Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Fortune, Forbes, Business Insider report on the beneficial effects of @TMmeditation in business

May 4, 2017

There’s been a strong interest in meditation lately among stressed, high-powered Wall Street bankers, investors, and CEOs. Many extol the virtues of Transcendental Meditation, aka TM. One investor describes TM as “Low investment, High return.” Here are a few of the many articles in such leading publications as Fortune, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Fortune reports: This Banking CEO Swears by Meditation. Barry Sommers (J.P. Morgan) has been doing Transcendental Meditation twice a day for the last ten years. He says he saw major positive changes in a longtime friend and colleague. Sommers then learned about TM from Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation. Watch this dynamic video clip from Fortune’s second annual Brainstorm Health conference, moderated by Arianna Huffington. It’s embedded in this Fortune article: Why America’s Top Bosses Love Sleep and Meditation, part of which is excerpted here:

CEO Barry Sommers speaks on TM at Fortune's 2nd annual Brainstorm Health conference

CEO Barry Sommers praises TM at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference

Some corners of corporate America have long had a culture that wears its long and grueling hours like a badge of honor. Now a group of executives is trying to change that by opening up about how they each found balance in their own lives and by making wellness a priority at their companies.

“I’ve found in a culture like Wall Street, people are obsessed with how many hours people work,” said Barry Sommers, CEO of Wealth Management at J.P. Morgan Chase, during Fortune’s second annual Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Tuesday. “Way too many people are getting out of there as fast as they can because they’re totally burnt out.”

Sommers decided to take his health into his own hands a decade ago after someone he’d known personally and professionally for 30 years started doing Transcendental Meditation. “It transformed this person’s life,” he said. “I saw a different person.”

Sommers has now been doing Transcendental Meditation 20 minutes two times a day for a decade. And he prioritizes sleep, getting seven and half to eight hours every night. “I changed my schedule and lifestyle,” he said. “When I do a dinner, we’ll be at the restaurant at 5pm, not at 8pm.” He said his kids make fun of it, but he wakes up every morning “incredibly happy.” If there’s a problem at the office, his employees know to call the house and his wife will wake him up. But rarely is there anything so important that it can’t wait until the morning, he said.

“This goes completely against mainstream assumption that J.P. Morgan is the boiler room of burnout,” said Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, who moderated the panel.

Forbes, France also covered this topic: Transcendental Meditation: The Secret Weapon of Leaders, which includes this embedded video of Ken Gunsberger, from the Center for Leadership Performance.

Ken Gunsberger, VP, UBS Wealth Management in New York .png

Ken Gunsberger, VP, UBS Wealth Management New York, doing his TM

Writer Catherine Nivez interviewed Wall Street investor and TM meditator Ken Gunsberger who refers to TM as “Low investment, High return.” Vice President of UBS Wealth Management in New York, Kenneth Gunsberger manages his clients’ fortunes, market competition and professional stress. Leonard Stein, TM Teacher representing DLF in Geneva, is also quoted extensively in this excellent article.

In the video, Ken expresses a concern to his NY TM instructor: “How am I gonna know when I’m “in the zone” when I’m meditating? The reply he was given: “You’re not. The goal is to not be in the zone when you’re meditating. The goal is to be in the zone when you’re done. When you’re in that meeting at work. When you’re with your kids. When you’re with your spouse. That’s when you wanna be in the zone.”

Ken adds: “And because of the TM it has enabled me to do a much better job all across the board.” Ken said TM “literally changed my life.” After meditating only two and a half months his business increased; he had the best month in twenty-five years. Even his relationship with his daughter improved. He sums up the results of his TM practice this way: “Better choices. Better allocation of energy. Better results.”

Click on the link to watch to the rest of the video. Click the title to read the article. If you don’t understand French, use Google Translate. It’s worth the effort.

