The David Lynch Foundation
Podcast #99 — Aired July 18, 2016

How can Transcendental Meditation change lives? This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we’re talking with Bob Roth, the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit that helps to prevent and eradicate trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations through promoting widespread implementation of Transcendental Meditation. Roth will explain how the foundation is helping reduce stress for victims of abuse, children in need, and veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

 

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Bob Roth
CEO, David Lynch Foundation

Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled, Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages. Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which is bringing meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and nonprofit charities. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, "Success Without Stress" and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist,

Episode Transcript

Raymond Hansell
Hi. Welcome to BetterWorldians Radio. BetterWorldians Radio is a weekly broadcast whose mission is to uplift and inspire you to make the world a better place. I'm Ray Hansell, joined today by my co-host, MarySue Hansell. BetterWorldians Radio is brought to you by the family team that created the popular social game on Facebook called 'A Better World.'. It rewards players for doing good deeds, while helping to raise money and awareness for charities. So far, over 40 million good deeds have been done in 'A Better World' around the world by more than 4 million people. These good deeds include expressions of gratitude, acts of kindness, sending notes to real-world sick kids, just to name a few. This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we welcome Bob Roth, one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation experts in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled, Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into over 20 languages. Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a charity that has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another non-profit, which is bringing meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and non-profit organizations. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, Success Without Stress and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Aspen Idea Festival, Wisdom 2.0 and Sermon. Hi Bob, thanks for joining us today on BetterWorldians Radio.

Bob
Hi, thanks for having me on. That was a long introduction.

Raymond Hansell
It's about par for the course.

Bob
And I'd like to say one thing: the best goods deed are done by your show. Look how many good deeds you generate with all these podcasts and the people you have on the show and all your listeners. So, right at the tippy-top of the good deeds is the work you and your wife are doing.

Raymond Hansell
Thank you very much. You're now, I think our 101st episode so we just celebrated our 100th episode and we've been at it for two and a half years. If you look back, and you look at those old TV serials, a hundred episodes is a really big milestone.

Bob
That's a lot of stuff. Then you can go into what do they call it?

Raymond Hansell
Syndication, we're thinking.

Bob
Syndication, that is where you get good money.

Raymond Hansell
But to begin with, for our listeners who may not know, can you tell us a little bit about film-maker David Lynch?

Bob
Sure. David Lynch is considered one of the top, most innovative film-makers in the world and he's been awarded numerous times for The Academy Awards and foreign film festivals and all these different Golden Globes for his innovative work, going all the way back to- he's probably best-known for his TV series 'Twin Peaks', which aired two seasons about twenty years ago. He's now working on his third season, twenty years later, transforming television to this serialized and more in-depth approach and he's an amazingly creative person who's been practising transcendental meditation for over 40 years and a big, strong supporter of it as a way of increasing creativity. He and I have been friends for a long time and 11 years ago we started a foundation to bring the mediation to people who may not have access to it. He's a great man.

Raymond Hansell
Can you tell us a little bit about that foundation?

Bob
Sure. It's a private NP called The David Lynch Foundation and started in 2005, almost 11 years ago: July 21st, 2005. It's whole purpose was to raise funds so that transcendental meditation - which we can talk about later but it's a way to reduce stress and improve health and resilience - could be offered to people who might not have access to it. These are people who suffer from extreme trauma and toxic stress in their lives and that could be kids in inner-city schools in crime-ridden neighborhoods; it could be veterans who are coming back from combat who suffer the unimaginable nightmare that is post-traumatic stress; it's women and children who are surviving domestic violence. All the people in our society who are largely overlooked or we throw money their way but who are largely overlooked and for whom something like transcendental meditation can be a game-changer. So, in the last 11 years we've provided scholarships for half a million kids, veterans, women and children to learn to meditate.

Raymond Hansell
Well done. Really great BetterWorldians work.

Bob
I'm honored to be in the umbrella of a BetterWorldian.

Raymond Hansell
You're right at the top of the list. So for our listeners, MarySue and I, as co-hosts, are recent practitioners, going through our training, for transcendental meditation - just a few months ago and its made a real difference already for us. But a lot of people confuse meditation, in general mindfulness and meditation, so tell us a little bit about what is transcendental meditation and hw it differs from other meditation techniques?

