Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

A poem in a movie inviting you to be who you are

January 2, 2015

I recently enjoyed watching Words and Pictures, a 2013 film about a male English teacher and a female art instructor who form a rivalry that ends up galvanizing students in a competition to decide the most effective way to communicate, using words or pictures. This battle between mind and heart, ideas and feelings, is also about self-discovery, expressing one’s creativity, and the blocks that get in the way. Cleverly written by Gerald Di Pego, a one-time English teacher, and faithfully directed by Fred Schepisi, it stars Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, and Bruce Davison. Visit their website for more info: http://wordsandpicturesthemovie.com.

I especially liked the quotes about writing and art, the word vs. the image. A poem by Mary Oliver was supposed to be featured in the film. They never said which one, but kept waiting for permission to use it. By the time the answer came in, no, it was too late, and they had to come up with a replacement. The pressure was on screenwriter Gerald Di Pego. Being a poet himself, and seeing how this was his screenplay, the muse inspired him and he wrote this very vivid and appropriate poem, just in time. Juliette Binoche liked it, which came as a relief to him and the director. I found it online and wanted to share it with you. The poem plays a central role, but you’ll have to see the film to find out who wrote it and how it’s used.

WHO ARE YOU?

I am a small poem
On a page with room
For another.

Share with me
This white field,
Wide as an acre
Of snow, clear
But for these tiny
Markings like the
Steps of a bird.
Come. Now.

This is the trough
Of the wave, the
Seconds after
Lightning, thin
Slice of silence
As music ends,
The freeze before
The melting. Hurry.

Lie down beside me.
Make angels. Make devils.
Make who you are.

As you can see, the poem invites you to create and become who you are, from that gap, the transitional point of possibility, and to share in the experience with another. Here’s a poem I wrote after a special painting class that seems relevant: ArtWords—poem about a creative awakening.

Interestingly, the Special Features part of the DVD revealed that Juliette Binoche, an artist in her own right, offered to do all of the paintings herself, which thrilled both writer and director. Because her character is dealing with physical challenges due to her medical condition, she had to paint in different styles, from portraiture to more abstract. Binoche enjoyed the added challenge and it possibly influenced her own future work.

Here is the official Words and Pictures – International Trailer (2014) HD.

When it comes to romantic movies, here are some of my favorite films where love transcends time.

Canadian Connection: These shoes are made for walking

The featurette also confirmed for me where they had made the film. The story is set in a New England prep school, but was actually shot at St. George’s School, an independent boarding and day university-preparatory school for boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a.k.a., Hollywood North.

I recognized the location, and it reminded me of a story I had heard on a local CBC radio talk show during my stay there. The guest was an English teacher who taught at St. George’s School. One of the topics being discussed was meeting famous people. Listeners called in to share their stories and the teacher related an unusual event that had recently happened to him.

He had gone shopping at a well-known store for comfortable walking shoes. He settled on a particular pair and the sales clerk told him it was a popular item. She said someone famous had been in that morning and purchased a similar pair. She left to find out the name of the celebrity, but got sidetracked, so he left.

He put on his new shoes and, as was his routine everyday after lunch, he went for a walk in the woods next to the school property. While walking along the path, eyes downcast, he saw a pair of shoes just like his, coming his way. Looking up he saw someone he never would have expected to see, especially in the forest. He pointed at him in surprise trying to say his name, but it came out as gibberish. The person mimicked him sputtering his name. It was Robin Williams! I think he was in town at that time filming Jumanji.

They had a wonderful walk and talk together. Robin had asked him what he did for a living and where he worked, which was something he could identify with having played an English teacher at an elite boys prep school in Dead Poets Society. When they reached the edge of the forest, there was Robin’s stretch limousine parked on the street waiting for him. He invited the teacher into the car saying they would drop him off at the school.

Now this man was not the most popular teacher at the school. When they pulled up, he got out of the limo, and all heads turned to look at him. Then Robin lowered the darkly tinted window, stuck his head out, and thanked the teacher for a wonderful time. All the kids’ jaws dropped! And from that day on he was the coolest person at school. Thank you, Robin! God Bless you, wherever you are.

Burghild Nina Holzer inspires us to write and discover who we are and what we have to say

August 20, 2014

When it comes to writing and creativity, one book I highly recommend is A Walk Between Heaven and Earth: A Personal Journal on Writing and the Creative Process by Burghild Nina Holzer. It’s all about finding your own voice, your own truth, that’s been building up inside you, waiting to be revealed, to yourself, to others.

I found it in a Women in Print bookstore in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This author and writing facilitator turns her book on the creative process into a journal thereby demonstrating what she is teaching. She shares personal observations about her life, the world around her, and how she encourages her students to write.

