Last week, celebrities like Liv Tyler and Jerry Seinfeld came out to support the David Lynch Foundation’s “Change Begins Within” benefit gala at New York City’s Time Warner Center. “An Historic Night of Jazz” was the theme of this year’s fourth annual event, which boasted performances by titans of the genre, including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, and Terry Lyne Carrington. Of course, Lynch himself was in attendance along with his co-host, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, who presented philanthropist Ray Dalio with the “Unbounded Generosity Award” and Dr. Mehmet Oz with the “Perfect Health Award.” Everyone celebrated the affair with cocktails, a concert, a conversation, and dinner. However, the night had a greater message than the star-studded red carpet will lead you to believe (although Liv Tyler did don an elegant vested floor-length dress and Esperanza Spalding spiced the night up a classic pantsuit paired with colorful heels).
The proceeds went towards creating Transcendental Meditation programs for at-risk youth, veterans, and their families, and women and girls who have been victims of violence and abuse. Lynch spoke passionately about the cause and how TM has changed his life over the past thirty years. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the spiritual practice, it is a specific mode of meditation that focuses on relieving stress by centering the body in stillness and silence for a sustained duration of time. At the first ever benefit gala, Lynch described the technique with the phrase “water the root and enjoy the fruit,” meaning that overall health and happiness begins at the core of your body. Since then, many boldfaced names have been longtime supporters of the David Lynch Foundation, like Dr. Oz. The doctor and television personality accepted his award accompanied by his wife, Lisa, and explained how he practices TM at home with his family, and how he recently brought it to his show. His wife went on to speak about the poor way in which many cope with stress; for example, people often turn to drugs and alcohol, but these are unhealthy habits that when replaced with TM have extraordinary results both mentally and physically.
Through fundraising, the David Lynch Foundation has managed to teach TM to tens of thousands from underserved schools, the military, abusive histories, homeless shelters and prisons. In a video on their website, some of the recipients of these teachings tell their heartbreaking stories of difficulty and personal triumph. After consistently spending twenty minutes twice a day meditating, a young woman was able to finally raise her grades and a Native American man fearing diabetes was able to get his sugar to normal levels and has kept it there since. Most importantly, it is evident that everyone has the capacity to adopt TM into his or her life, regardless of geography, religion or socio-economic status. As David Lynch speaks to a group of cheering school children, he says emphatically, “Stay regular in your meditation. Don’t let anybody take it away and you will unfold your full potential.” Now, that’s a message that is easy to support.
Visit the David Lynch Foundation website here.