Bob
If I could, I'll use a quick analogy and then I'll use that to talk about the different approaches. The analogy I like to use is okay, you're on a little boat in the middle of The Atlantic Ocean and all of a sudden you get these giant, huge 30, 40 foot high waves. And you could think, 'Oh my God, the whole ocean is in upheaval.' but if you could do a cross section of the ocean as you're holding on for dear life on your little boat, you'd realize that the ocean, in reality, is a mile deep and while the surface of the ocean can be turbulent, the depths of the ocean is always silent. And the mind is the same way. So this comes to meditation and different approaches to meditation. The surface of our mind is the thinking mind, the call it 'the monkey mind', the 'gotta, gotta, gotta' mind: active, noisy, turbulent. And everyone of us - and this is why we're interested in meditation, any type of meditation, every one of us - would like to have some inner calm, some inner clarity, some inner focus, some inner peace, some inner creativity. The question is, is there such a thing as an inner and if so, how do you get there? In transcendental meditation we hypothesize that deep within every human being, all of you listening, everybody, all your friends and family, everyone, while the surface of our mind can be noisy and turbulent and choppy, the depths of our mind, deeper than any one of us, there's a level of our mind, right now, that is already calm and settled nd wide awake, the source of our unlimited creativity, intelligence and happiness. It's right there. That's the hypothesis. Transcendental meditation is a very, very simple, natural, simple, effortless technique that allows- when you use a mantra, which is a word or a sound that has no meaning - you use a mantra to just allow your turbulent, active mind to just settle down, just calm down and access these more subtle levels of the mind. And when that happens, you body gets a profound state of rest and relaxation. Now, to answer your question: according to science there are three basic types of meditation. Meditation just means thinking, so there's three different types of meditation thinking. One is called 'focused attention', and that's a concentration-type of thinking and meditation, and that's where you're concentrating, you're trying to clear your mind of thoughts. In our analogy, your trying to stop the waves on the surface of the ocean. I have to stop my mind from thinking. Hello?! Very, very difficult thing to do, with the mind and the waves on the ocean. That's called 'focused attention'. There's a whole brainwaves sync-up with that. The second approach is called 'open monitoring', and that's your mindfulness approach. You just mentioned that. And mindfulness is more of just an observational tool. It's watching your breath, it's watching your thoughts, it's observing your environment in a non-judgemental way. It's like watching the anxious thoughts, watching the turbulent waves rise and fall. And that has its own unique physiology we can talk about. And the third is 'transcendental meditation'. That's called 'self-transcending'. And that's not manipulating the surface, it's accessing this incredible peace and calm that lies just beneath the surface. So, there's three different types. transcendental meditation is unique in its ease and effortlessness and the type of changes that take place it the body.

Raymond Hansell
And it's a very natural process. It feels, as was described by our trainer, Jean Silverman and Linda Richardson, as almost putting, letting the body's natural mechanism of healing, you know kick in. And that sort of analogy applies to how natural this process is. So, it's really been quite an experience for us so far. So how did David Lynch get involved in transcendental meditation. I'm sure our listeners want to know that.

Bob
Yeah, it's really interesting. He tells the story and he has a wonderful book called 'Catching the Big Fish', which is published by Tarcher-Penguin.

Raymond Hansell
Yes, I just read it.

Bob
It came from a series of talks that he gave to film schools around the world. He told me he talks about when he was out of film school, and he had won all these prizes and awards, he was in Beverley Hills, he had this beautiful home and studio for him to work on what would be this called 'Eraserhead'. He was working on his first film, and he said everything on the outside of his life was perfect and yet, he wasn't happy and he didn't understand ' If I have everything going for me outside, why am I not happy?'. And then he said he remembered the phrase growing up 'True happiness lies within.'. Then he remembered people talking about just the word 'meditation' - this is back in 1973 - that meditation might be a way to go within. But he didn't really know about meditation at the time, but he just was having those thoughts, maybe he should meditate. Then he said he talked to his sister one time on the phone, and his sister sounded completely different. She sounded really happy. He said to her, 'Martha, what are you doing?' and she said, 'I just learned transcendental meditation.'. He said he knew just from the change of tone in her voice: less stressed; clear; more confident and really sort of a happiness that it was something he wanted to try. And what he likes about transcendental meditation, and probably you had the same thing, is that you don't have to believe in anything. It's not a philosophy, it's not a change of lifestyle, there's no religion or anything, no faith. It's just a tool, a technique. And right from the beginning, when he learned it he knew that this was something that would help him with his creativity and his energy levels but basic mainly find that true happiness that lies within. and he's been meditating ever since, since July 1973. He tells the story- 20 minutes twice a day and he's never missed a meditation in all that time.