Read this book and you’ll be inspired to express yourself in writing. There is a beautiful excerpt on the back cover, edited down from the original, that reads:

Talking to paper is talking to the divine. Paper is infinitely patient. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

Here is the full description under the journal entry 4:30 P.M. on page 55.

Talking to paper is talking to the divine. It is talking to an ear that will understand even the most difficult things. Paper is infinitely patient. It will receive small fragment after fragment of a large network you are working on, without you yourself knowing it. It will wait out decades for you to put together the first faint traces of your own code, a code you might have understood as a small child but which you are now gathering on a new level of understanding. The white paper is waiting. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

I’ve posted earlier entries on writing you may also find worthwhile: Writing—a poem on the writing process; INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin; Elizabeth Gilbert—Some Thoughts On Writing; Writers on Writing–What Writing Means To Writers; and Words of Wisdom on Writing from Literary Lights.

Hafiz said to leave something in the marketplace, and Jesse Winchester sure did before he left us.

April 23, 2014

Hafiz’s poem, translated by Daniel Ladinsky, of leaving something behind in the world to inspire others, is exemplified in the singer/songwriting musical skills of the late Jesse Winchester. Read Hafiz’s poem, Leave something in the marketplace, then listen and be moved when Jesse sings this love song, Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding.

Leave something in the marketplace

Sometimes it can happen to these cheeks
when a poem visits my mind for the first time
and begins to look around.

They can wonder why rain is falling on them,
and causing my nose to run too.

O boy, what a mess love makes of me. But
there is nothing else right now I would rather

be doing . . . than reaping something from a
field in another dimension

and leaving it in the marketplace for any who
might happen by.

Leave something in the marketplace for us
before you leave this world.

A Year With Hafiz: Daily Contemplations
Daniel Ladinsky, March 20, page 88.
See more profound poems by Hafiz posted on this blog.

Singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester (May 17, 1944 – April 11, 2014) left many beautiful songs for us in the marketplace. Here’s one that will also make your cheeks wet and lift your mouth into a wistful smile as he sings about the sweet shyness of young love on Week 2 of Elvis Costello’s TV show, Spectacle. Listen to the poetic melodic musings of Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding.

I met Jesse in Montreal during the summer of 1967, shortly after he left the US to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War, which he didn’t support. He stayed and made a name for himself as a fine singer/songwriter. Robbie Robertson of The Band produced Jesse’s first album. He couldn’t return to the states to tour until after all draft dodgers were pardoned by President Carter. But many top recording artists would go on to perform Jesse’s songs, and he became known as a first-rate songwriter. Even Bob Dylan was famously quoted as saying of Mr. Winchester: “You can’t talk about the best songwriters and not include him.” In 2007, Mr. Winchester was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from performing rights organization ASCAP for his body of work.

I met Jesse decades later when he was touring through Iowa. It was sweet to see him again, finally being recognized for the talent he was, and for him to freely return home. Here is some news coverage of Jesse’s recent passing, reviewing his life and career, in The Commercial Appeal, USA Today, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and C-Ville Weekly. From all his fans, and friends who knew him, I’m sure they would agree with Hafiz that Jesse Winchester did leave a lot of good music in the marketplace, and love in their hearts. You did well, Jesse. Thank you!

Jesse Winchester Radio Special: Listen to a special 2007 radio interview and music special with Jesse Winchester recorded by Donna Green-Townsend for WUFT-FM before Jesse’s scheduled performance at the Butterfly Festival in Gainesville, FL. In this program Jesse talked about his early years in Mississippi and Memphis, the inspiration for many of his songs and what he thinks about the music industry today. He also talks about the number of artists who have recorded many of his songs including Wynonna Judd, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Elvis Costello and many more. RIP Jesse.

Roots Music Canada uploaded a Jesse Winchester interview on April 13, 2010 with RMC’s editor-in-chief David Newland, from Hugh’s Room, Toronto, a venue Jesse launched about a decade ago, and one for which he has the highest regard.

Roots Music Canada produced a show on April 16, 2014: Remembering Jesse Winchester, of him and other artists singing his songs. To see the song list click on Playlist: Folk Roots/Folk Branches – Remembering Jesse Winchester. Jesse Winchester sings a slower version of Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding on his album Love Filling Station (Appleseed) with a backup group. I prefer the solo performance.

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

December 25, 2013

Style.com: The Transcendentalists: David Lynch and Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli on their shared passions: creativity and Transcendental Meditation

By Matthew Schneier. Photographs by Olivia Malone
Published December 24, 2013

On a winding road high in the Hollywood Hills, not far from Mulholland Drive, is a Brutalist-looking concrete structure that’s equal parts manse and bunker. It’s the studio of David Lynch, and appropriately for his many pursuits—he is an auteur across media, from film and television to painting, music, self-help books, and coffee roasting—it has a variety of different spaces: a screening room, a recording studio, storage for his photographs and artwork, a kitchen with an industrial-grade espresso machine. (Lynch die-hards may recognize it as the house from Lost Highway.)