Business Insider has written before about TM in Business. Recently, Richard Feloni wrote a comprehensive report: Transcendental Meditation, which Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio calls ‘the single biggest influence’ on his life, is taking over Wall Street. It was republished in many places, including SFGATE. Here is an excerpt:

Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates, world's largest hedge fund

Ray Dalio, Founder, Bridgewater Associates, world’s largest hedge fund

Around eight years ago, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio introduced Transcendental Meditation to his then—735 employees.

Dalio had already established a unique, intense culture at Bridgewater that he likes to say is akin to being part of an ” intellectual Navy SEALs ,” and he believed that Transcendental Meditation (TM) would work as an effective counterbalance.

“I did it because it’s the greatest gift I could give anyone—it brings about equanimity, creativity and peace,” Dalio told me via email.

Since then, TM has popped into the mainstream, and over the last three years, the David Lynch Foundation TM center has taught almost 2,500 professionals, with roughly 55% of those from Wall Street, and 1,150 of those in 2016 alone.

Read the rest of this fabulous article, one of the best yet, and other TM articles archived on their website.

Note: I gave Jochen Uebel permission to translate this post into German: Prominente Business-Zeitschriften berichten über Transzendentale Meditation (Prominent business magazines report on Transcendental Meditation).

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Physician recommends wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners

February 1, 2017

Medical doctor calls for mind-body approaches to help prisoners reduce stress, trauma, and recidivism

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A group of female inmates practicing Transcendental Meditation experienced significant reductions in trauma symptoms compared to a control group. Photo credit: The Oregon Department of Corrections*

A randomized study published online January 17, 2017 in The Permanente Journal on 22 female prisoners found that those practicing Transcendental Meditation for four months had significant reductions in total trauma symptoms compared with a control group. And a similar study in the same journal published October 7, 2016, involving 181 male prisoners found a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms compared to a non-meditating control group.

In an editorial, published February 1, 2017 to accompany the two studies on Transcendental Meditation in their Winter 2017 print edition, Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP, a clinician and researcher with Kaiser Permanente, called for wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners.

Advantages of mind-body interventions for prisoners

Dr. Elder cited many of the advantages of these interventions.

Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP

Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP

“Mind-body interventions can provide the patient with a simple self-help tool that can effectively reduce anxiety, help treat substance abuse, reduce inmate recidivism, and help address a range of medical conditions,” he wrote, citing research on Transcendental Meditation that supports these benefits.

In addition to these benefits, he points out that a mind-body intervention can be cost-effective. Since Transcendental Meditation has been shown to reduce recidivism — the percentage of inmates returning to prison after their release — it can save money that would otherwise be spent on incarceration. And, he points out, a prisoner who becomes a productive member of society provides an economic benefit, instead of a deficit.

Rebecca Pak of The Women’s Prison Association agrees with Dr. Elder, “The results inside correctional facilities and schools with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding. If we shifted our focus from punitive responses to interventions designed to improve mental and physical health, we would have much greater impact.”

Convenience of mind-body interventions

Dr. Elder also describes the convenience of mind-body approaches.

“Once taught the technique, an individual can use the skill for the duration of his or her life, as a stress management tool, providing ongoing benefits across a range of domains…. In addition to helping the inmate cope with the stress of incarceration, there is a range of additional ‘side benefits,’ ranging from reduced recidivism to improved cardiovascular health.”

He says a trained instructor can take Transcendental Meditation directly to the prisoners, rather than their going to a clinic or meditation center. And direct personal instruction is better than trying to learn a mind-body intervention online, since many may be unable or unwilling to engage an online format.

Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation

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Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author

Led by Sanford Nidich, EdD, Director of the Maharishi University of Management Center for Social and Emotional Health, the two recent studies published by The Permanente Journal were conducted at three prisons in Oregon. The hypothesis was that Transcendental Meditation would help prisoners deal with serious trauma and stress. Surveys have shown that prisoners have one of the highest rates of lifetime trauma of any segment of society, with 85% having been a victim of a crime-related event, such as robbery or home invasion, or physical or sexual abuse.