Raymond Hansell
That's fantastic. How did you first discover TM and what difference has been in your life?

Bob
It's a good question. I come from a different- David was an artist. We were all different, that's what's so great about transcendental meditation and I'll segway into answering this by saying you find so many different types of people who do TM, transcendental meditation: artists; business people; accountants; grandmothers and they're all different personalities. You think, 'Well, this isn't just some sort of hippy thing - meditation.'. The analogy is you have all these trees in an orchard, all these different types of fruit trees and other types of plants and if they haven't been watered they all start looking spindly and scrawny and there's no leaves. And then you start doing the same thing. You just water the roots and the apple tree becomes more the apple tree, and pear tree becomes more the pear tree, and the redwood tree becomes more the redwood tree. Everything becomes more of itself, and I think that's the universal nature of TM. It just allows us to be more and more ourself. So while David is an artist and you and your family are doing this great work among BetterWorldians, I grew up in a very, very politically active family in the 1950's and 1960's in the San Francisco Bay area. My father was a medical doctor. He worked at the VA Hospital in San Francisco and I like to tell people - this is very funny - when I was growing up my family was very political. At the time, I knew I was a Democrat before I knew I was Jewish. My family was so that way and we talked about politics. We talked about the Vietnam War, we talked about civil rights. By the way I should say I'm an Independent these days. I worked for Senator Bobby Kennedy as a teenager, when he was running for president. And I felt that my path- I wanted to make it a better world. I was a BetterWorldian way back then. I thought, 'Okay, I'll go into politics.'. I was attending college and I was going to school full-time and working full-time and it was an enormous stress. It was rising on all the ollege campuses, 1968. I wasn't a hippy and I wasn't a radical and I wasn't a druggie. I just wanted to make a better world. And politics lost its fascination for me because it was so divisive and I moved over to the field of education. I thought I really wanted to work with kids and I wanted to work with the inner-city school kids, because even in the area of politics. I thought the future is with education. I thought I'll get a doctorate in educational curriculum development and I'll start working with these kids in kindergarten. I was under so much stress, a friend of mine said, 'You should learn transcendental meditation.'. And it really wasn't even in my vocabulary. I said, 'Well, what it is?' and they said you don't have to believe in anything, it's just a tool, a technique. And I started it. and one of my first - directly after learning it - I thought I'd like to teach this to inner-city school kids. That was 1969 and so I became a TM teacher in 1972. I studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was a great physicist in India before he became a great meditation teacher. I came back to San Francisco and I taught TM at San Quentin Prison, to guards and inmates and I taught, later on at Apple Computers in Silicon Valley. I just taught it and taught it and taught it to thousands and thousands of people. I loved it and then eleven years ago, I started working with David Lynch on his Foundation.

Raymond Hansell
That's an amazing journey and it's still continuing. I can also validate that from our experience, when we go to the refreshers which they gold regularly at the centers, you meet people who have been doing this for longer than you have - maybe a year, perhaps two, three, four years. And occasionally even some practitioners that have been doing it for decades. And you see how they acme from all these different channels. Some are teachers, some are working in a business, some are artists, some are in sports- very, very different. So I see your analogy of the different trees and how they blossom and they tell their stories of the impact it's made in their lives. It's very refreshing to hear that.

