Filmmaker David Lynch touts meditation for PTSD

Veteran filmmaker David Lynch says US authorities should use more transcendental meditation to help soldiers returning from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hosting a Beverly Hills screening of ", Creativity, Peace," his new 70-minute documentary about the technique, Lynch also touted its positive impact on troubled schoolchildren, jail inmates and female abuse victims.

"Some people say it's a Mickey Mouse form of meditation, or it's for beginners. That is total baloney. It's an ancient form of meditation, so profoundly beautiful for the human being," Lynch said.

"It's a stress-buster, and many many many other glorious things. And these days we really need this stress-buster," he told an audience after the invite-only screening at a Beverly Hills gallery cum movie theater.

The Oscar-nominated director, famous for films like 1980's "The Elephant Man," "Blue Velvet" (1986) and 2001's "Mulholland Drive," is a well-known proponent of , developed in the 1960s by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

His movie follows Lynch on a tour around Europe appearing at talks with film students, explaining the benefits of TM mental techniques to largely adoring audiences.

Clips of the 67-year-old expounding about TM are interspersed with philosophical sayings and aphorisms from religious texts, including the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, against a sitar-lacked soundtrack.

British comedian and actor Russell Brand, himself a TM devotee who has practiced the technique for more than three years, hosted a question-and-answer session after the screening.

Lynch was indulgent when Brand started the session off by jokingly comparing the attractions of meditation and masturbation.

"For Russell, we know what his desires are. And each of us has different desires," he said, adding that TM's main advantage was "that you can grow and find this fulfillment and the key is... that treasury within."

Bob Roth, head of the David Lynch Foundation, said the Department of Defense was exploring the possible benefits for waves of US military veterans returning from Iraq and now Afghanistan.

"Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day in America. So they're looking desperately. A handful of pills isn't doing it, a cocktail of drugs that make these young men and women crazier," he said.

Lynch added: "I had no idea how powerful and profound this technique could be until I saw firsthand how it was being practiced by young children in inner-city schools, veterans who suffer the living hell of PTSD, and women and girls who are victims of terrible violence."

TM helps to reduce flashbacks and bad memories, ease insomnia and reduce drug and alcohol abuse, according to a Journal of Counseling & Development study cited by the filmmaker.

The foundation is working to teach TM to 10,000 veterans, active duty personnel, cadets in training and their family, in a bid to get more support from US authorities.

Struggling schools could also benefit. "It's amazing... what happens when you get TM in schools that have been some of the worst... turns around in one year to a school you would love you kids to go to," said Lynch.

"It is so beautiful."

Other entertainment industry figures on the Lynch Foundation advisory board include Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Emmy-award winning US television doctor Mehmet Oz.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Celebs, war vets promote meditation

Dec 13, 2010

Hollywood A-listers including Clint Eastwood joined grizzled US military veterans Monday to promote what they called the near-miraculous powers of meditation in overcoming war stress.

War veterans say meditation could solve PTSD

Feb 05, 2013

US war veterans on Monday suggested meditation to help heal the post-war mental disturbances that afflict a growing number of American soldiers, including possibly the ex-Marine who gunned down the country's most famous sniper ...

Recommended for you

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Nov 21, 2014

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news ...

Mental disorders due to permanent stress

Nov 21, 2014

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. The effects of permanent stress on the immune system are studied by the ...

Could there be a bright side to depression?

Nov 21, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers studying the roots of depression has developed a test that leads them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.