This trauma leads to stress and poor lifestyle choices, including crime and substance abuse. In addition to these recent studies, earlier ones have found that Transcendental Meditation helps inmates deal with trauma and stress and reduces recidivism. Here is a sampling, with some listed in the editorial:

• 2017 — the study described above that found reduced trauma in female prisoners in Oregon

• 2016 — the study mentioned above that found a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms in male prisoners in Oregon over the course of the four-month study, including a reduction in anxiety, depression, dissociation, and sleep disturbance, as well as a significant decrease in perceived stress

• 2003 — A study of 17 subjects at La Tuna federal penitentiary in Texas showed a reduction on the MMPI psychasthenia scale, suggesting a reduction in obsessive–compulsive behavior, and a decrease in social introversion.

• 2003 — A retrospective followup on 152 inmates who had learned Transcendental Meditation at Walpole prison in Massachusetts found that these inmates were 33% less likely to have returned to prison after 30 days compared to a control group that participated in counseling, drug rehabilitation and religious activities, and 47% less likely compared to all non-meditating control subjects.

• 2003 — A retrospective analysis of 248 inmates at Folsom State Prison used Cox regression analysis to calculate that prisoners who learn Transcendental Meditation are 43.5% less likely to return to prison.

• 1987 — A study of 259 inmates who had learned Transcendental Meditation at several different prisons in California found that they were 40% less likely to have returned to prison one year after release compared to matched controls, and 30% less likely after six years.

• 1978 — A study of 115 inmates at Folsom Prison in California found a reduction in anxiety, negativism, and suspicions, as well as improved sleep.

“The overall body of research suggests that Transcendental Meditation could be used more widely to help prisoners deal with trauma and stress,” said Dr. Nidich, lead author of the recent studies conducted at Oregon prisons.

Source: Mind-Body Training for At-Risk Populations: Preventive Medicine at its Best. [PDF]

About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The TM technique is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Unlike other forms of meditation, TM practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. It automatically and effortlessly allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of deep inner calm. For more information visit www.tm.org.

*Photo: The Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.

MarketWired: Medical doctor calls for mind-body approaches to help prisoners reduce stress, trauma, and recidivism

Related posts: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces trauma symptoms in female prisoners and Transcendental Meditation reduced stress and trauma symptoms in male prisoners in 4 months

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces trauma symptoms in female prisoners

January 17, 2017

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The first study to specifically focus on reducing stress in female prisoners has found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces trauma symptoms. Women have become the fastest growing prison population in the U.S., and research shows they suffer from higher rates of mental and emotional trauma, and higher rates of sexual abuse than men. This randomized controlled trial, published in The Permanente Journal, follows a recent study on reduced trauma in male inmates through Transcendental Meditation.

Significant reduction in trauma

The results showed that after four months of practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, the women inmates in the meditation group had significant reductions in total trauma symptoms, including intrusive thoughts and hyperarousal compared with controls. Trauma symptoms were measured using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian (PCL-C).

‘This study is a valuable addition to the research literature in women’s mental health, showing a natural and effortless alternative approach to reducing trauma symptoms,” said lead author Dr. Sanford Nidich, director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management. “It further replicates an earlier randomized controlled trial with Transcendental Meditation (TM) in male prison inmates suffering from high levels of trauma symptoms. Previous studies have shown reduced trauma in other populations, including veterans and African refugees with the TM program.”

Comments from the subjects

Those practicing Transcendental Meditation in their prison cells said they felt a lot better—less stressed, with a greater sense of inner freedom and resilience. Read some of the dramatic changes in their own words, and more details about this study in the press release.

The study was funded by the David Lynch Foundation.

Expanding preventive medicine to include mind-body approaches

In addition to the study on TM, the January 2017 issue of The Permanente Journal includes a companion editorial by Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP, titled, “Mind-Body Training for At-Risk Populations: Preventative Medicine at its Best.”

According to Charles Elder, MD, Kaiser Permanente, Northwest, “A principle advantage of the TM technique is a time-tested, standardized intervention protocol…. Once taught the Transcendental Meditation technique, an individual can use the skill for the duration of his or her life, as a stress management tool, providing ongoing benefits across a range of domains. In addition to helping the inmate cope with the stress of incarceration, there is a range of additional ‘side benefits,’ ranging from reduced recidivism to improved cardiovascular health.”