Bob
No, and I teach devout Catholics and Hasidic Jews and I teach Muslim clerics and I teach Agnostics and Atheists and everybody. I had a conversation - I could name-drop because it's public - but I taught Ellen DeGeneres, who everybody knows is a television talk show host - to meditate. I asked her before I taught her, 'Why are you interested in learning to meditate?' and she said, 'I want to maintain permanent connection with the intelligence that runs the universe.'. Then she paused and said, 'And I can't sleep at night.'. I thought, that really is, in a nutshell - for those people who are listening to this show - we have high aspirations for ourselves. We want to be creative, we want to be more intelligent, we want to have impact in the world, we want to be more successful. We like to do that. at the same time, the pressure, the daily grind of pressure and stress, financial worries and all these different things that weigh on us and it undermines our ability to enjoy our lives and to love the people that we - to really express the love we feel for others. And to do bigger and better things in the world. I think with transcendental meditation it really addressed those two values that we all feel of I want to grow as a human being and I don't want to be strapped down by stress.

Raymond Hansell
Yes, I wanted to make a comment about the story you just told with Ellen DeGeneres because reading and learning more about this from the book, we featured a couple of months ago Norman Rosenthal's book. We learned about quite a few other people, very notable people with very busy schedules that are taking 40 minutes out of their day, typically, and doing so for 40 years or for 10 years And continuing that practise- that's a big chunk of time. Can you tell us about some of the more notable people that have been doing this for a long time and perhaps you've worked with?

Bob
Sure, and it's an interesting thing. I'll preface this by saying, until about two or three years ago I, like every other TM teacher, happily teaching, and then all of a sudden, all of these famous people are learning to meditate. Someone, one time, described me and some other people, 'Oh, you all teach these celebrities.' but I said, ' For every one person that you know, I teach 500 people that you've never heard of.'. There's a lot of those people: there's Hugh Jackman, and Hugh is an amazingly authentic human being He's a very humble man, a wonderful family man, he has two children and a wife and he's just so - I know them very well - and they all meditate. Jerry Seinfeld has been practising transcendental meditation for 44 years now. I didn't teach him. He learned a long time ago but his wife and his three kids now meditate. For him, what transcendental meditation does, it gives him an unbelievable higher level of energy. Not a frantic energy, a very calm, steady energy. He said, for him, he can have all the creative ideas he wants but the game-changer is to have the energy to fulfil them. You can have a great car that's finely tuned but if you don't have gasoline it won't go anywhere. for him, it's the energy levels that's just a game-changer. David Letterman is a very serious man, a very deep thinker and he finds transcendental meditation to just ease the internal tension that he was feeling and stresses. It just gives him more clarity, now particularly in his transition from a very public life to a very private life. Katy Perry, in a younger generation, has gone through - we have no idea what these people loaded with money 'they have no problems'. Did you want to say something?

Raymond Hansell
No, I was going to say, we're going to be talking in a few minutes, after the break, about some of the people who are among the 500 that represent the average, every day experience that you're having in transcendental meditation. And how The David Lynch Foundation has reached out to people among us - that also fall within unfortunate circumstances - and the help that it's provided. But we're going to take a short break right now. When we return we'll talk more with Bob Roth and my co-host MarySue Hansell. In the meantime, if you're a fan of BetterWorldians Radio, please check out our game on Facebook called 'A Better World.' A Better World encourages habits of goodness, positive mindsets and giving to social causes to make a positive difference in the world. Players do things in the game like express gratitude; share of their acts of random kindness; send get-well notes to real-world sick children around the world and many, many more. We'd like to congratulate our players in A Better World for a successful June challenge with Mary's Meals, a non-profit that provides meals - believe it or not - to over 1 million children in need every single day. Because you reached our Do-Good goal that month, we release funds to help feed over 50 kids for an entire school year. By the way, these kids go to school as a by-product of getting the meal that they need to sustain them and the nourishment in their minds during the education experience. We''re excited also to announce that our July charity of the month is The Miracle Foundation, an amazing non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world's orphans. You can find out more and play at facebook.com/abetterworld. We'll be right back.

Raymond Hansell
You're listening to BetterWorldians Radio. We're speaking with Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation. And now, let's welcome back Bob and my co-host, MarySue Hansell.

MarySue Hansell
Hi Bob.

Bob
Hi, really nice to be back.

MarySue Hansell
Good to chat with you. You know, you mentioned The David Lynch Foundation's served over 500,000 by introducing them to TM and I wanted to chat with you about some of the different population s that you've helped. Let's start with the inner-city children, they're really next to my heart. What is it about their circumstances that makes TM so important?