I’ve come here from New York, along with fashion designer Italo Zucchelli, to discuss one of Lynch’s abiding passions, Transcendental Meditation. The director established his own nonprofit, the David Lynch Center for Transcendental Meditation and World Peace, in 2005. He credits the practice with much of his success, and he’s devoted as much time to raising awareness of it as he has to virtually any of his other endeavors. His 2006 book, Catching the Big Fish, is dedicated to the subject.

Transcendental Meditation is an ancient practice, but its profile was raised in our era when the Beatles took it up in 1968, under the guidance of its twentieth-century guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It comes with, and rules out, no religion, faith, or creed, but because of its new-wave aura, it has largely bubbled away at the fringes of culture. Lately, however, it is experiencing a new boom. “In the last year, something tipped,” says Bob Roth, the affable executive director of The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. “If one [particular] thing happened, I haven’t seen it—and I’ve been on the front lines. But something happened, [because] I don’t have enough teachers to teach all the people in New York City who want to learn.”

TM has a very healthy celebrity fan base, which no doubt helps its public profile, and the foundation, which exists to provide scholarships to at-risk populations so they can learn the practice, including schoolchildren, survivors of domestic abuse, and military personnel, has taken advantage of that fact. Paul McCartney, a practitioner, performed at the foundation’s first benefit concert. Hugh Jackman and Jerry Seinfeld, Transcendental Meditators both, were honored at its most recent benefit gala, in December. Mario Batali and Martin Scorsese will both speak at its upcoming conference in February. The list of adherents is even longer. Ellen DeGeneres does it. Oprah does it. Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, does it. And in the realm of fashion, so does Zucchelli, who is celebrating his tenth year as creative director of menswear for Calvin Klein Collection.

“It” is a relatively simple practice. It consists of devoting twenty minutes twice a day to meditating, which in the Transcendental iteration means silently chanting a Sanskrit mantra. (The mantra must be given by a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, as part of an instruction that can cost upwards of $1,000.) Devotees say that it combats stress, improves mood, and staves off illness and disease. Remarkably, science confirms much of this. The American Heart Association found in a study that Transcendental Meditation, alone among meditation practices it tested, reduces high blood pressure; other studies indicate it can improve functional capacity in patients with congestive heart failure. Over the past forty years, more than 300 studies have been published about the effects of the practice in peer-reviewed medical journals, and the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense have both given millions for further testing. While a quick Google search does turn up skeptics and critics—more of charlatan practitioners than of the practice itself—the tide seems to be now firmly in TM’s favor.

“In 1968, meditation was a fad,” says Roth. “In 2013, because of the research, Transcendental Meditation is being incorporated into the actual fabric of our culture.”

There’s something undeniably intriguing about the beatific bliss that Lynch and Zucchelli radiate—in the filmmaker’s case, in stark contrast to his dark, often violent work. I wanted to find out more about the connection they both draw between the practice and their creative lives. Below, condensed and edited, is a transcript of that free-flowing discussion.

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

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

(more…)

@DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

December 18, 2013

On the first Sunday in November 2013, the Des Moines Sunday Register published an Opinion piece about Fairfield, a city of around 10,000 in southeast Iowa. Written by editorial columnist Rox Laird, it praises Fairfield’s ability to work together as a community to manufacture dreams. Laird tours the town with Mayor Ed Malloy, who points out many cultural assets, creative entrepreneurial businesses, and green features for energy self-sufficiency, part of an overall plan for the city. They visit a new and unique net-zero classroom building housing the Sustainable Living Center on the campus of Maharishi University of Management in the north part of town.

MUM obtained permission to make this wonderful article available as a reprint. Here is a PDF of the article: Fairfield defines community action, also available on the MUM website link.mum.edu/GreenFF.  A photo of the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center replaces the Register file photo in the article. The same photos of the Sustainable Living Center and Mayor Malloy appear in the reprint along with FACC and MUM logos and contact information at the end. For additional information, I’ve listed some articles at the bottom related to some of the topics mentioned in the Op-Ed piece.

Laird: Fairfield defines community action
Jefferson County town shows how to ‘manufacture dreams’ through civic collaboration

Nov. 3, 2013 3:45 PM
Shops on the square in downtown Fairfield, a mixture of classic Main Street Iowa and international fare. / Register file photo

Shops on the square in downtown Fairfield, a mixture of classic Main Street Iowa and international fare. / Register file photo

Written by ROX LAIRD

Fairfield, Ia. – Drive around this Jefferson County seat with Mayor Ed Malloy and you begin to understand why this town is considered unique in Iowa.

