Interview: David Lynch on Creativity, Meditation, and Collective Experience (But Nothing on That New Sparklehorse / Danger Mouse Collaboration)

"Transcending is a natural thing; so you have this experience, you're going asleep but you're still awake. Boom! Woah, what was that? You transcend."

David Lynch
This man even takes his own press photos.

David Lynch has clearly been an influencer within Hollywood over his 35-year-plus career. But more recently, he's devoted much of this power to creating the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness Based Education and Peace, with the goal of bringing Transcendental Meditation to the masses. Lynch himself has been practicing the technique since the early '70s and in 2006, Penguin published Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which outlines his thoughts on how he's worked these techniques into his work and day to day life. And this Saturday, "Change Begins Within" benefit show will take place at Radio City Music Hall with such marquee names as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eddie Vedder. I sat down with Lynch for fifteen minutes at his midtown hotel two days before his foundation's biggest event to date.

A bunch of my friends are jealous of me for getting to do this, so that's great.

That's great [laughs].

For today at least.

It won't last very long.

It won't. I revisited Catching the Big Fish; you talk a lot about the meditative process. As a writer, I wonder, through your experience is this a way to enhance someone's creativity or unleash it?

Both. Because you're diving into infinite creativity so it's going to give you more of that. In a way, creativity is problem-solving, sort of solutions. And it has to do with ideas and catching ideas and the flow of ideas. So, sometimes, in your writing, you're writing along but you stop, because you're stuck. But if the ideas are flowing, your pen doesn't even stop; it just flows. And ideas just flow like ink; they just go. This happens more and more, the more that you bring out. It's all there. When you experience the deepest level when you transcend, that flow of creativity goes.

Then there's this thing in intelligence. Intelligence is a good thing. And it comes up more. And it's an ocean of infinite energy, so energy comes up more. When you got more energy, it does help the work. And then it's an ocean of infinite bliss, of happiness. So you find you've got more happiness. This, in my mind, is money in the bank. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, or if there is some fatigue or unease, and a little bit of anxiety or some kind of thing: life isn't so enjoyable and the work isn't so enjoyable. If you got more inner happiness, that disappears more and more. So you're sort of happy all during the day.

A lot of people--and it may have started in the 60's--there was a thing almost against happiness. You know, you got to suffer and you got to have a lot of angst and its an "up yours" kind of thing. Artists were angry and negative and it was super cool to be that way. But it's kind of a joke. The more suffering there is, the less flow of ideas, the less creativity. It doesn't happen so good. The more that weight lifts, the more everything flows.

Were you taught how to get to that place?


Through a long teaching process?

Yes, you need a legitimate teacher of Maharishi Manesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation. Once you have that legitimate teacher, he or she will teach you. And when you leave the teaching you'll know how to meditate and know that you're meditating correctly. And all your questions will be answered.

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