And now children, it's time for your yogic flying lesson

The Guardian, UK/January 27, 2009

Never mind the election of Barack Obama: the world will change "overnight" if film director David Lynch can teach transcendental meditation to one million children.

Known for his strange and atmospheric movies, the Hollywood director has announced a "global benefit concert" in New York, featuring Paul McCartney, Moby, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder and Donovan, to raise funds to teach meditative techniques to schoolchildren.

If a further 1% can be persuaded to take up yogic flying in groups, world peace would follow, according to the Transcendental Meditation Movement, of which Lynch is the public face.

"Every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence-bliss - the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us," Lynch said in a message on his website.

The director of Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and Twin Peaks has been "diving within" himself on a daily basis for 34 years, ever since he was taught TM by a woman who he once recalled looked like Doris Day.

Beloved of hippie celebrities everywhere since the 1960s, TM's expensive teaching courses risked it being priced into oblivion until Lynch was credited with persuading Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - to whom he became close in 2003 after paying $1m to participate in the guru's four-week "Millionaire's Enlightenment Course" - to radically reduce the TM learning fee so that more younger people could learn the practice.

For the last two years, the director has toured the world, raising millions for his charity, the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-based Education.

At Mahesh's funeral last year in India, Lynch was pictured bobbing in a boat on the Ganges river, in his trademark gothic garb, surrounded by loinclothed sadhus.

He hopes the concert on 4 April at Radio City Music Hall will raise enough money to teach meditation techniques to 200,000 children in every continent this year.

For Lynch fans, the wait for his next creative work could end in disappointment: his next project is a "road movie" about touring TM around the globe.

Highlights of the film will include Lynch jamming with Moby and joking with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president - world peace of sorts.

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