The obvious reason is the presence of Maharishi University of Management that is a magnet for Transcendental Meditation devotees from around the world, which is evident as Malloy wheels around the downtown square. It is lined with unusual shops, art galleries, bookstores, restaurants offering international fare, imported chocolates and teas. A monthly First Friday Art Walk draws a cross-section of the community and people from around the state.

Just off the square, across from the Jefferson County Courthouse, sits the community center and the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. It is home to what is described as the only professional live musical theater company in the state and attracts a variety of performing arts events.

A couple of blocks on is Malloy’s oil trading company, housed in an office building built according to the ancient Indian principles of Maharishi Vedic architecture that seeks harmony with the energy of the sun and nature for the well-being of occupants. Many examples of Vedic design can be seen in Fairfield and in Maharishi Vedic City, incorporated in recent years.

Fairfield is a town of contrasts, where you can see a BMW parked on the street next to a pickup truck. The native population has increasingly accepted immigrants who brought a different culture and an entrepreneurial spirit that invigorates the city’s economy. Fairfield has earned a long list of plaudits in numerous “best of” categories, including the April Smithsonian magazine’s list of “The 20 Best Small Towns in America.”

Fairfield lives green

Among the striking things about Fairfield is its ethic of self-sufficient sustainability. This manifests itself in many ways, such as a cooperative organic food market and a solar-powered radio station run by volunteers. Solar panels sprout from roofs and from freestanding structures. The city of Fairfield has an energy efficiency coordinator, whose salary is shared by the city and by Iowa State University’s extension service.

In the city’s industrial park, Sky Factory uses backlit photography to create outdoor scenes for ceilings of hospitals and medical clinics. The plant has set aside space next to its parking lot for an array of solar panels and a garden tended by employees.

On the opposite side of town, a mostly off-the-grid subdivision called Abundance EcoVillage captures energy from the wind and the sun, and draws air for heating and cooling from the Earth.

This conservation ethic runs deeper in the community than these outward symbols of alternative and renewable energy sources. As a participant in Alliant Energy’s Hometown Rewards program, Fairfield took on a challenge beginning on Earth Day in 2012 to reduce its overall energy consumption by 4 percent. It hit that and exceeded it: Fairfield residents shaved electric and natural gas consumption by 8.5 percent and businesses cut theirs by 8 percent.

Working with Alliant, which provided marketing and technical support, the city held workshops for residents and business owners, some 4,500 participants pledged to meet energy savings goals by doing laundry in cold water and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. A fund was created to make loans for new windows and insulation.

The total savings of 10.2 million kilowatt hours of gas and electricity is enough energy to power 1,077 homes for one year, according to Alliant, which independently verified the energy savings. Besides the savings on power bills, Alliant dangled a carrot in the form of a grant of nearly $19,000, which the city put toward installation of solar panels on the roof of the Fairfield Library this summer.

Alliant Energy spokesman Justin Foss attributed the success of this impressive energy savings to the level of community engagement, working at a neighbor-to-neighbor level creating peer pressure that came from an active group that led the charge.

“This is a program that works really well for Fairfield,” Foss said. “You can’t do that in every community.”

A foot in both worlds

Ed Malloy is perhaps the best example of how Fairfield has melded small town Iowa values with the exotic culture inspired by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Malloy is an immigrant from New York, practices TM and lives in a spacious and handsome home built to the exacting Vedic principles. He moves comfortably among traditional and nontraditional Fairfield, which is evident from his support by voters for more than a decade.

Malloy says Fairfield’s can-do culture begins with setting ambitious goals, but achievements are celebrated by the entire community, not just the strong core of Transcendental Meditation followers fed by Maharishi University.

In Fairfield, Malloy said, “people go out and manufacture their dreams. When we all share the pride, that’s when everything changes.”

Classroom building is a lesson in sustainability

Fairfield, Ia. – Maharishi University of Management here set out three years ago to build a new classroom building for its sustainable living program that lived up to the department’s mission. The finished product may be the greenest building in Iowa.

The building is constructed of compressed-earthen blocks manufactured by students on site and load-bearing timbers consisting of full-size aspen tree trunks. It generates more energy than it consumes. It collects and treats rain­water from the roof for drinking and flushing. Daylight supplies two-thirds of light in classrooms and offices during the day. Passive and active solar energy is stored in 600 tons of earthen blocks and a 5,000-gallon water tank, which is supplemented with wind-generated electricity. It has a greenhouse for growing plants indoors and edible landscaping outdoors.

The Schwartz-Guich Sustainable Living Center is performing exactly as intended. In fact, it is “exceeding our expectations in energy efficiency in cooling and heating seasons,” said Lawrence Gamble, professor of sustainable living at MUM and an irrepressible evangelist on the subject of renewable energy and natural resource conservation.

