July 20, 2005

U.S Film Maker Promotes Meditation for World Peace

LOS ANGELES -- Film director David Lynch wants to raise $7 billion to bring about world peace through a massive transcendental meditation program.

Lynch, 59, known for the quirky, avant-garde works like "Mulholland Drive" and the "Twin Peaks" TV series, is launching a foundation dedicated to bringing the benefits of the stress-reducing technique to school students across America, and ultimately the world.

"I want to raise $7 billion dollars. People laugh at $7 billion but it would stay in a bank account and the interest would be enough to keep things going on a permanent basis," Lynch told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

"I would like to find some very wealthy individuals who saw the truth of this and said 'I want to do something for the world which is meaningful'. This is a way to bring real peace to earth. Real peace isn't just the absence of war. It is the absence of negativity," he said.

Lynch did not say why his program needs $7 billion rather than, say, $10 billion or $1 billion.

Lynch said he had been practicing transcendental meditation himself for more than 30 years and had seen the benefits in some schools in Maryland, Iowa and in Johannesburg, South Africa, where students have adopted it.

The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-based Education and World Peace aims to fund in-school transcendental meditation programs and support research on the effects of the technique on academic performance, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and drug abuse.

"I am starting this foundation to ensure that every child in America who wants to meditate can learn.

"You can say I'm full of baloney, but you meet students who get this opportunity and they shine like you cannot believe," Lynch said.