Get Inspired: Meditation for Minors with David Lynch

By Cara McDonald

Here’s a shocker: One of the film industry’s most brilliant minds once felt anything but brilliant. While working on his breakout film Eraserhead in the mid-’70s, David Lynch had “everything I could ever want to make the film—the best equipment, the best place to live … but I wasn’t happy; I felt a kind of hollowness.” He began practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), which let him connect to a creativity within that has inspired him throughout his career. In 2005, he created the David Lynch Foundation, which offers scholarships to schools to fund instruction in TM with the hopes of reducing stress and increasing well-being and creativity in children. Natural Solutions talked to Lynch about how meditation changed his world—and why he wants to pass it on.

On meditation and creativity:
I like to say that ideas are like fish. The small fish swim on the surface but the big fish swim at the depths of the ocean. TM expands your conscious mind so you can catch the really big ideas.

On how meditation affects his films:
It allows me to effortlessly “dive within” and experience that ocean of creativity, intelligence, happiness, love, and dynamic peace. Mulholland Drive was first shot as a television pilot; the executive hated it and turned it down. I had the chance to make it a feature film, but I didn’t have all of the ideas. I went into meditation and after about 10 minutes, ssssst! The ideas came like a string of pearls.

On what inspired him to bring TM to schools:
I attended a high school play put on by meditating students at Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, and I was totally amazed at how bright and shiny, how natural and powerful, how much “themselves” these students were. Then I heard about the terrors of modern education, how afraid children are to even go to school because of the violence, drugs, and stress. So I wanted to do what I could to offer meditation to any student anywhere in the world.

On how TM helps kids succeed in school:
It’s done for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day as part of the school’s “quiet time” program. Everyone in the school benefits. I hear all the time about a child getting Ds and Fs, close to being expelled, and then he or she learns to meditate and, within a few weeks or months, she is getting As and Bs. The schools are transformed from being literally hellholes of violence and fear to centers of learning and creativity. That’s the report we get from principals and parents.

On why meditation is vital for a child:
It’s important for everyone to meditate, not just children. But think about how great it is to start your life developing your full creative potential, and growing in enlightenment, brightness, happiness, inner strength, intelligence, creativity, and dynamic peace.
—Cara McDonald



How to introduce meditation to your kids:
• Encourage downtime and regular exercise to trigger the relaxation response. • Educate yourself before considering meditation for your child. Check out tm.org for free workshops that explain the TM concept. • Visit davidlynchfoundation.org for school grant and scholarship information.