Standing beside the center’s electric meter outside the building recently, Gamble pointed to the spinning wheel that measures electric consumption. The wheel was going backward, however, meaning the building was returning power to the electric grid. In fact, according to Gamble, the center produces about a third more energy than it consumes. And it consumes less than a quarter of what an ordinary building of the same size would consume.

Besides employing nearly every imaginable green building technique, the Sustainable Living Center design follows the principles of Maharishi Vedic architecture, an ancient design philosophy from India that puts buildings in harmony with nature. It is hard to imagine a building that does a better job of meeting that goal.

The Smithsonian’s 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013. Fairfield, Iowa is in the Top 10 (No. 7)
Iowa Outdoors: Fairfield’s Abundance EcoVillage: Harmonious Living With Nature — Off The Grid
Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town

A few selected Comments:

Chuck Offenburger · Top Commenter · Cooper, Iowa

Terrific look around Fairfield by Rox Laird. It’s been fun over the last two decades or so watching Ed Malloy develop as one of the most effective and most congenial leaders in Iowa. The whole extended Fairfield community has been very well-served by him — and he has frequently contributed his talent and insight to state-level initiatives, too.

Dan Piller · Sales Executive at TLC Vintage Collection

Remember the fuss four decades ago when the Maharishis took over the old Parsons College? You’d thought the Soviets were coming in. I am disappointed that the Beach Boys never set up their planned recording studio there.

Ed Malloy · Mayor, City of Fairfield at Fairfield, Iowa

Rox Laird did an outstanding job with the article and to have it recommended by my good friend Chuck Offenburger is icing on the cake. Thanks Chuck!

Gary Greenfield · Top Commenter · Works at Certified Teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique

Well-deserved praise. Fairfield continually strives to be a dynamic and creative community that embraces sustainable living.

June 2016, Des Moines Register business writer Kevin Hardy wrote an article on Fairfield: Why this Midwest town is thriving when so many aren’t, which was also posted in USA TODAY.

New York poet laureate Marie Howe reads “Annunciation” to Krista Tippett On Being

September 22, 2013

New York poet laureate Marie Howe speaks with Krista Tippett about her poetry on the NPR show, On Being. Closing the interview, The Poetry of Ordinary Time, recorded In The Room, April 2013, Howe reads a poem in the voice of Mary, mother of Jesus, describing the Annunciation, which, her friend and mentor, Stanley Kunitz, said no one had ever gotten right. She wrote several versions, tore them up, and then this final one came through her.

Marie Howe said it had nothing to do with her. It just came through her, a reminder that the best poetry comes through us when we get out of the way. When we are emptied of our small self, “by being no one,” transcend our senses and turn within and are open to the higher Self, then that great creative force of Love within us creates, and the miracle of life, of poetry, happens. You can hear “Annunciation” by Marie Howe on SoundCloud.

Thought this screen save from the video is most appropriate with the poster of Mother Mary holding the infant Jesus!

Marie Howe reads her poem Annunciation to Krista Tippett for On Being

Marie Howe reads her poem “Annunciation” to Krista Tippett for On Being

Annunciation

Even if I don’t see it again—nor ever feel it
I know it is—and that if once it hailed me
it ever does—

And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction
not as towards a place, but it was a tilting
within myself,

as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where
it isn’t—I was blinded like that—and swam
in what shone at me

only able to endure it by being no one and so
specifically myself I thought I’d die
from being loved like that.

This amazingly beautiful and profound poem can be found at 1:36:02 at the end of the interview, but she starts talking about it at 1:34:45. There are more audio clips of Howe reading her poems posted at the On Being blog. They are also available on their SoundCloud, with other audio clips. Here is the complete unedited audio interview recorded on March 16, 2003, at the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph Minnesota.

Also see An Evening with New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe.

This relates: David Whyte describes the mysterious way a poem starts inside you with the lightest touch. Whyte also uses a biblical reference, comparing poetic revelation to Lazarus walking to the light.

Enjoy reading: The Millions Interviews Marie Howe-Words Can Sustain and Save Us, published January 11, 2018, where Marie describes what the writing and reading of poetry has done for her, and what it can do for the rest of us. This Q&A particularly reinforces the point Marie Howe made to Krista Tippett when writing “Annunciation.”

TM: Do you think of writing as a spiritual act at its core?

MH: I do, because it involves a wonderful contradiction which is in order for it to happen you have to be there and you have to disappear. Both. You know, nothing feels as a good as that. Being there and disappearing–being possessed by something else. Something happening through you, but you’re attending it. There are few other things in the world like that, but writing is pretty much a relief from the self–and yet the self has to be utterly there.

I know exactly what she means. I had a similar experience when “I wrote” ODE TO THE ARTIST: Sketching Lotus Pads at Round Prairie Park.

