Red Ice Membership

David Lynch's ‘Lighter’ Side
2006 07 09

By Sarah Hankel |

Known for macabre, mind-bending films such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, filmmaker David Lynch has a much darker secret … one that grows from within his innermost being. One that he feeds daily, and one that he wants to share with the rest of the world. He's a floater.

For more than 32 years the master of confounding thrillers has also been a master of transcendental meditation (TM). And while he continues to work on his latest film project, Inland Empire, Lynch is casting his internal focus outward. You see, he has a vision–conscious-based education, peace universities, amassing thousands and thousands to calmly sit, concentrate and send positive vibes of quantum particles to conjoin in unity on the astral plane.

It all sounds a bit far-fetched or maybe even ironic considering some of the seedy characters and plot lines Lynch has synthesized over the past 30 years, but don't be too cynical. After all, success speaks volumes. He's dead serious and so are his collaborators who are currently working to raise $7 billion to provide meditation programming in elementary and secondary schools and eventually the construction of world peace universities.

On March 24-26, 2006 Lynch was joined by quantum physicist John Hagelin, Ph.D. (What the Bleep Do We Know?) and musician Donovan Leitch to field questions from nearly 1,000 people in attendance at the "Consciousness Creativity and the Brain" seminar. The weekend-long conference at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, was open to anyone willing to pay the $115 registration fee.

From the boardroom of the recently developed David Lynch Foundation, Lynch spoke about what TM has done for him, how it affects his career and his drive behind spreading consciousness-based education.

"Before I started practicing TM, I was working on Eraserhead. I thought I had it made. I was at the Center for Advanced Film Studies. I had stables of ammunition to work with and yet there was an emptiness inside," Lynch said. "About that time, something happened. I heard the concept: 'True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.' But it didn't say where within or how to get there. Then my sister called and she had just started TM and there was a change in her voice and I thought 'that's it'.

"I went to an introductory lecture, met my teacher, I was given a mantra, taken to a room and told to sit down and close my eyes and start the mantra," Lynch recalled. He further explained that the mantra is something that is to be kept to yourself, not spoken aloud, for this is the key to "turning within". And transcending to David Lynch is apparently very illuminating and exciting, like the sun coming up on the first day of vacation.

"The next thing, it was as if I was in an elevator and someone cut the cable. I was going down, down, down … down into pure bliss. A bliss so unique and powerfully beautiful … I was told to practice this twice a day–20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

"I had been packed with anxiety and fear and anger and that began lifting. There was always a negative overlay and that started lifting. The joy of doing things increased. And I love ideas … catching ideas got easier and easier.

"And that's the thing, when you turn within, you transcend into a unified field where all of the universe is combined in pure unity. That experience does everything. It starts you growing in consciousness, your ability to understand, awareness … it's such a gift. It's not just happiness … it's bliss. Bliss takes up where happiness leaves off. It is consciousness and it affects everything."

But wait Mr. Lynch … Bliss? Happiness? Consciousness? If that is your heart's true and all consuming desire, explain Dennis Hopper's dementia, Laura Palmer, and how twisted were Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern? And Dune sure didn't resemble anything close to world peace.

"I don't believe films should deliver messages. As I said, I love ideas. If I get an idea and fall in love with it and think that cinema can show the story, it works," Lynch said.

But more importantly, Lynch attributes much of the success of his films to what meditation brings him: "a sense of awareness, of wakefulness, of energy."

"There is a belief out there that as an artist or filmmaker, you have to suffer for your work," he said. Insistence building in his voice, he added, "You don't have to suffer to be creative. In fact if you really truly are suffering, you can't create; you can't even get out of bed. Meditation lifts that blanket."

And, as for his newfound interest in promoting higher consciousness among children and young adults, Lynch's theory follows that of every other educator. Teach them to expand their mind by traveling inward while they are young, when their minds are open. Start with the next generation and help cure some of the ailments that plague the public school system.

In Lynch's view, "Schools were better when I went to school. They've gotten worse. … The pressure that schools are under is rising in tandem with the stress that is attacking students at younger and younger ages. They're pressured to get good grades, get into college, make good grades there, get out and get a job; they're living in fear all the time and it doesn't end as an adult. They never reach their full potential. TM opens the door toward growing and learning, toward fulfillment and enlightenment. There is a lot of suffering and this is a solution. With less suffering there can be more learning, more peace."

Additionally, electroencephalography tests have revealed dramatic findings when a study patient is fully immersed in TM. Unlike any other activity, the entire brain "lights up", showing stimulation in all areas. This concept is referred to as integrated brain functioning. Like most other tools in our human bodies, if you don't use it you lose it. By stimulating all areas of the brain, greater mental capacity abounds.

And because TM is about turning within to manifest pure consciousness, it supports what Dr. John Hagelin and other quantum physicists have known for the past decade: all matter, all particles are not simply molecules, nuclei, sub-nuclei, electro-magnetic waves and so on. "Everything that is a thing" exists as a vibration … a "being" constantly in formation, and with the creativity that carved out our earth, our galaxy, our universe, so exists the creativity that joins polymers together to form your computer keyboard.

Lynch refers to the TM process as an awakening, a complete awareness that has guided him in creating a successful career and having experienced, or at least touched the surface, of the incredible power that can come from "diving within". As Lynch, Hagelin and others continue to share their experiences from coast to coast, they also are seeking help to raise $7 billion to provide educational programs to middle school, high school and higher education institutions. The plans are already in the works to construct a peace university in or near Washington, D.C. Supporters feel there will be a dramatic shift in the future of our country and the rest of the world once a little peace is integrated into our capitol.

To learn more about transcendental meditation and how it is helping children across the country, log on to or call 323/874-2467.

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