Education Lab, Crime Lab Director David Lynch Wants Schools to Teach Transcendental Meditation to Reduce Stress

Smithsonian Magazine / December 1, 2016
By Jennie Rothenberg Gritz

Imagine the mind of David Lynch and you’ll likely picture a dark, surreal, wildly turbulent place. The 70-year-old filmmaker is world-renowned for movies like Mulholland Drive, a baffling erotic thriller, and Blue Velvet, which features a gas mask-wearing sadist and a severed ear. Even Lynch’s network television show “Twin Peaks,” which was a cult hit in the 1990s (and will relaunch in 2017), had no shortage of violence, centering on a teenage prostitute who was murdered by a spirit called Killer Bob.

In other words, Lynch might be the last person you’d expect to see promoting inner peace. But over the last decade, he’s spent much of his personal time and money helping low-income families, veterans, homeless people and other high-stress groups learn Transcendental Meditation. This past year, the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab began a major multiyear study of Quiet Time, the David Lynch Foundation’s school meditation program. With 6,800 subjects in Chicago and New York, it’s one of the largest randomized controlled studies ever conducted on meditation for children.

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1 December 2016