Ask yourself, does David Lynch need money or fame? Would Paul McCartney and Ringo Star - beloved creators and musicians who changed the world, do they really have a need to endorse something sinister and oppressive? That would help them how? That's what they're about? No. Peace, love, and making the world a better place through music and activism was always the modus operandi.
We are basically talking about a very simple natural practice - to sit, twice a day for twenty minutes, comfortably in a chair to take a deep-dive into the self. Turn off the computers, the politics, the noise and the stress, and employ stillness, silence, and rest. That's really all there is to it. We've been so conditioned by the immediacy of social media, politics, the exponential and rapid evolution of communication, science, and interconnection, that we find it almost impossible to stop for a moment and give ourselves some attention and awareness. And in going within to the deepest place within ourselves, we find we slip into the one ocean in which we all reside, the cosmic ocean. And we find the unified field where there is no separation from this or that. We connect with the whole of everything - the cosmic consciousness - and in that singularity, we have a moment in which we are ALL. Nothing to do, nothing to say, nothing to be. That's what the "flying" is, nothing more. Just a higher state of being. Flying within. Sitting in silence.
Some say, if it's so great, why charge money? Give it to everyone for free. Okay, give everyone coffee for free. Give everyone food for free. Give everyone art and music for free. In this model, one's time has no value. One's experience is worthless. You could say, if education is beneficial to humanity, it should be entirely free. I actually agree with this sentiment. But then unless everything is free, I suppose the teachers don't get to live in a home and eat food, and travel to do their work. Because although the technique of TM is simple, and can be taught in just a few hours, this is not the end, it is the beginning. Teachers of TM study hundreds of hours how to help people navigate the powerful beneficial experiences one encounters through TM. The practitioner always has questions and concerns as they go for the teacher to answer: What does this mean? Am I doing it right? How do I process what I am experiencing in the most beneficial way? Am I thinking the mantra correctly? Can I meditate in an airplane? On a bus? What does it mean when I see images as I meditate, and so on. These questions and experiences will be unique to each student, and that's why the student needs a teacher. That's why you can't get TM for free watching some Internet video - TM teachers are trained to teach the technique, provide feedback, answer questions, and provide understanding and context as the student unfolds new and deeper potentialities of the mind - over time, years, a lifetime. When you learn TM from a trained qualified teacher, you will have teachers and many other resources around the world available to you for free for the rest of your life. The teacher's time has value, and time our most precious commodity. Picking up the technique in a book or video is not the lifetime experience of T.M. and cannot be so.
I'll give you an analogy: A teacher can teach you how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. But you won't build a home without study, mentors, masters of the craft to support and guide you through the lifelong process. Alone, you smack your thumb a few times and eventually not only give up the hammer, but make a passion of telling others how the hammer is bullshit. And you may enjoy a home someone else has built for you to live in, but you will never build a home for yourself, or others. You'll stress and fret and work your ass off to pay the rent, and never own your home. It's that simple.
For me, TM has been a revelation. My consciousness has expanded, things have become easier, stress is ever more manageable, and a calm and knowingness pervades each moment. The science supports TM without question as a beneficial practice. And TM differs from all other forms of meditation. All forms are beneficial but only TM offers directed Transcendence - you don't concentrate on a candle flame, you don't work to be present in the moment, it's not a breathing exercise, you simply think the mantra as any other thought, and then the mantra disappears, the natural state of being occurs, you travel deep within to the unified field. You enliven it, it enlivens you. Then, when you return to the surface of diversity, you are expanded, more aware, more present, more giving, more loving, more creative, and filled with the energy which comes from the deepest rest.
No bullshit, friends. This is what happens to me. I don't work for the TM organization, nor do I benefit from sharing my experience other than to say - if you learn this technique and you are diligent and determined in your practice, you will find the twenty minutes twice a day (forty minutes in all) does not seem like a waste of time. Rather, it will be as if in the remaining 23-hours 20-minutes, you accomplish more than ever because you are exponentially effective, energetic, and passionate. I want you to have the opportunity I had, to let the stress and anxiety go, and allow creativity, expanded consciousness, and keen awareness to flower.