David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace

August 8, 2013

banner-colmesLegendary Filmmaker David Lynch

Award-winning filmmaker David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour, teaching millions of struggling people how to achieve peace through Transcendental Meditation. Click on the title to go to the website and listen to this dynamic and inspiring interview: [Video] Alan’s FASCINATING interview with legendary filmmaker David Lynch! and here: David Lynch On The Value Of Transcendental Meditation.

Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace” | Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary | Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary | Enlightenment, The TM Magazine: Meditation Creativity Peace: How the David Lynch Foundation Brings Change from Within.

Visit the new website, Meditation Creativity Peace, for a list of upcoming and previous screenings: http://meditationcreativitypeace.com.

You may also enjoy this earlier article David Lynch wrote for Jane Magazine’s celeb issue: Celeb Spiritual Report: One significant day in my life by David Lynch for Jane Magazine (May 2004).

Celeb Spiritual Report: One significant day in my life by David Lynch for Jane Magazine (May 2004)

August 3, 2013

Here is an article I helped facilitate for David Lynch when we first started working with him, a year before the idea for the David Lynch Foundation was created under the dynamic leadership of Bob Roth, executive director for the Foundation. Up to this point David had kept his Transcendental Meditation practice private. When he made the decision to go public and help the TM movement he turned out to be a most unique and brilliant spokesman.

One event was a project to create world peace. We sent out our press release to the media and set up a NY press conference David would attend. Jauretsi Saizarbitoria, the entertainment editor for Jane magazine at the time, emailed back saying she was interested in David’s meditating and suggested he write an article for their special celeb issue on the topic: One significant day in my life. We mentioned it to him and he sent us an article of the day he learned that our human physiology, our body, was made of consciousness, which we forwarded to them. Knowing he was a painter, they also wanted to know what consciousness looked like to David. He sent a jpeg of an image he had created and they included it, giving him a whole page and titling it a Celeb Spiritual Report. It was published in their May, 2004 celeb issue. Jane was a popular woman’s magazine, published from 1997-2007. David posted the report on his website with other earlier David Lynch articles and interviews.

Here is David’s love of Maharishi’s Vedic knowledge explained in such a simple conversational tone that’s truly David Lynch. He’s actually a brilliant writer and speaker! They put the text on the bottom right of this photo. Here it is with the text underneath.

Jane – May, 2004
One significant day in my life

By David Lynch

This is a picture that director David Lynch (above) painted to show what consciousness looks like.

This is a picture that director David Lynch (above) painted to show what consciousness looks like.

A significant event occurred in my life the day I learned that our human physiology, our body, is made of consciousness.

Consciousness???

“What???” I asked out loud in wonder.

I learned that our human physiology is so magnificent and complex, and so exquisite in its design and makeup, as to be wondrous beyond imagination. We are spun out of unbounded, infinite, eternal consciousness.

I learned that underlying all matter is a vast, unbounded, infinite and eternal field of consciousness called the Unified Field. I found out that modern science started taking this field seriously about 25 years ago and that all matter is unified at this level in a state of perfect symmetry, or balance. The entire universe emerges from this field in a process called “spontaneous sequential symmetry breaking.”

Are you still with me?

I also learned that there is another science called Vedic Science. This Vedic Science is ancient, and it has always talked of the Unified Field.

Interesting!

Veda, I learned, means “total knowledge.” The home of total knowledge is the Unified Field. It is also the home of all the laws of nature. The branches of Veda, 40 in total, make up the language of the Unified Field, the impulses of this eternal field.

I realized this Unified Field is quite an interesting place. It is not manifest and is full, meaning it is no thing, yet all things in potential. It manifests and permeates all things: the whole universe, everything, while still remaining full and not manifest.

Amazing!

Is this mind-boggling or what?

Now comes the hippest part. I have learned that any human being can “experience” the Unified Field.

Really?

Or: So what?

Why in the world would we care to experience the Unified Field?

First, another question.

Have you ever heard that most of us human beings use only 5 percent of our brain, our mind? Have you ever wondered what in the heck the other 95 percent is all about?

This is the beautiful part coming up.

The “experience” of the Unified Field actually unfolds “enlightenment”—higher states of consciousness culminating in Unity Consciousness, the highest state of consciousness. These higher states use that 95 percent of the brain. That is what the 95 percent is there for—to give us permanent, all-time enlightenment.

Now, what is enlightenment? If you were a lightbulb, let’s say, your “glow” might light up your whole house and surrounding yard. In enlightenment, your “glow” would be unbounded, infinite and eternal. That would be some glow!

Enlightenment is fulfillment. Supreme fulfillment. Unbounded, infinite, eternal bliss, consciousness, intelligence, creativity, harmony, dynamic peace.

Enlightenment, I have learned, is our “full potential.” It is the birthright of every human being to enjoy enlightenment.

Is this good news? I think it is such good news.

In Vedic Science, the Unified Field is called “Atma.” Translated, that is “Self”—the Self of us all.

