offers the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique to its students found this approach helped reduce their symptoms.

A study published today in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. The students also experienced relief from depression.

A comparison group of 34 students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) suffering from PTSD and depression received no treatment and continued to show no change in their symptoms throughout the study.

High levels of PTSD

An international research team of seven scientists and psychologists conducted the study. At the start, students at MI and UJ had a score of 44 or more on their PCL-C test and a clinician’s verification of PTSD. A score above 44 indicates likely PTSD and below 34 indicates that one is below the PTSD threshold.

Symptoms included nightmares, flashbacks to traumatic events, anxiety, fear, and hyper-vigilance. They also reported emotional numbness, anger, and violent behavior, as well as abuse of drugs and alcohol. PTSD is a chronic, debilitating condition that may last a lifetime if not treated effectively.

The study showed a rapid and significant reduction of symptoms in the test group, according to lead author Dr. Carole Bandy, professor of psychology at Norwich University, America’s oldest military college. Results were stable over time.

“A high percentage of young people in South Africa, especially those living in the townships, suffer from PTSD,” said co-author Michael Dillbeck, researcher in the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. “To become successful students and productive members of society, they absolutely need help dealing with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation, this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation (TM), this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

High levels of PTSD are prevalent in South Africa

Up to 25% of the population in South Africa suffers from PTSD, according to Dr. Eugene Allers, past-president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. Estimates put the same figure in the USA at 8%.

Several recent scientific studies show that adolescents and children in South Africa may be exposed to relatively high levels of traumatic experiences, particularly witnessing or experiencing violence of a criminal or domestic nature, associated in turn with estimates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ranging from 8% to 38% (Ensink, Robertson, Zissis & Leger, 1997; Pelzer, 1999; Seedat, van Nood, Vythilingum, Stein & Kaminer, 2000; Suliman, Kaminer, Seedat & Stein, 2005).

UJ students assessed by expert NGO

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), the largest mental health NGO in SA, which assists more than 180,000 people each year, interviewed and tested UJ students suffering from PTSD. They were also tested for depression, since it often accompanies PTSD and can in fact be considered a component of PTSD.

Students were only invited to join the study if they met two criteria for having PTSD: a score indicating PTSD on the PCL-C paper test and the opinion of a trained psychologist. Re-testing was 15, 60 and 105 days after baseline testing.

MI students find relief

At 15 days into the study, Maharishi Institute students showed a significant drop of more than 10 points in their PTSD symptoms after learning Transcendental Meditation. They also found relief from depression, judged by Beck Depression Index scores.

Re-testing was also carried out at 60 days and 105 days of their TM practice. By 105 days, the average group score for the MI students was below the PTSD threshold of 34, according to the paper tests. The UJ students showed no significant reduction in symptoms—neither depression nor PTSD. They received no support of any kind.

A binary logistical regression analysis for the effect of TM practice on PTSD PCL-C diagnosis 105 days after instruction was also highly significant, with 7 likely PTSD and 27 unlikely for the experimental group and 30 likely and 4 unlikely for the comparison group.

First study of its kind

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students. “This study shows that there are new tools available for professionals to add to their tool bag,” says Zane Wilson, Founder and Chairman of SADAG.

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students.

Thirteen previous studies utilizing Transcendental Meditation showed reductions in PTSD on Congolese war refugees, US war veterans, and male and female prisoners.

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easily learned, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It doesn’t involve concentration, control of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts or breathing. The practice allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of inner calm. For more information visit https://www.tm.org.

Funding for the study was provided by David Lynch Foundation and PTSD Relief Now Corporation (African PTSD Relief), two US 501c3 charities.

Ref: Bandy, C, Dillbeck, M., Sezibera, V., Taljaard, L., de Reuck, J., Wilks, M., Shapiro, D., Peycke, R. (Psychological Reports. on-line: February, 2019) Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students Using Transcendental Meditation Practice. DOI: 10.1177/0033294119828036 | US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health: PubMed

EurekAlert! | ZME Science | Medical News Today | PsychCentral | OMTimes: New Hope for Trauma Victims by David H Shapiro | many more

MGFC reviewed this new study, including previous research in this area, and interviewed co-authors, research coordinator David Shapiro, and Maharishi Institute chairman Richard Peycke: 80% of Students Free of PTSD in 105 Days with Transcendental Meditation.

See this recent study: #TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD. See other TM studies and articles on PTSD posted on this blog.

OMTimes: Transcendental Meditation Reduces PTSD (May 11, 2019).

College life can be destructive to student health. Panel of experts offer evidence-based solutions.

