Posts Tagged ‘meditation in schools’

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.

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Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality

March 20, 2013

Paul Horn, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and David Lynch attend the press conference for the David Lynch Foundation “Change Begins Within” Benefit Concert at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

It was St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17, 2013. It was also Paul Horn’s 83rd birthday, and I had sent around an email about it with links to Paul’s participation (:55–1:22) in the Change Begins Within Press Conference Highlights from Radio City Music Hall in NYC, April 3, 2009, and the concert the following night. Here’s an overview of the Change Begins Within Press Conference and musical Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Concert Highlights. This is a great collection of concert clips and interviews, and DLF school clips: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Collaborate for Meditation in Schools. An edited version was shown on PBS. Someone posted these excerpts: Paul McCartney/Ringo Starr “Change Begins Within” Concert (39:39).

A Symphony of SilenceI also read an interview with Paul Horn in the first chapter of A Symphony of Silence: An Enlightened Vision by George A. Ellis. Paul spoke about his philosophy of music and improvisation, how he communicated musically with a killer whale at an aquarium in Victoria, BC, and in Hawaii. He also spoke about his own spiritual quest, how he started Transcendental Meditation and met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He discussed how he was invited to join a course in India with Maharishi and his experiences there. George Ellis also asked Paul questions about his becoming a TM teacher in those early days, and also playing his flute in the Taj Mahal. It’s a great interview, and a wonderful way to start the book! It got me hooked.

Rolf Erickson, editor-in-chief of Enlightenment, The Transcendental Meditation Magazine, emailed to say there’s an excerpt of the interview with Paul Horn in the latest issue, number 11, called The Music of Meditation. In it, George cites a beautiful quote from Paul’s own book, Inside Paul Horn: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Universal Traveler, highlighted at the top of the article: “We are traveling in historical time, from the present to the distant past. We are traveling inwardly as well, through the music of meditation.” Rolf also contributed an article about George Ellis, Sharing the Symphony of Silence, describing what he had accomplished as a TM teacher and entrepreneur, and his heartfelt tribute to Maharishi with this book. Visit http://asymphonyofsilence.com.

Here’s an earlier post from a few years ago: Iconic Jazz Musician Paul Horn Performs Inside MUM’s Golden Dome in Historic Concert May 15. The concert was in the context of a Symposium on Music and Consciousness during which Paul Horn was honored for his lifelong contribution to music, as a jazz musician and Father of New Age Music; and consciousness, as a longtime teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation technique. Paul taught thousands of people to meditate in the 70’s. Here is Paul’s great talk at that Symposium: Improvisation: The Ultimate Art of Self-Expression — Paul Horn at MUM. Click here to see all of the Lecture and Performance Videos including Q & A.

During his visit to MUM and Fairfield, Jo Ann Gesner interviewed Paul for an article, Paul Horn: Improvisation from the Inside Out, published in Enlightenment Magazine’s 6th issue with a beautiful photo of Paul and his wife, Ann Mortifee, taken in Café Paradiso.

This video, Inside Paul Horn, is an overview of Paul Horn’s career. Originally titled, Inside Paul Horn Special Edition, it includes clips from Story of a Jazz Musician – David Wolper Presents, and was uploaded on Jan 14, 2011 by annmortifee. It seems to have been taken down now but you can see the full 3-part film here.

For more on the music of Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee, visit http://paulhornmusic.com and http://annmortifee.com.

Listen to Monica Hadley interview George A. Ellis on Writer’s Voices – 20130712 and how his book Symphony of Silence came about.

See my Haiku With My Muse, Sali, inspired by Paul Horn.

See Snapshots: Paul Horn in Conversation: History & Influences.

Paul Horn died June 29, 2014. There were many memorial articles about the jazz flutist, composer and creator of new age music who also became a teacher of  Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation at his ashram in Rishikesh, India. He taught thousands to meditate in the United States and returned to make a film about Maharishi when the Beatles happened to be there to learn more about TM at his ashram. The Guardian announced his passing: Paul Horn, father of new age music, dies aged 84, then published a more detailed obituary.


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