Related: See this recent study explaining how and why Transcendental Meditation is effortless, distinguishing it from other practices.

Transcendental Meditation reduced stress and trauma symptoms in male prisoners in 4 months

January 1, 2017

Prisoners have one of the highest rates of lifetime trauma of any segment of society, with recent surveys showing that 85% have been a victim of a crime-related event, such as robbery or home invasion, or physical or sexual abuse. Trauma is associated with higher rates of recidivism (returning to prison) and mental and physical health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.

A randomized controlled trial of 181 male Oregon state correctional inmates found that the Transcendental Meditation program significantly decreased total trauma symptoms, anxiety, depression, dissociation and sleep disturbance subscales, and perceived stress compared to controls over a four-month period. Trauma symptoms and perceived stress were assessed using the Trauma Symptoms Checklist and the Perceived Stress Scale.

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Within the TM group, a 47% reduction in total trauma symptoms was observed over the course of the four-month study. Further post-hoc analysis showed a 56% reduction within the TM group for those with the highest level of trauma symptoms above the mean in baseline trauma scores.

Compliance with TM practice was high. Of those randomized to learn the TM program, 88% completed the initial seven-step TM course (total of five sessions) and over 80% were regular with their daily TM practice over the course of the four-month study, which included weekly meetings to ensure continued correct effortless practice.

“To date this is the largest randomized controlled trial with the Transcendental Meditation program on trauma symptoms,” said Dr. Nidich, lead author of the study and director of Maharishi University of Management Center for Social and Emotional Health. “These findings, along with previous published research on veterans, active military personnel, international refugees, and other at-risk populations provide support for the value of the Transcendental Meditation program as an alternative treatment for posttraumatic stress.”

“I have watched inmates learn Transcendental Meditation and become more human after a long and isolating period of becoming less human,” said study co-author Dr. Tom O’Conner, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Western Oregon University. “TM helps to awaken, deepen, and solidify the kind of transformational process that we so badly need in our overburdened and costly correctional system.”

The study, Reduced trauma symptoms and perceived stress in male prison inmates through the Transcendental Meditation program: A randomized controlled trial, was published in The Permanente Journal, and funded by the David Lynch Foundation

Read more valuable information about this study in the press release, from where this content was excerpted, on EurekAlert!/AAAS.

NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101089/

Another study, this one done with female prisoners, also in Oregon, will be published later this month.

Excellent article on Transcendental Meditation written by Sarah Klein in Prevention Magazine

February 14, 2016

Preface: Electrical Analogies

Rosenthal_N

Norman Rosenthal

I find it fascinating that Norman Rosenthal and Jerry Seinfeld have come up with their own opposite electrical analogies to describe how Transcendental Meditation works — as both a surge protector and a battery charger!

People exposed to continual stressful trauma suffer from PTSD. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal says Transcendental Meditation is like a surge protector against stress. First it calms the amygdala; it turns down that alarm bell where there no longer is a fire.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

And equally important, TM acts as a buffer against future stressful reactions. The nervous system becomes more resilient to stressful stimuli; they’re no longer interpreted as such. The individuals have normalized.

Jerry Seinfeld compares TM to a phone charger for your whole body and mind. He reminds us how we charge our cellphones and then use them throughout the whole day. That’s what TM does for him. It sets him up for his day fully charged until his next TM session to recharge.

Prevention Magazine article on Transcendental Meditation

Bob Roth

Bob Roth

Rosenthal was interviewed and Seinfeld mentioned in an excellent article for Prevention Magazine by staff writer Sarah Klein. It’s nicely designed with graphics, photos and relevant links to cited studies and video clips.

Others interviewed were Bob Roth, executive director for the David Lynch Foundation, and Sandy Nidich, professor and researcher at Maharishi University of Management. Others referenced and linked to are Ellen Degeneres, Jim Carrey, and Oprah Winfrey.