The Unified Field is not something foreign, or even something far away. It is right within each of us at the base of our mind, the source of thought. A great sage from the Himalayas, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, brought a beautiful gift to our world in the form of Transcendental Meditation. Transcendental Meditation is an easy and effortless, yet supremely profound, technique that allows any human to dive within and experience that unbounded ocean of pure bliss, pure consciousness. the Unified Field, our Self.

It may be interesting for you to know that millions of people are practicing Transcendental Meditation all around the world. People from all religions, and all walks of life. Over 600 studies have been done in universities and research institutes validating the profound benefits of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Program.

Having this kind of knowledge and technologies of consciousness available to us in this age is, in my mind, a significant event. Yet the “experience” of that Unified Field is the most significant event, because it unfolds what we truly are—totality.

David’s movies include Eraserhead, Dune, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. He is looking forward to Creating World Peace Day, to be held mid-September at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa (www.mum.edu).

Copyright 2004 Fairchild Publications, Inc.

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Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

July 28, 2013

Inspiring excerpts from a book by David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re beautiful. Everything, anything that is a thing, comes up from the deepest level. Modern physics calls that level the Unified Field. The more your consciousness – your awareness – is expanded, the deeper you go toward this source, and the bigger fish you can catch.

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
–David Lynch

David Lynch (b. 1946) – director, visual artist, musician and, most significantly, long-term Transcendental Meditation practitioner – is best known for his surrealist films, having developed his own unique cinematic style, characterized by dream imagery and meticulous sound design. In the course of his career, he has received numerous nominations and awards, including the illustrious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

His most popular and critically-acclaimed film projects include Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE. He has also embraced the internet as a medium, producing several web-based shows, such as the animation, Dumbland, and the surrealist sitcom, Rabbits.

He has also produced a brilliant literary offering, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Written in short chapters on themes as diverse as painting, filmmaking, meditation, consciousness, the texture of a dead body and other such profound matters, it is an absolute treat for any aspiring artist who is also keen to dive deep for the so-called bigger fish and is looking for a truly authentic and honest interpretation of life.

Desire
Desire for an idea is like bait. When you’re fishing, you have to have patience. You bait your hook, and you wait. The desire is the bait that pulls those fish in – those ideas.

The beautiful thing is that when you catch one fish that you love, even if it’s a little fish – a fragment of an idea – that fish will draw in another fish, and they’ll hook onto it. Then you’re on your way. Soon there are more and more and more fragments, and the whole thing emerges. But it starts with desire.

Consciousness
Through meditation one realizes the unbounded. That which is unbounded is happy. There is no happiness in the small.
Upanishads

Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container you’re fishing in – your consciousness – you can catch bigger fish.

Here’s how it works: Inside every human being is an ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness. When you ‘transcend’ in Transcendental Meditation, you dive down into that ocean of pure consciousness. You splash into it. And it’s bliss. You can vibrate with this bliss. Experiencing pure consciousness enlivens it, expands it. It starts to unfold and grow.

Intuition
Know That by knowing which everything is known.
Upanishads

Life is filled with abstractions, and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution – seeing it, knowing it. It’s emotion and intellect going together. That’s essential for the filmmaker.

How do you get something to feel right? Everybody’s got the same tools: the camera and the tapes and the world and the actors. But in putting those parts together, there are differences. That’s where intuition enters.

Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened and expanded through meditation, diving into the Self. There’s an ocean of consciousness inside each of us, and it’s an ocean of solutions. When you dive into that ocean, that consciousness, you enliven it.

You don’t dive for specific solutions; you dive to enlighten that ocean of consciousness. Then your intuition grows and you have a way of solving those problems – knowing when it’s not right and knowing a way to make it feel correct for you. That capacity grows and things go much more smoothly.

Identity
The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.

Sound
Sometimes you hear a piece of music, and it marries to a scene in the script. When I’m shooting, I will often play that piece of music in the headphones whilst listening to the dialogue. Hearing the music is just a verification that things are going the right way – for instance, the right pace or lighting. It’s just another tool to ensure that you’re following that original idea and being true to it.

Ask The Idea
The form which embodies that wish appeared in consciousnesses – that is to be held within consciousness.
Upanishads

The idea is the whole thing. If you stay true to the idea, it tells you everything you need to know, really. You just keep working to make it look like that idea looked, feel like it felt, sound like it sounded, and be the way it was. And it’s weird, because when you veer off, you sort of know it. You know when you’re doing something that is not correct because it feels incorrect. It says, ‘No, no; this isn’t like the idea said it.’ And when you’re getting into it the correct way, it feels correct. It’s an intuition: You feel-think your way through.

You start one place, and as you go, it gets more and more finely tuned. But all along it’s the idea talking. At some point, it feels correct to you. And you hope that it feels somewhat correct to others.