Paying for TM helps teachers provide long-term support for students. It helps share TM with those who cannot afford it - at risk youth, veterans with post-traumatic stress, prisoners, inner city folks, and the homeless. So truly it is free for those who need it, and for those who can pay, they will have TM centers and community available to them across the world, and support for their entire life. My TM was subsidized in my college program as a grant. In other words, David Lynch paid for my training. Each person will discover for themselves if they can pay a little, a lot, or if there is a resource for learning the technique at no expense. But again, remember, you pay for a good cup of coffee because many people and much effort, from bean to cup, goes into the experience. And as David will tell you, a good cup of coffee is damn fine, and gives a lifetime of reward beyond the purchase.
When I graduated from the David Lynch MFA Screenwriter's Program, I had three screenplays under my belt. One of my screenplays was optioned for a film to be made in 2021 by a producer who recently co-wrote and co-produced a film with Al Pacino! In our program, Transcendental Meditation is at the center of what we call Consciousness-Based Learning. And as David Lynch says, "If you have a golf-ball sized consciousness, when you read a book, you will only ever have a golf-ball sized understanding of the book." The idea is to expand consciousness which, in turn, expands our knowledge of the self and the cosmos in which we inhabit. The focus on consciousness in our study through Transcendental Meditation made all the difference for me. I learned more in the two years there than I did in the entire proceeding six years of undergraduate study in conventional institutions. To this day, I never miss my two sessions of twenty-minutes of bliss.
I encourage you to read this article, "In Defense of TM" and if you have any questions or anything you'd like to discuss about TM, Screenwriting, or the David Lynch Foundation, just drop me a line at email@example.com and I'll be happy to share my experiences. Based upon my experience, I'm of free mind and free will, I felt no religious persuasion nor salesmanship nor pressure, frankly nothing one would associate with a "cult"
The peer-reviewed science is there, Maharishi has provided a way for anyone to learn this technique and be supported by trained teachers on the journey-to-self for a lifetime. There will always be those who resist the calling of peace, love, education, and expanded consciousness and awareness because they've hit themselves again and again with their own hammer, and look to blame the hammer. If we can't help them to make a house for themselves, maybe we can simply give them one.
MYTHS AND BULLSHIT ABOUT MAHARISHI ADDRESSED HERE:
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There are certainly those out there making quite a bit of money stoking fires of negativity. TM is not a cure-all, nor a medical treatment to deal with psychological problems, though it may help. It's a simple practice, a gift of silence, contemplation, and transcendence which allows for expanded consciousness, awareness, creativity and peace. For most everyone who practices TM, this is precisely the outcome. For a few who perhaps had distorted expectations or who were not diligent in their meditation, or who came into the practice with negative agendas, their light burns dark and sad and aggressive and angry, and this darkness is instantly revealed by obsessive behavior and actions to incite fear and destroy. People love to slow down for the car accidents and in the world of social and consumer media, the way to get immediate attention is to become the hater in popular culture. That's the click-bait book writers, bloggers, the attention seekers, the persons who fuel their passions through stoking fear and sowing doubt.
I can only share my personal experience with TM, and it has been a life-changer; profoundly beneficial. I was in the center of Meditation at Maharishi International University in the beautiful small city of Fairfield, Iowa, for two years and nobody tied my hands, held me prisoner, brainwashed the skepticism out of me, tried to turn me Hindu, no. All that happened to me was I met people from many different countries, cultures, and of many faiths, learned about consciousness, how the brain works, Transcendental Meditation, and it all helped every aspect of my life. I learned screenwriting from great instructors who are working experts in their field, and earned an MFA, and sold a script soon to be made into a feature film. If I wanted to stop meditating tomorrow, I'd simply stop. TM has been nothing but a benefit to me, so I continue. You are always free to make up your own mind as you wish. But don't just read the reviews, go see the movie. Then you can engage it with some authority.
I find great value in the words of the Upanishads: "Add light to remove the darkness." I'm always looking to find commonality, understanding, promote compassion, encourage dialogue, and experience pure inner silence and consciousness. I absorb what is useful, embrace diversity as a strength, and look out for others; for what we do to others we do to ourselves. That's every reason to be good and to do good things.
In my experience, TM has been very very good.