DES MOINES, Iowa — Film director David Lynch, a longtime practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, has formed a foundation that will encourage schools to use the technique in the classroom. “It’s knowledge in terms of the self and it works wonders in the kids,” he said.
– Is TM a religion?
The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace will raise money for TM peace groups and provide scholarships for students taking part in meditation programs.
He met some of those students during a visit to Maharishi Vedic City in rural southeast Iowa, considered the spiritual center of the TM movement in the United States.
“I’m convinced there are hundreds or thousands of kids who will see the truth of this and want to take part in one way or another,” he said.
The meditation technique involves sitting comfortably with the eyes closed for 20 minutes, twice a day, according to the Web site of the Transcendental Meditation Program. It helps students overcome stress and perform better in the classroom by using their entire brain, rather than just a portion of it, Lynch said.
Barry Markovsky, a sociologist at the University of South Carolina, has spent years studying the Maharishi movement and Transcendental Meditation. Although he said meditating can be good for students, he’s skeptical of the group’s insistence that only their method is beneficial.
Lynch, who directed such films as “Mulholland Drive,” “Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet,” and “Wild At Heart,” is currently working on a film in Los Angeles called “INLAND EMPIRE.”