Klein seems to understand her subject even though she probably has not experienced it. Her writing is clear and objective. She’s done her homework when it comes to the science, and integrates her interviewees remarks to full advantage. It’s a pleasure to read a TM article like this when someone gets it right!

Enjoy reading This Is Your Brain On Transcendental Meditation.

For information on Transcendental Meditation visit www.tm.org.

Transcendental Meditation at Prevention R3 Summit

A month before the Prevention Magazine article, Bob Roth was invited to give a talk on Transcendental Meditation at the 3rd annual Prevention R3 Summit. He spoke January 15, 2016, the opening night of the Summit, at ACL Live in The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Check the DavidLynchFoundation YouTube Channel for a description of his talk. Austin Art Examiner writer Nicolette Mallow was there and interviewed Bob Roth for her article on this self-transcending form of meditation that can transform people’s lives for the better.

In related news, read about The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school.

Jennie Gritz explored the use of TM in education in her article for The Atlantic: Quiet Time Brings Transcendental Meditation to Public Schools.

Great article on TM’s successful resurgence and supportive applications in health and education

April 28, 2015

FORBES: PHARMA & HEALTHCARE 4/27/2015 @ 11:20AM
Contributor Alice G. Walton covers health, medicine, psychology and neuroscience.

Transcendental Meditation Makes A Comeback, With The Aim Of Giving Back

Transcendental meditation (TM) has been having a renaissance in recent years: Celebrities, businesspeople, and regular folk are practicing it in record numbers. Last week, the David Lynch Foundation, the major non-profit champion of TM, hosted an event in New York City at which public figures like Arianna Huffington, Robin Roberts, and Cynthia McFadden discussed the transforming role of TM in their lives. They made compelling arguments for what the practice had done for them, as previously harried and stressed-to-the-max businesspeople – they may still be stressed, but at least they’re able to balance it with a sense of calm. But the Foundation has a larger goal: To bring TM to schoolchildren, domestic abuse survivors, veterans, and prison inmates to help give them tools to process their trauma and reclaim the capacity to live fulfilling lives. And that’s not a bad goal to have.

The TM movement itself has had some bumps in its past. Developed in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it rose to popularity after The Beatles “discovered” and helped propagate it – by the late 70s, 4% of Americans were practicing TM, according to a Gallup poll. Then things started to get shaky – and TM began to be associated with some cultishness. But in the last decade or so, the practice has gained back the respect and indeed acclaim, as people – some very famous ones – began to flock to it for its simple and straightforward method to find inner peace.

The business-meets-meditation stories are everywhere these days. Huffington told the endearing but jarring story of when she’d awoken in a pool of her own blood in her office, having passed out from exhaustion; it was then, she said, that she realized that money and power were only two legs of a three-legged stool – self-care, including meditation, being the other critical leg. And the list of companies that encourage their employees to meditate – by teaching it to them and by providing meditation time and space – is growing. Google, Target, Nike, Aetna, and Goldman Sachs have integrated meditation into their cultures.

But the more pressing focus of the David Lynch Foundation is to give psychological support in the form of TM, at low or no cost, to those who need it most: Veterans, schoolchildren, prison inmates, and women and children who have survived domestic abuse. To be sure, TM isn’t the only meditative practice that’s been used to help these groups of people. Yoga, mindfulness, and other forms of meditation are other increasingly common tools in the “service” arena. But, says Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, there’s something quite simple and powerful about TM which makes it particularly well-suited to touch people who have been through emotional turmoil, or worse. Perhaps its greatest benefit is that it’s relatively quick to learn and easy to master. No waiting weeks or months of practice before you see results: TM cuts right to the chase, taking only days – or for some, minutes – before one feels reprieve from their painful and overwhelming thoughts.