February 3, 2019

VIEW EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENT WITH ALL IMAGES

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Is College Bad For Your Brain?
How the epidemic of stress on college campuses
is destructive to student health–and what can be done about it
 

LIVE EVENT 
Friday February 8th • 7:30 pm CT 
Dalby Hall, MUM Campus, Fairfield, Iowa
 

GLOBAL WEBCAST 
Wednesday, February 13th • 4:00 pm ET

Webcast link: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019

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Mental health challenges, substance abuse and poor lifestyle choices undermine student learning outcomes and successful college experiences. This webinar will explore disruptive solutions and highlight a unique university that is reversing this trend by placing stress-busting meditation at the core of its curriculum.

The statistics are sobering: 75% of college students report feeling stressed and 39% of college freshmen report symptoms of anxiety or depression.  Suicidal ideation in students has doubled over the last 10 years, 40% of college students binge drink, and there is a 30% rise in requests for mental health support.

Is there an antidote to this potentially lethal epidemic on college campuses? The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) and Maharishi University of Management (MUM) are cohosting a major conference, “Is College Bad For Your Brain?” to offer evidence-based, disruptive solutions to college students and educators alike on Friday, February 8 on the MUM campus in Fairfield, Iowa. The conference will be then webcast on Wednesday, February 13. A distinguished panel of thought-leaders—neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and students–will convene to explore the destructive impact of college stress on mental and physical health and what can be done about it.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

Gregory Gruener MD, Vice Dean for Education and neurology professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has developed a cutting-edge wellness program in the highly stressful environment of medical school. “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.”

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree

To counteract this trend and help students better manage their stress, Dr. Gruener and Adjunct professor at Loyola Stritch, Carla Brown EdD, established the first elective course in Transcendental Meditation (TM) to be offered at a major medical school. Drs. Gruener and Brown will speak (via Skype) about the benefits medical students have been experiencing in their program since it’s inception in 2014.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeClinical neuropsychologist William Stixrud, Ph.D. will also address the conference. Author of The Self-Driven Child, Stixrud has worked closely with students to help them manage their stress and become more proactive in creating success in college and in life.  Stixrud commented on the problem in his recent New York Times op-ed, When a College Student Comes Home to Stay.

“As we see it, there are two critical issues at hand.  First, college life is a highly deregulated environment with inconsistent sleep patterns and diets, little structure, and an abundance of binge-drinking, pot-smoking, and abuse of stimulants like Adderall.  Second, students haven’t been given control of their own lives until way too late.  It may be just too much to ask students to go from parental control to near-total freedom.”  In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, the most effective antidote that Dr. Stixrud has found to relieve the problem is the regular practice of the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeHeart transplant specialist and Chief Informatics Officer for the U.S. Navy, Hassan Tetteh, M.D., brings a unique medical perspective to the issue.  After two tours of duty in Iraq, and as Command Surgeon for the National Defense University, which trains the elite officers in the military, Tetteh saw firsthand the effects of stress in these high-stakes, life-and-death environments.  But after several personal life-altering experiences in the military, he found a calling to heal others, in particular, by helping them to cultivate a deeper mind-body connection.  His favorite John Steinbeck quote captured this feeling, “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ;” and added, “Identifying the goals, beliefs and human connections that enrich our souls can be just as essential to healthy living as any medical treatment.”

2019_01_changemakers-2_travisMUM neuroscientist Fred Travis, Ph.D., will report on new research showing that meditating students display a “brain signature” indicating greater resiliency, adaptability and coherence in the face of stress. MUM offers students a Brain Integration Progress Report using a Brain Integration Scale to begin to assess the effects of their college experience on brain functioning. Dr. Travis will conduct a live EEG demonstration at the conference highlighting the differences between a brain under stress and a brain during TM.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree“As experts search for a solution to the effects of stress on learning, one common theme seems to emerge: mind-body practices such as Transcendental Meditation work,” says MUM Dean of Faculty and co-founder of the Institute for Research on Consciousness and Human Development, Vicki Alexander Herriott. “MUM is already a global leader in the field because its educational curriculum and campus culture has made Transcendental Meditation (TM) central to the life of the student—and teacher. This conference will showcase why.”

MUM Student Body President, T. Chevonne added, “The best thing in my life is my TM practice.  It has helped me see past doubts and fears into the infinite realm of possibilities.  I am more confident and outspoken than I’ve ever been, and anxiety is a distant memory to me.”

For more information and a list of speakers and panelists visit: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019.