Bob
I recently spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado and I was on a panel where they were talking about the effect of trauma and toxic stress on the child and adolescent brain, and particularly, kids of ten, eleven years and up. That the parts of the brain that are developing very fast, and that's the risk section of the brain, the reward section, and part of the brain that slowly develops is the brake to slow down. So the speed-up version of 'Oh, I want to try this, I want to test my limits, I want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.' that kind of stuff. Or ride a bike without a helmet, the part of the brain, the frontal lobe, that says, 'Well, wait a minute, that's maybe not such a good idea.' , the parent in them, that's not developing at all. And they were talking about how, at a young age, every experience has such a deep experience on the brain and actually they call it 'sculpts' the brain, moulds the brain, the adult brain. So if a child, even from the age of five or six, sees violence around her or him, or is in poverty and doesn't eat nutritious food or lives in fear, then the circuits in the brain are being wired together that's going to sculpt the adult brain, the behaviour of that child as an adult. We have a real crisis, an epidemic of trauma and toxic stress in the next generation. It's beyond epidemic proportion, right now and it's destroying a whole generation. I have to extend it to beyond inner-city school kids. It turns out that even the children who are in more affluent families are under such stresses: academic stress cutting, drug abuse, self-burning so what's going on? The brain is being traumatised and there is nothing that modern medicine can offer - no magic pill or treatment or therapy - that can inoculate that child or teenager against these stresses. And there's nothing that can be done to work at the root level once the child is traumatized or a teenager is traumatized. Yes, we can give them medicines: Ritalin if they have learning disorders; we can give them medicine if they're anxious or stressed; or Ambion if they can't sleep, but it just masks it. So in transcendental meditation, or in terms of the David Lynch Foundation, started 11 years ago, to begin to offer children and teens a simple, non-pharmacological tool that has no harmful side-effects, because all these drugs have horrible side-effects. And I should pause here and say I'm not anti-medicine, I'm just very discriminative in the way that medicines are being used. Pardon?

MarySue Hansell
I agree with that.

Bob
Yes. And so transcendental meditation we offer in schools all over the country and all over the world. It's part of The Quiet Time Program where they begin and end each school day with 10 to 15 minutes - we call it quiet time- of sitting in their chairs, right where they are and they just meditate fr a few minutes at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. And the justification for it, when I talk to school boards, is obviously the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress, but even more than that. There's a whole notion that in education we have the emphasis on learning readiness. It's not just enough that you have computers for the kids; a good student-teacher ratio; all of the right books. But is the child, the teenager actually ready to absorb that knowledge? To learn that knowledge? To put it to memory, to integrate it, to digest it, to make it real. And the problem is...No. We're not providing the kids with these tools. We can give them all the best computer equipment but what do we do for them to use the computer equipment properly and in an intelligent way. And that's where transcendental meditation is really gaining traction in the educational system.

MarySue Hansell
I was going to say, I saw a clip that you folks put on NBC about a school in California - I think the listeners would really love to hear the great results that The Quiet Time TM movement had with them.

Bob
Yes, they can see that on davidlynchfoundation.org . In the San Francisco school district, about 5,000 children have learned transcendental meditation as part of Quiet Time - teachers, parents and faculty administration. And what they found was, over several years, they found a 79% reduction in suspensions - and that's a huge problem in a lot of these inner-city schools. Schools that were at the bottom of census for public schools as far as academic performance came up to the middle-top, middle third, in just two years. So academic performance improvement in test scores, a reduction in suspensions and expulsions and drop-outs and improvement in graduation rates. But for me, I'll tell you what I think is the most important result that they're finding, and it's something that's overlooked: the kids are happier. The kids are happier. We're just jamming their brains and minds with all this information so we get past the next task but then what happens? The information they've learned is outdated in two ears anyway but they're miserable, they're depressed. The primary cause of death among teenagers in America is suicide. Having happier kids has to be a value of education.

MarySue Hansell
I'd like to ask you how old, or how young can a child start TM?

Bob
Well, for the sitting techniques like you and your husband and I practice, about the age of ten or eleven years old. However, there is a program, a technique for kids who are in grammar school from the age of about five until ten. They do a walking meditation, so they're not sitting with their eyes closed like we do. They do walking mediation for like five minutes at the beginning and the end of the school day. Then when they are more developed - like ten, eleven - then they can do the sitting-up technique.