Suffering
It’s good for the artist to understand conflict and stress. Those things can give you ideas. But I guarantee you, if you have enough stress, you won’t be able to create. And if you have enough conflict, it will get in the way of your creativity. You can understand conflict, but you don’t have to live in it.

In stories, in the worlds that we can go into, there’s suffering, confusion, darkness, tension and anger. There are murders; there’s all kinds of stuff. But the filmmaker doesn’t have to be suffering to show suffering. You can show it, show the human condition, show conflicts and contrasts, but you don’t have to go through that yourself. You are the orchestrator of it, but you’re not in it. Let your characters do the suffering.

It’s common sense: The more the artist is suffering, the less creative he is going to be. It’s less likely that he is going to enjoy his work and less likely that he will be able to do really good work.

Light of the Self
He who sees everything as nothing but the Self,
and the Self in everything he sees,
such a seer withdraws from nothing.
For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self,
so how could any suffering or delusion continue
for those who know Oneness?
Upanishads

Negativity is like darkness. So what is darkness? You look at darkness, and you see that it’s nothing: It’s the absence of something. You turn on the light, and darkness goes.

But sunlight, for instance, doesn’t get rid of negativity. It gets rid of darkness but not negativity. So what light can you turn on that removes negativity the way sunlight removes darkness? It’s the light of pure consciousness, the Self – the light of unity.

Don’t fight the darkness. Don’t even worry about the darkness. Turn on the light and the darkness goes. Turn up that light of pure consciousness: Negativity goes.

The Box and the Key
I don’t have a clue what those are.

Fire
Sitting in front of a fire is mesmerizing. It’s magical. I feel the same way about electricity. And smoke. And flickering lights.

Advice 
The Truth upholds the fragrant Earth and makes the living
water wet. Truth makes fire burn and the air move,
Makes the sun shine and all life grow. A hidden truth
supports everything. Find it and win.
Ramayana

Stay true to yourself. Let your voice ring out, and don’t let anybody fiddle with it. Never turn down a good idea, but never take a bad idea. And meditate. It’s very important to experience the Self, that pure consciousness. It’s really helped me. I think it would help any filmmaker. So start diving within, enlivening that bliss consciousness. Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you’ll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!

Thanks to StillnessSpeaks.com for compiling this list.

See Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda with links to videos of David talking about these ideas.

Documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”

Since the book, David Lynch made a 16-country tour around the world when he spoke to government leaders, film students, and the press. It was made into a documentary film and premiered in NY. Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”.

This was later followed by a premier in Los Angeles: Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary. Also see David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum. Links to videos and articles are available at the bottom of each post.

The film continues to be shown in major cities around the world. Check your local TM center and the David Lynch Foundation for more information.

The documentary film was made available online, March 3, 2016. You can watch it here on The Uncarved Blog.

Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda

July 28, 2013

I thought of David Lynch and his book, Catching the Big Fish, when I read a particular poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells. Both deal with the search for illumination; finding and clarifying a creative idea.

In this video David answers a question about his creative process, describing where ideas come from and how they coalesce into a finished product: David Lynch: ‘Ideas Are Like Fish.’ He says ideas are like fish and the deeper you go the more powerful, abstract and beautiful they are. Your desire for an idea is like a bait on a hook. When you catch one, others get attracted to it. Lynch sometimes gets a part of an idea and others come along. He writes them down. He advises that you have to stay true to the initial idea as it begins to form, even in ways you may not have anticipated, until it all comes together and you get it right. He describes how a script for a film can come about in this way.

The last line-stanza in Neruda’s poem uses the same idea, described here as sitting on the rim of a well of darkness fishing for fallen light.

Talk about transcending and patiently waiting to catch the big fish, an idea that will illuminate the mind and inform a work of art!

Here is that poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells (pp. 82/83):

Si cada día
dentro de cada noche,
hay un pozo
donde la claridad está encerrada.

Hay que sentarse a la orilla
del pozo de la sombra
y pescar luz caída
con paciencia.

If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.

Here is my tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda:

Fishing For Fallen Light

Catching the big fish
will illuminate the mind
and inform the work

Look within to find the light
ideas are swimming there

More information on David Lynch and his book:

This audio book review provides a clear synopsis of David’s book and the ideas expressed in it. See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which lists quotes by topic posted on StillnessSpeaks.com. You can listen to Catching the Big Fish (FULL AUDIOBOOK) on YouTube. Excerpts by topic can be found on YouTube, for example, the notion of suffering to create.

David Lynch says meditation has allowed him to remove stress and access deeper more beautiful ideas he falls in love with and translates into film, painting, sculpture or music. In this talk filmmaker David Lynch describes his experience of the creative process in the light of his practice of Transcendental Meditation at the Majestic Theater in Boston. He says, “It’s a great thing for the filmmaker.”

See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.


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