Organizer Michael Sternfeld wrote an excellent article on this second Changemakers event published in the February issue of The Iowa Source Magazine: Is College Bad For Your Brain? MUM also posted this short video promo.

Watch Changemakers: Is College Bad For Your Brain? • Part 1Part 2. You can also see the 10 individual talks now posted at the event page.

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Related: The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school | Catholic Health World reports on medical students learning Transcendental Meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

 

Sharad Kharé @kharecom interviews Bob Roth @meditationbob, CEO @LynchFoundation, on TM

January 31, 2019

Legacy documentarian Sharad Kharé interviewed Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and produced this impressive piece: In dialogue with Bob Roth, A gift of Meditation. Bob shares stories of how his journey started and what the David Lynch Foundation is doing globally for adults and children with TM. Below is the article with video of his visit posted on Thrive Global. Thank you, Sharad, for giving us permission to share your wonderful story with our readers. See his author bio for more.

sharad kharé and bob roth

Legacy documentarian Sharad Khare with Bob Roth, David Lynch Foundation

The idea that something so simple can help you and your entire life seems so unreal. But it is very real and its available to you right now.

When I started meditation a few years back, I found it tough, I gave up many times, but something kept bringing me back. Like anything in life, practice allows for growth and mastery. While I am not a master by any means, I now understand the strength of meditation in my daily because of many mentors and friends. Friends like Bob.

I first met Bob a few years back when my meditation coach introduced us. I flew to New York to shoot my first interview with him in 2015. He was welcoming, kind and totally candid. Since then I have continued to connect with Bob by updating him on my work and my practice. He has always had an open door to my ideas, and I thought it was time to update the world on what he was working on.

Bob had released his book “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation”, which is a guide that shares the power of how TM can calm the mind body and spirit.

In our interview Bob shares stories of how this journey started and what TM is doing for adults and children globally.

To learn more of Bob’s incredible work, please check out davidlynchfoundation.org.

See Sharad’s interview with Bob in the video below.

— Published on January 30, 2019

To learn more about Digital Journalist, Legacy Documentarian, Curator, and Curious Soul Sharad Kharé, visit http://www.kharecom.com.

See the result of their first meeting: Digital storyteller Sharad Kharé speaks with David Lynch Foundation executive director Bob Roth.

See more interviews with Bob Roth about his book, Strength in Stillness, posted on The Uncarved Blog.

Chris Hardwick in conversation with Bob Roth @meditationbob on #TranscendentalMeditation

January 13, 2019

What you are about to listen to is not necessarily an interview, but a mutually engaging and intelligent conversation between podcast host Chris Hardwick and guest Bob Roth. This 81-minute balanced discussion was recorded on Dec 21, 2018 for ID10T. You can listen to it here.

Chris chats with Transcendental Meditation teacher and head of The David Lynch Foundation Bob Roth to discuss the foundational aspects of TM, why it’s important to calm the chatter in your mind, and how his non-profit work at the Foundation is paving the way to help at-risk youth. His book is entitled, “Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation” and his radio show “Success Without Stress” on SiriusXM Indie.

A selection of press, television, radio, and podcast interviews with Bob Roth about his best-selling TM book are posted on The Uncarved Blog.

@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.

(more…)

@Willwrights interviews Director @DAVID_LYNCH on #TranscendentalMeditation for @LOfficielUSA

July 29, 2018

This interview between L’Officiel USA journalist William Defebaugh and Director David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation is one of the best on the subject! Visit their website to see the article with photos published July 23, 2018. (Photo: Matthias Nareyek/French Select/Getty Images)

David Lynch in L'OfficielUSA by Matthias Nareyek:French Select:Getty Images

While David Lynch may be most revered as the man behind mind-melding cinema masterpieces like Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and Twin Peaks, his work with the human psyche extends far beyond the small and silver screens.

Since he discovered its potency in the 1970s, the artist and auteur has been an avid practitioner and preacher of Transcendental Meditation. In 2005, he started the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which actively teaches TM to adults and children — including war veterans and victims of violence and assault — in countries all over the world. Why? Because it works.

When and how did you first discover Transcendental Meditation?

I heard about Transcendental Meditation from my sister in 1973. I’d been looking into many different types of meditation; before that, I was not interested one bit. But suddenly it hit me, this phrase I heard, “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.”

Then I thought, “Maybe meditation is the way to go within.” So, I started looking into different forms of meditation.

Nothing seemed right for me. My sister called. She said she started Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She told me about it, and I liked what she told me. More than that, though, I heard a change in her voice. More self-assuredness. More happiness. I said I want this. So, I went and got it.

