David Lynch Meditates on Peace

Man, David Lynch is strange.

It is, perhaps, an unsurprising conclusion that the auteur behind “Blue Velvet,” “Mulholland Drive,” the TV show “Twin Peaks,” and “Eraserhead” is strange. In addition to continuing to direct—“Inland Empire,” his next film, is out next year and he continually updates his website davidlynch.com with short films—Lynch has created the David Lynch Foundation to support transcendental mediation.

In order to get money and support for his foundation, Lynch is touring the country and lecturing about the benefits of the practice. Ultimately, the David Lynch Foundation hopes to raise $7 billion to endow seven universities of world peace across seven countries. According to Bob Roth, vice president of the David Lynch Foundation, “There are war colleges that hope to bring peace through war. We hope to train a new generation that will bring peace through the peace of meditation.”

This Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Lynch is coming to Boston’s Majestic Theater to talk about his foundation and the benefits of mediation, a speech that will include a live EKG of someone meditating. To promote his appearance, Lynch talked to The Crimson about his experiences with meditation, why it helps with his movies, and who his heroes are.

The Harvard Crimson: What is the history of the David Lynch Foundation?

David Lynch: It was an idea borne of a couple different people and they talked to me about it. It was actually borne on July 21st this summer.

THC: How did you first get into transcendental meditation?

DL: I started meditating in 1973 and I have practiced transcendental mediation everyday since then. I wasn’t interested in mediation for a long time. My sister called and said she had started transcendental meditation and she had a different quality to her voice.

THC: Does meditation help with your movies?

DL: Yes, in many different ways. I had lots of tension, fear, anxiety and anger before I started and these negative things start lifting and this whole positive sense of bliss starts growing. On a set or even working with really hard-core producers, it becomes easier to work with people. Everyone starts looking like a friend instead of an enemy because of the ocean you dive into with meditation, the inner knowingness you achieve. The negativity going away helps the enjoyment and inspiration start to flow.

THC: Why should college students be interested in your foundation?

DL: So they can develop their full potential. If we are all like light bulbs, you can glow a little bit more and enjoy the full consciousness and glow around you. This is the key to a peaceful world. If the experience could be given, students would understand right away how beautiful it is. I was just in a school this morning with a man named Doc Rutherford, who has brought transcendental meditation to three schools in the Washington, D.C. area. Before he came, there were a lot of shootings and stabbings. Initially, there was some resistance among the students, but now, it’s like night and day. Happiness grows in the students and they start doing better and better.

THC: Who are your heroes, both personally and professionally?

DL: Federico Fellini [director of “8 ½”] is a hero. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi [Indian physicist who helped introduce transcendent meditation to the world] is a hero.

THC: According to your statement on the David Lynch Foundation webpage, “Someday, hopefully very soon, ‘diving within’ as a preparation for learning and as a tool for developing the creative potential of the mind will be a standard part of every school’s curriculum.” How is this goal coming?

DL: It comes from contacting the unified field, the field of pure consciousness. Everything else is almost worthless. The experience of diving within takes you to the purest level and your inner spirit. Like the Maharishi says, it’s like watering the root and enjoying the fruit. It seems to me like education should go to the full extent of the human being.

—Staff writer Scoop A. Wasserstein can be reached at wassert@fas.harvard.edu.