David Lynch's Peace Plan

The filmmaker discusses his love for Transcendental Meditation--and why he's seeking $7 billion and 8,000 meditation students.

BY: Interview by Michael Kress


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Do you have other spiritual practices in addition to TM or religious affiliation that you also follow?

Well, I was raised Presbyterian but I’m not really going to church. I think the experience in meditation is pretty much where it’s at for me.

Do you have a favorite prayer or mantra?

The mantra that you’re given in Transcendental Meditation you keep to yourself. The reason being, true happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within. We try to find happiness out there, out there, out there, and we do find happiness sometimes, but we live in a world of change, and that happiness recedes or something happens and it changes. And then we look somewhere else for happiness. Now, that mantra is designed to take you within, so you don’t want to say it out there. You want to say it and have it take you within.

When I heard my mantra, when it was given to me, my first meditation was--I cannot describe how--I say in my talks, you’re in a elevator and they snipped

"When I heard
my mantra..."
the cables and just, “Boom!” you go, so deep in bliss and it’s so profoundly beautiful and I just said, “Man, everybody should have this experience. Everybody. It’s unbelievable!”

If somebody wants to start TM, what’s the first step they should take?

The first step is to go to a TM center, find a legitimate teacher of TM. There’s apparently a lot of rogue teachers out there who will teach you for less money or for this or this or this, or they say it’s Transcendental Meditation and it’s not. Get a legitimate teacher, make sure of that, and then it’s a seven-part process, starting with an introductory lecture and then learning it, and then having your first meditation, and then follow-up lectures. The point being to know what it is and have your questions answered, know that you’re meditating correctly, and then off you go.

The big thing that stops people is $2,500. And that is an obstacle for people. They say, “Wait a minute. I can’t afford that.” Some of that money goes to the teacher and some of it goes toward world peace and it’s a big chunk, but I have heard stories of people who are very poor who want it bad enough—they go get that money. And for a lot of times those people who say they can’t afford it, you go in their house and they’ve got lots and lots of toys that cost more than that. It’s with you for the rest of your life. It takes you to your full potential, and it’s a gift.

You're working to bring consciousness-based education to schools. What does that mean?

The students are spending an hour a day or more diving within and experiencing that ocean of pure consciousness growing in them. And that’s the big difference. The knower has been left out of the equation [in mainstream education]. And you take whatever consciousness the student has, and that consciousness is the container of knowledge. That’s the amount of understanding they have—that’s the amount of awareness they have, that’s the amount of inner happiness they have. That’s it. Nothing else is going to expand it—all you’re going to do is put more and more facts and figures and stuff in there and send them off to live. Now, you’re expanding that container of knowledge, you’re expanding understanding, expanding happiness, expanding wakefulness, expanding appreciation, and you’re still giving them all the facts, all the figures. But it’s together with that expanding of the container.

Why is TM education such a big focus of what you’re doing now?

The idea came to see if we could get 10,000 students meditating, to create a wave of peace. We’re like light bulbs, and the more we glow with this consciousness or unity, the more we project that. We affect our environment.

"The idea came
to start..."
And we can affect it in a negative way, a neutral way almost, or a super positive way. And the more of this light we project, the more positive it is. And it transforms life. I met students who practice Transcendental Meditation. Who took part in consciousness-based education, where the knower, the student, knows himself or herself. They dive within, they experience that, they grow in that, and watch what happens. They are so much stronger students, they’re happier students, they’re smarter students. You don’t worry about these people. It’s unbelievable what happens.

"They say about three or four B-1 bombers would get peace on earth."
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