Do you recall preliminary breakthrough moments in your early days of practicing or did it have more of a gradual effect?

You know, everyone is different. Me, it hit me with my first meditation. It was as if I was in an elevator and someone cut the cables and I just went within. So blissful, so powerful. I had this anger in me that I took out on my first wife. And after I’d been meditating two weeks, she comes to me and says, “What’s going on?” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “This anger, where did it go?” And it just lifted. That negativity starts leaving and positivity starts coming in when you truly transcend. That’s the key. Transcending is the thing that we human beings want. We want to experience the deepest level of life. For some reason, we’ve all lost contact with that level.

Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique, an ancient form of meditation. Ancient: Maharishi revived it, he didn’t make it up; it truly brings the experience of transcendence. Now with brain research, they know that’s true.

Whatever size ball of consciousness they had to begin with truly starts to expand, little by little. You expand consciousness. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. But the potential for every human being is unbounded consciousness. Infinite consciousness. Enlightenment. It just needs unfolding.

Do you consider meditation to be more of a mental practice or a spiritual one? Or is that an irrelevant distinction?

It’s strange. This bliss, it can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual all at the same time. You can vibrate in happiness. And we human beings are supposed to enjoy life. Right from the beginning, when you start transcending, huge pressure goes out. Negativity starts lifting away. They say negativity is just like darkness. And then you say, “Wait a minute. Darkness isn’t really anything. It’s the absence of something.”

What separates TM from other forms of meditation?

In Transcendental Meditation, you’re given a mantra—a very specific sound, vibration, thought. And the mantra you’re given is like a law of nature, designed for a specific purpose. And that purpose is to turn the awareness from out, out, out, 180 degrees to within, within, within.

Once you’re pointed within, you will naturally start to dive through deeper levels of mind, and deeper levels of intellect. And at the border of intellect, you’ll transcend. You’ll wish you could stay there, but you’ll come out with thoughts. And you’ll go again. You just stay regular in your meditation day by day and watch things get better and better.

And how do you go about finding a mantra for someone?

It takes about four days to learn, about an hour and a half a day. You need a legitimate teacher of Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It’s so important that the technique stays pure. And the teacher knows what mantra is correct for you.

At the end of the four days, you’ve been taught how to meditate, and your questions have been answered. This is the way, I feel, that our almighty merciful father has built into this game to get real peace. You enliven that deepest level and affect collective consciousness.

With Transcendental Meditation, you’re given the technique and it’s up to you to do it. When you learn this technique, it’s like you’re placed in the middle of the river, in the fastest current and you go. It’s a very profoundly beautiful cosmic thing to get on the path to enlightenment. To get a technique that works, where you truly transcend and experience this level of life, which is eternal. Always there.

Everything in the field of relativity has a lifespan. Some super long some very short—but a lifespan. Beneath the whole field of relativity is a non-relative absolute and that’s what you want to experience. That’s the key to everything good in life.

If you could capture the entire world’s attention for two minutes, what would you tell them?

I’d say, “Do yourself a giant favor, learn Transcendental Meditation from a legitimate teacher and practice this technique regularly. Be a light unto yourself.”

Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll podcast with Bob Roth on the power of #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018

June 10, 2018: Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll 372 Podcast: Strength in Stillness: Bob Roth On The Power of Transcendental Meditation & Bringing Calm To The Center of Life’s Storm. Also scroll down to see Rich’s comprehensive SHOW NOTES.

Excellent interview with @meditationbob by @Caitlinscarlson for @Furthermore from @Equinox on #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018
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Bob Roth, TM Teacher and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation

Can Meditation Cure Stress?

The David Lynch Foundation CEO on the benefits of a regular practice

With Transcendental Meditation, through the use of a mantra—which is a word or a sound that has no meaning—you’re trained to effortlessly dive within and access deeper, quieter, more subtle levels of the mind beneath the waves, beneath the thoughts. And when we do that, there’s a completely different style of the way the brain functions. During TM, there’s what’s called alpha 1 brain waves and that’s the state of deep inner reflection and calm. During mindfulness, it’s called theta brain waves and that is sort of a dream onset.

Why were you excited to collaborate on a mindfulness-based meditation with Equinox to benefit Move for Minds?

I’m always happy to call attention to anything that’s scientifically proven to work. It’s like Vitamin A is different than Vitamin C is different than Vitamin D. And so mindfulness can be a good coping tool for someone and TM is completely different—you use them for different purposes.

You can have multiple tools in your toolbox.

