Posted by: deirdre on 12 May 2012
Thursday 26th April saw the eagerly-awaited UK launch of the David Lynch Foundation, established in the USA by the film director 5 years ago to fund courses in Transcendental Meditation for young people, veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the homeless, and other disadvantaged groups. Since then, the Foundation has enabled over 200,000 people to learn the technique in the USA, South America, and elsewhere.
The UK launch was marked by the release of Lynch’s documentary Meditation, Creativity, Peace, screened at Mayfair’s Curzon cinema to an invited audience of charitable trust representatives, journalists, doctors, film afficionados and others, and hosted by UK trustees of the David Lynch Foundation, Dr Peter Warburton, Dr Deirdre Parsons, Nigel Barlow, and Norma Sullivan.
The documentary is an exhilarating, inspiring round-up of questions and answers from David Lynch’s European & Middle East tours of 2007-2009, when he visited 16 countries to meet film students, receive national awards, launch university projects, and describe the extraordinary benefits for creativity and peace to be gained by transcending thought with Transcendental Meditation, introduced to the world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Thousands of film students packed lecture theatres to listen to the maker of Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire, who has been acclaimed one of the most admired and influential film-makers of the twentieth century.
Right from the beginning of the documentary, Lynch emphasises the importance of directly experiencing transcending. Standing in front of a canvas, and dressed in a simple painter’s trousers and top, he holds up a donut - with a bite taken out - to the camera.
“This is a donut,” he announces. “It is very sweet, and very good. But if you’ve never tasted a donut, you wouldn’t really know how sweet and how good a donut is, if you haven’t had that experience.
“Transcendental Meditation is like that. Transcendental Meditation gives an experience much sweeter than the sweetness of this donut. It gives the experience of the sweetest nectar of life, pure bliss consciousness. As Maharishi says, ‘those who don’t know, they don’t know. And those who know, they enjoy.’ I hope the following documentary gives you some good news about the sweetness of life.”
With passion, enthusiasm, and humour, Lynch delighted audiences with advice for movie-makers and answers to specific questions about his films - and repeatedly described how important directly and regularly experiencing the ultimate sweetness of life has been in his career.
Expand your conscious awareness and big ideas will come to you, he says, telling audiences how effortless, how easy, it is to access the field of “dynamic peace, bliss, coherence and creativity,” at the source of the thinking process through Transcendental Meditation. “It’s this field that does everything,” he says, “but Transcendental Meditation, from the first meditation, will get you to this field.”
Actually transcending thought, he adds, is vital for whole-brain integration and coherence, a phenomenon now measureable with EEG research - “the whole brain lights up”.
“No other experience of life, except transcending, does this.”
This inner field of conciousness, he explains to a French camera crew via a series of felt-tip pen diagrams - a favourite Lynch modality - is what modern quantum physics has identified as the Unified Field, the source of all particles and force fields. And, he adds, just a small fraction of the population regularly experiencing this field of bliss would be sufficient to create peace throughout the world.
Yet long before the advent of quantum physics, the field has been known about, and described.
Heading clips of Lynch’s talks in Sofia, Edinburgh, Tel Aviv, Cologne, Kiev, Palermo, Paris and other cities are quotes from traditions of East and West - for example, “That infinite source of the whole universe, the self of all that is, the ocean of pure consciousness - that is truth. That is the unbounded Self. That thou art” from the Chhandogya Unpanishad, followed by “The region of truth is not to be investigated as a thing external to us - it is within us” from the Roman philosopher Plotinus.
Summarising the message is Lynch’s address to the Change Begins Within concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, featured at the end of the documentary.
Commenting on an image of ocean waves being blown by the wind, the director explains that it represents “the ocean within every human being. And this ocean is an ocean of consciousness. And it is a big ocean - it is unbounded and infinite. And this ocean of consciousness within has qualities. So it is an ocean of infinite intelligence, creativity, happiness - known as bliss - infinite universal love, energy, dynamic peace.
“When a human being - any human being - dives within and experiences this ocean, swims in this ocean, life gets better, and better, and better.
“This is the ‘within’ that they’ve always been talking about throughout time. Ladies and gentlemen, change truly begins within.”
A question and answer session followed the screening, with David Lynch connecting live by videolink from Los Angeles. Several people in the audience took the opportunity to endorse his descriptions of the benefits of Transcendental Meditation - and in one case, to thank him personally for the opportunity to learn the technique - and there were discussions about introducing Transcendental Meditation to schools.
On a personal note, in answer to a query about how he himself has managed to find time to meditate with such a busy schedule, Lynch told the audience that the key is,Transcendental Meditation is effortless, and enjoyable. “I loved it from the beginning so much that now I’ve been meditating almost 39 years, and I’ve never missed a meditation, morning and evening!”
Representatives of veterans and childrens charities who attended the event are now in discussions with the David Lynch Foundation UK about ways to make Transcendental Meditation available to their projects.
The film is also available to stream free of charge within UK and Ireland from Curzon on Demand: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/film_on_demand/932/meditation-creativity-peace/