“With TM, you’re given a mantra – a word with no meaning – and taught how to use it,” says Roth. “The active thinking mind settles down to a state of inner calm without any effort. It’s not clearing your mind, as in focused awareness meditation, and not gently observing thoughts as in open monitoring (which is vipassana, or mindfulness). I can put it even more succinctly: TM uses sounds or mantra that has no meaning as a vehicle to experience a quieter, less agitated thought process.”

With the two classical forms of meditation – focused awareness (samatha) and open monitoring/mindfulness (vipassana) there’s generally more practice involved. With focused awareness, the practitioner uses a mantra or other object of concentration to bring a wandering mind back, again and again. With open monitoring/mindfulness, people observe their thoughts with curiosity and some detachment, so that they eventually lose their charge. Though the former is typically learned before the latter, they ultimately work in tandem and complement one another in practice.

To describe TM’s psychological effects, Roth often uses an ocean analogy: An agitated mind, he says, is like 30-foot surges at the surface of the ocean. Focused awareness tries to stop the waves at the top, he says, while open monitoring tries to observe them until they go away. TM, on the other hand, says Roth, has its practitioners plunge deep below the waves, to a quieter depth that’s perfectly still, and blissful. Roth adds that unlike the two classic forms of meditation, “the third form of meditation, TM, is self-transcending. It’s not concentration, and it’s not simply observing thought. TM creates a specific type of alpha brain waves, which is indicative of a unique state of ‘restful alertness.’”

The practice does seem to be helping a great number of people. Roth says the Foundation has helped bring meditation to half a million school children all over the world, and hopes to bring it to three million adults and children in the next five years. It’s also taught TM to 2,000 veterans and as many female victims of domestic abuse through Family Justice Centers across the country, where it’s offered free of charge. The Foundation has also just begun to teach the perpetrators of that abuse, Roth says. The Foundation can barely keep up with all the requests it has from school systems, family centers, and prisons to teach TM.

“There is no medicine, no wonder drug you can take to prevent trauma and toxic stress. And there is no pill you can take to treat or cure it,” says Roth, “Ambien and Xanax, while perhaps helpful to some, are often abused or mere Band-Aid solutions.” There is some relatively strong evidence that TM can affect the stress response, and much of the scientific support for TM comes from its effects on the cardiovascular system, and blood pressure reduction. “The problem of stress is not going away, it’s getting worse and worse,” says Roth. “TM can be an effective tool. It helps you navigate increasingly stressful times. I’m a skeptical person. There’s nothing to believe in. There’s no buy-in. It just works.”

Read the rest of the article here: http://onforb.es/1IfgdIl

Two Transcendental Meditation @TMmeditation articles in @THR on @DAVID_LYNCH and @DrOz

January 11, 2014

Here are two excellent articles about Transcendental Meditation published in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, part of a Health series on how stress effects celebrities and what they do to relieve it. One mentions David Lynch, the other, Dr. Oz. Click on titles to see original articles with photos.

How David Lynch and His Hollywood Friends Are Bringing Back Transcendental Meditation

One of film’s darkest directors, with help from Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Jackman, is shining a light by bringing meditation to everyone from PTSD sufferers to inner-city kids.

January 10, 2014 | by Seth Abramovitch

Call it the ultimate comeback. Transcendental meditation — which involves speaking a silent mantra to oneself for 20 minutes, twice daily — is an ancient practice that is now attracting some of Hollywood’s biggest names, who insist that its stress-relief benefits are nothing short of miraculous: Among its most powerful practitioners are Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman and Russell Brand — who all have become supporters of David Lynch and his plans to bring meditation to people in dire need of stress relief. A directing genius whose dark dreamscapes are littered with severed ears and plastic-wrapped homecoming queens, Lynch, 67, has morphed into one of the world’s most enthusiastic if unlikely TM cheerleaders.