That’s exactly right.

And when you say it’s scientifically proven to work—there’s research that shows how meditation can benefit brain health, right?

Yes. Stress and anxiety either cause or exacerbate 80 percent—if not more—of all illnesses and disorders. There’s a lot of talk these days that stress and anxiety may be an actual causal factor in Alzheimer’s or accelerating the symptoms. High levels of cortisol fuel anxiety, compromise the immune system, and actually undermine memory, the hippocampus. When you get a good night’s sleep, cortisol levels drop about 10 percent. In 20 minutes of TM, cortisol levels drop 30 to 40 percent and remain low afterwards. So this is why we encourage people to meditate at any time during their life. We’re also encouraging research so we can document quite clearly the impact of TM on pre-onset Alzheimer’s and for the symptoms of that.

Any time in life because what researchers are discovering now is Alzheimer’s begins as early as 30 years old.

Even what happens at 30 has been building up probably since you were a kid. It’s like high blood pressure, which doesn’t just come on suddenly. That’s been building for decades.

And you think this is the same thing?

I think any of these things that manifest later in life have been building since the 30s, if not earlier.

So, start meditating in your teens if you can. I know The David Lynch Foundation teaches in schools.

That’s right. It’s an effective preventive modality with enormous side benefits: increased energy, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, increased focus, all those things.

Speaking of energy, can meditation help your athletic performance?

Oh yeah. I teach professional and Olympic athletes and a lot of them will tell you, at the peak levels, it’s not a physical game, it’s a mental game. I teach an Olympian who is in the best imaginable physical shape and they can’t sleep at night and they’re anxious. For health, it’s not just attending to the neck down. And so you could look at TM as an effortless exercise to bring the whole brain into peak performance. And then you’ve got more energy because we deplete so much of our energy in anxiety and worry and insomnia. I like to say, if you’re really on a healthy regime, you exercise, you eat properly, you transcend.

Your book, Strength in Stillness, came out a few months ago. What were the three most surprising things you learned while writing it?

Number one, new research documenting the holistic or global impact that TM has on healthy brain functioning. The second thing I was very surprised or inspired by was to see that, whether you’re the CEO of a huge company or a single mom with two kids, when you look into the eyes of both of them you can see anxiety. Worry is universal. Anxiety is universal. Insomnia is universal. That was shocking to me. And the third was, I’ve been teaching TM for 45 years. It was a wonderful experience for me to just basically have it all flow out. I took the time to write the essential pieces of information that a person would like to know about meditation in general and about my area of expertise, Transcendental Meditation. I didn’t want to try and convince anybody of anything. I just wanted to give them the information and let them be able to make an informed choice for themselves.

The David Lynch Foundation hosted a recent Festival of Disruption. What was the inspiration behind that?

Life itself is perpetual change. We’re changing spouses, we’re changing relationships, we’re changing jobs. There’s so much political upheaval, disruption in the world. And through meditation, we can have the clarity, the energy, really the resilience to make life less of a nightmare and more of a festival. Because it’s happening anyway and we can either be destroyed by it or we can become a master of our life. We can become in control of our life. And we can even enjoy our lives. So the Festival of Disruption means let’s celebrate the creative people who are, in the spite of everything that’s going on in the world today, managing to be creative and inspiring and innovative and forward-looking.

Meditation can help you to do that.

It gives us the resilience, the creativity, the energy, the power to do just that. To enable us. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed by stress, we get overwhelmed by anxiety, and then we start self-medicating. And then life becomes a hell.

What do you think about the evolution of meditation and how it’s now the cool thing to do?

It was really cool and trendy when the Beatles were doing it back in 1968 and 1969 when I started meditating, a billion years ago. And then it sort of disappeared. It’s come back in the last few years and I think there are three reasons why it’s on the one hand trendy, but, on the other hand, being taken very seriously by educators, by medical doctors, by researchers. Number one, we live in an epidemic of stress, and that’s killing us. Number two, modern medicine has no magic pill to cure or prevent this epidemic. We mask it with alcohol and tobacco and drugs and coffee. We mask it or we manage it with sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication. But stress is like a tumor. Even though on the surface we’re masking it, it’s still metastasizing. So that’s the second reason, to be free. And number three, there’s been so much research on meditation in general that it’s given a legitimacy to the whole field.

What’s ahead in the next three years, I think, is that there’s going to be a clearing out because a lot of it is just junk. A lot of it is trendy stuff to make a buck. But, as the problems of stress become greater, society is going to look more carefully, like we would with medicine, at what’s really working.


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