Diving Into Transcendental Meditation With David Lynch

in Culture

Contrary to what his nightmarish films would have you believe, David Lynch – director of such classics as Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks – is actually a pretty chill guy, something Lynch himself credits to, of all things, transcendental meditation. 

“When I first heard about meditation, I had zero interest in it,” he says in his autobiography/self-help guide Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, expressing a sentiment that many chronically agitated, skeptical people can relate to. “It sounded like a waste of time.” 

This changed when he encountered a phrase frequently associated with meditation: “true happiness lies within.” Initially frustrated by its trademark vagueness – “it doesn’t tell you where the ‘within’ is, or how to get there” – part of him felt there was some truth to it. 

What really got him interested, though, was seeing the effect transcendental meditation had on his sister. After meditating for six months, Lynch noticed “there was something in her voice. A change. A quality of happiness. And I thought, That’s what I want.”

So Lynch, then an aspiring but highly insecure filmmaker working on his first feature, went to a center for transcendental meditation in Los Angeles to see things for himself. There, a lady who looked like actress Doris Day told him to close his eyes and recite a mantra. 

The effects were near instantaneous. “It was as if I were in an elevator and the cable had been cut,” Lynch writes. “Boom! I fell into bliss – pure bliss. And I was just in there.” Twenty full minutes passed, though, in hindsight, they felt more like two.

Transcendental meditation, commonly abbreviated as TM, is a form of meditation developed by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the mid-1950s. TM became popular in America during the …

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Author: Tim Brinkhof / High Times

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