Lynch first encountered TM in 1974, as he searched for ways to combat mounting anger and depression relating to his epic struggle to get his first feature, the mind-bending Eraserhead, to the big screen. “I had a weakness inside,” says Lynch from his Hollywood Hills studio, a splash of sunlight illuminating his famous white pompadour. “That kind of thing, in this business, you’re a sitting duck. You could get slaughtered.” It was then that he decided to try his hand at TM, an ancient practice revived by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an expat from India who rocketed to stardom during the 1960s as The Beatles‘ spiritual adviser. Lynch feared TM might dull his artistic edge, but he says the opposite happened — it helped him to access untapped fonts of creativity. He even goes so far as to credit the practice with potentially having saved his life: “I was even thinking at the time, ‘If I didn’t have this meditation, I might have seen that a way out was suicide.’ ”

The Twin Peaks mastermind hasn’t missed a single day of meditation in the 40 years since. In 2005, that devotion led him to found The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, a nonprofit that brings TM to inner-city students, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and victims of domestic violence. The foundation has taught the fundamentals to more than 500,000 at-risk candidates, and Lynch says the effects have been astonishing: “Before too long, they’re saying, ‘Thank you very much. I got my life back again.’ ” In celebration of Lynch’s birthday on Jan. 20, DLF Live, the foundation’s live-performance arm, is mounting a benefit at the El Rey Theatre, where Ringo Starr is set to receive the Lifetime of Peace & Love Award. Ben Harper and Ben Folds are slated to perform. And on Feb. 27, Dixie Chicks will headline a night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel honoring record producer (and longtime TM practitioner) Rick Rubin. For the admittedly shy director, Hollywood’s ongoing love affair with TM offers a highly effective method of spreading the gospel. “Life gets better and better and better,” says Lynch of his 40-year journey. “That’s the long and the short of it.”

Stress-Free 2014: Dr. Oz Reveals How He Takes the Edge Off Shooting a TV Show

The talk show host shares his tips for dialing down the shooting-schedule meltdowns, including sacred mantras.

January 10, 2014 | As told by Dr. Oz

In medical school for cardiothoracic surgery, I learned early on the acute effect of stress on performance, decision-making and emotions. As I  looked inside people’s chests at their hearts, I saw the effect of chronic stress: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity. Stress is the No. 1 driver of aging. It’s downright toxic.

In 2009, we launched The Dr. Oz Show. I found a new type of stress as I acclimated to taping, field shoots, voiceovers, rehearsals, script review and appearances. I continued with surgery on Thursdays. The operating room, once a place of total chaos, became a respite for me, offering a familiarity that grounded me.

This may surprise you, but I see many similarities in making a television show and working in the operating room. In both, a team of experts with diverse job responsibilities is exercising expertise toward a grand outcome — either a healthy patient or a great show. Both require teamwork and careful choreography. Both have a team of technology experts whose job is to keep delicate machinery running. Both are fast-paced. And perhaps most similar: Both involve glaring lights under which you are expected to literally perform magic! Ergo, both involve extraordinary stress.

Like the staff at the hospital, my team at the show had comparable stress, and it showed. Unlike other industries, the world literally sees our mistakes. This provides an additional stress dynamic. I saw scripts so revised that it felt like we were back to square one. Tempers would flare occasionally.

I deployed various measures for the staff at the show to deal with the stress. First, you have to eat the right foods. A certain talk-show host whose studio was across the hall and who shall remain nameless good-naturedly served beer, pretzels and cupcakes for his late-night staff. Our tables served granola, quinoa and 2 percent Greek yogurt. I even sent a few healthy snacks across the hall.

I encourage staff to exercise. I also brought in teachers of transcendental meditation, and each employee receives group and individual training. We do meditations in the office twice daily — at 8 a.m., before morning taping, and at 5 p.m., At these times, an announcement is made over the office intercom, and staffers are encouraged to report to the conference room, where a group meditation takes place. Oftentimes, teachers will give staffers a personal mantra, which is secret, that they then repeat over and over. Keeping it to yourself makes it feel sacred.

These Pret-a-Reporter stories first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

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.

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How TM helped calm and center a young woman’s busy mind—inspiring article in new Irish magazine

October 11, 2013

A new magazine, Upside News, came out on Dublin’s north side in Ireland. Their website is still under construction, but here is a description on their Facebook page. They asked someone for an article on Transcendental Meditation.

