David Lynch offers free transcendental meditation classes to medical workers

11th Annual Governors Awards

I’ve always respected David Lynch as an artist, but honestly, his films and TV shows are not my cup of tea. It’s fine, not everything has to be done to my taste, and I get that there are many people who enjoy the Lynchian weirdness, obscurity and other-worldly vibe in his artistic vision. So what I’ll say here is that I believe David Lynch’s heart is in the right place, but perhaps he could direct his peaceful energy in some other way? Apparently, Lynch has announced that all medical peeps will be eligible for free transcendental meditation classes through his foundation in the wake of the pandemic. Again, his heart is the right place. But these poor doctors and nurses need masks and equipment, not transcendental meditation! Or maybe they need all of it, who knows. Some highlights from this Page Six story:

He believes things will be different & nicer after the pandemic: “I have a feeling … that Mother Nature is running the show on this, and said, ‘Let’s just hold on and stop this crazy world for a while so that people can reflect and think about what we are doing as human beings on this planet.’ I think the world is going to be different when this virus goes, it is going to take with it a lot of the old and the new is going to be better … a kinder place. I think it is already bringing the world together.”

His foundation’s offer: The David Lynch Foundation launched Heal The Healers Now to provide free transcendental meditation training to medics to cope with the stress surrounding the pandemic and protect against burnout. “They say that this is like a war, the enemy is the virus. The doctors and nurses are on the front line … they are under a lot of stress and some of them, when the war is over, they will be like soldiers coming back from war.” Urging medics to go to the David Lynch Foundation website to find a TM teacher, he continued, “the David Lynch Foundation will work in any way it can to get it to them for free and they can walk away from suffering and stress and infuse the happiness and creativity, energy and peace, that lies within every human being.”

He enjoys the lockdown: Lynch has been home in Los Angeles during the lockdown, building lamps in his woodshop. And unlike many others, he is enjoying the isolation. “I love it, I love it so much, I love thinking about things and working on small projects … I am running a little low on food right now, but that’s cool, I’ve got coffee, I’ve got materials in the woodshop and I’ve got my transcendental meditation. I have a couple of houses that are close to each other, and I have my family in one and I’m in the other. So we see each other from a distance, and we blow each other kisses. This is a chance to reflect, a great time to meditate, dive within and unfold that treasury. It will lead to great ideas, great solutions to problems, great relationships … It is a brand new world.”

[From Page Six]

Just let me say, I think meditation is amazing and there are tons of great ways to incorporate meditation or meditation techniques (breathing exercises, mantras, simply working on the ability to clear one’s mind) in everyday life. Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure and ease physical pain and calm anxiety and nervousness and all of that. Transcendental Meditation is one specific version of the larger meditation movement, and yes, you can take classes from “certified” teachers. I’m sure there will be some medical professionals who seek out Lynch’s offer and might even be helped by it. But also… is this the exact moment to shill for your highly specific meditation organization? Is it slightly crass? I don’t know. I keep going back and forth and arguing with myself about this. I just wonder how many medical people will even take him up on this offer, well-meaning as it is. But hey, I’m glad that some people are taking concrete steps towards looking after the mental health of carers. *coughKeenCambridgescough*

11th Annual Governors Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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12 Responses to “David Lynch offers free transcendental meditation classes to medical workers”

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  1. GR says:

    Kaiser, agree with your take completely: a nice thought, but what medical personnel really need is things (ppe) that will help them not die.

  2. Chimney says:

    He’s a weird guy and he’s helping out in a weird way. Stress does wreck your immune system so I guess he meant well.

  3. Isadora says:

    I was watching a news item where frontline workers were sharing heartbreaking stories of covid-patients. One just started crying. You could see on their faces that they were tired, beaten down and very much in need to talk to someone what they’ve experienced.
    So I disagree. Yes they’re desperately in need of protective items but also a mental boost to be able to get through long shifts.

  4. Gigi La Moore says:

    What good is all the PPE in the world if someone is mentally broken down. He is doing something. That is good enough in my book.

  5. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    But how are you supposed to do Yogic Flying if you have to stay at home? Are they good enough to keep 2m apart in the air? (TM claims they can fly with the power of the mind.)

  6. JC says:

    I LOVE me some David Lynch. <3 He's a genius … a mastermind. Love him.

  7. Meghan says:

    I think it is important for context to understand that many people in the meditation movement, the new age community, are deeply committed to the spiritual evolution of mankind. A shift in consciousness that allows us to collectively overcome the problems facing the earth.

  8. Meghan says:

    Whether you share David’s beliefs or not, he is trying to help the world in the way most meaningful to him. And it goes way deeper than you may think.

  9. NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

    In an odd coincidence, I went through TM training in early March just as America was starting to pay attention to the coronavirus. I’m not a medical professional or front line worker, but my job has been heavily impacted by the transition to remote operations and the volatile stock markets. I’m working 12-16 hour days M-F and 7-8 hour days on weekends. My stress is through the roof. I am so grateful to have TM as a coping mechanism. I don’t always get both sessions in every day but I can feel the difference when I do. The key benefits for me have been feeling less overwhelmed, having more clarity of thought and being able to function more effectively with less sleep. The reason TM can be so powerful in this specific situation is that people can learn it in a single session and get benefit immediately, which is super important for these front liners. I think David Lynch is doing something wonderful and I hope the people who need it most take advantage of the offer and get some relief.

  10. LouLou says:

    TM used to have a reputation as a cult. I don’t know if it does now. Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, including meditation, would probably be extremely helpful to healthcare workers. If Lynch had the ability to donate PPE, well, that probably would be the ideal thing to focus on first. I started meditating daily years ago while experiencing a high degree of stress, and it has transformed my ability to cope and be centered. Apparently at least one meditation app (Headspace) has recently offered free access to healthcare workers, which could totally fill that need. I use a free version of a meditation app (Insight Timer). Most of us could benefit from meditation right now. Stay safe, everyone.