John Burns

John Burns

Since Christine Ryan was the contact person, John Burns, Communications Director for TM in Ireland, persuaded her to write about her experience of the technique. John said he sent the editor an article he had written along with Christine’s TM experience and told him he thought what she had written was so good that he should use it instead if space was an issue. The editor got back to John and said that he would print Christine’s piece.

Good decision; it’s a fantastic personal account! When I asked John to tell me more about the author, he said, “Christine is training to be a school teacher. She is just someone who really appreciates her TM.” I asked John to send a picture of Christine, a PDF of the magazine article, and a link when it’s posted online, which I’ll add when they’re available. Here’s what she wrote:

“As a twenty-four year old trying to find your place in the world, weaving your way around the many forks in the road that separate all of the possible paths down which to venture, it can be hard to tease out your own true voice in an increasingly noisy world.

I am an introverted, intellectual, always-something-to-think-about child of the technological generation. It seems easy to assume I would have trouble turning my awareness away from words on a page, the lure of the internet, my mobile phone, the radio buzzing and the drilling noise vibrating from the neighbour’s house a few doors down where a posse of hard-working, bellowing construction workers are knocking down two walls in her house only to put six back up. But TM is natural and it is effortless, when you learn how to do it.

What TM gives me is stillness and silence. For twenty minutes twice a day, I go to a place of silence that already exists within me. It happens effortlessly and spontaneously. As a helpless analyser of all things, this initially seemed impossible for me to swallow but I very quickly discovered its truth. The noise of the world disappears and I arrive at a place of beautiful quiet.

TM is like diving into a pool of light that washes away dirt and darkness, and emerging fresh and invigorated. During my TM practice, I feel my body settle into a deep state of rest and an overwhelming sense of calm and stillness pervades it. I feel free from the shackles of stress and exhaustion. I experience a sense of unity and peace. Without any resolve to do so, this sense of wholeness and calm lingers on when my meditation has ended; the effects of my TM practice spontaneously ripple forward into my activity.

Almost seven months into my second year of practising TM, I feel greater clarity in my thinking; as a busy thinker this has been such a profound change that TM has brought me. My relationships are infused with a sense of ease now. My thinking is sharper, ideas flow more easily, and my energy is lasting and productive. I feel less uncertain about decisions to be made and a greater vibrancy in my creative endeavours.

As I continue to meditate, the effects grow stronger. My wonderful TM teacher, Ann, put it simply: “It’s like going to the gym,” she said. “You feel great for the first few weeks that you’re going, but if you stop going, you’ll lose the benefits bit by bit.” I may not get to the gym (or exercise for that matter!) every day, but sitting in a chair in my sweats, with messy un-brushed hair, allowing my mind to simply settle down to a place of profound stillness and emerging twenty minutes later energised and renewed—now that I can do!

I was never one to easily identify with, or apply, the principle of “go with the flow,” but as I continue to practise TM I edge all the more closer to fully understanding exactly what that means. TM has resigned stress and anxiety to a state out of tune with the natural rhythm and flow of my body and mind. It puts things into perspective. To connect with that constant centre of calm and stillness that lies within me, regardless of what is happening in my life, and to find that stillness lingering during activity has been one of the greatest joys of learning TM.

Visionary filmmaker, veteran meditator, and prolific speaker and activist for TM, David Lynch, said it best when he said: “TM is for human beings.” The truth of his words find significance in the shared experiences of the benefits of TM by meditators around the globe, young and old, from all religions and all walks of life, from those behind bars to those raised high on a platform called “celebrity.”

In the monthly group meditation meetings I meet meditators of all ages: veterans to novices, students to retirees and everything in between. In a world that breeds so much disconnection and discord, it is a joy to practice a simple technique that allows for an awareness of the integral similarity between us all.

TM recharges me mentally and physically. My morning and evening TM practice have become the pillars onto which I anchor my day. I can hear my own inner voice more clearly again and those forks in the road don’t loom quite so ominously now.”

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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