MarySue Hansell
I'm thinking of my grand kids when I asked you that question. Just to move on to the next group that you've done great work with: the veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder you hear so much about today.

Bob
It's such a big problem now that they estimate that there's 300,000 to 500,000 veterans who suffer some degree of what they call 'Post-traumatic stress', PTS, or Post-traumatic stress disorder. An experience in combat is so overwhelming that it starves the brain, it actually damages the brain and the part of the brain that's called the amygdala, the fear center, is hyper-alive and the clear part of the brain, the rational filter in the frontal lobe, is shut down. Did you know that 23 veterans commit suicide every day in America?

MarySue Hansell
Oh, that's awful.

Bob
It's a tragedy beyond belief and the problem is these young men and women come back from combat in harm's way and the only antidote they're given is a handful of drugs: something to put them to sleep, something to wake them up, something to help digestion, some for your depression. It can often make the situation worse.

MarySue Hansell
What kind of results are you getting?

Bob
What they're finding is a 50 to 60% reduction in the symptoms of post-traumatic stress within eight to twelve weeks of meditating.

MarySue Hansell
Wow, that's miraculous.

Bob
It's dramatic. One of the problems with post-traumatic stress is men and women can't sleep. And sometimes they go months and months with sleeping for an hour or two. They don't like to close their eyes, they have nightmares. And the first benefit they notice within a day or two of meditating is that they're sleeping eight, ten hours a night for the first time in like, ever. I should say, this isn't just me talking, this is- The Department of Defence has given $2,500,000 recently for a big study on the effects of TM on post-traumatic stress disorder and also traumatic brain injuries. These are huge benefits for our veterans.

MarySue Hansell
Did I hear that you can help get veterans some free TM training?

Bob
Yes, yes. We teach, we keep raising money and any veteran who wants to learn to meditate can go to a TM Center, fill in the application form for a grant and they can learn for free. Many veterans are cautious, 'Oh, I don't want anything that's a gift' but they shouldn't see it that way. This is something that, our honour to give to back to those of us Americans who served the country so please let us give you that gift.

MarySue Hansell
I was reading so much, all about the research that The David Lynch Foundation's been doing with universities- funding universities, funding the medical schools. Can you tell us about that? There's just so many areas.

Bob
Yes, the founder, the person who introduced transcendental meditation to the world, ?? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in 1959. People don't know this about him- he's a well-known meditation teacher but his training- he's a physicist. He's been studying the top with the top physicists in the world and then he had the opportunity to study with the top mediation scientists in the world, his teacher. so when M?? came to The United States in 1959 the first thing he did was find scientists from UCLA Medical School, from Harvard Medical School and said, 'Study this, there's huge health benefits to transcendental meditation.'. So there's m the scientist and meditation teacher who launched the whole industry of research on transcendental meditation and other meditation techniques. In the last 40 plus years there's been over 370 studies published in all the top journals: Science'; 'Scientific America'; 'American Journal of Cardiology and Heart association' and 'American Medical Association' that show all the benefits that we've been talking about on this wonderful show, all based in science, all based in research that's been published in top medical journals and conducted at all the top- I keep saying 'top' but it's true - all the leading research centers and medical schools in the country and around the world. It goes everywhere from reduced high blood pressure and heart disease - like, there's no cure, no medicine that can produce these same effects - to reduced anxiety and depression, insomnia, eating disorders, obesity- anything that's caused or fuelled by stress. And on the other side it increases creativity, intelligence, improved memory, energy levels, overt IQ - all that.

MarySue Hansell
Yes, I'm certainly looking forward to all the benefits. As Ray was mentioning, he and I have been practising TM for about three months now and I've already seen a big change in my sleeping. I used to wake up three o'clock in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I haven't had that problem so I'm attributing that to TM, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone that's having a sleeping problem. I see that. just reading the research, it's so helpful in areas of depression, anxiety--

Bob
--And it's real--

MarySue Hansell
Yeah. So maybe my next question for you is, is TM right for everyone?

Bob
That's a really good question and my answer to that is TM is right for everyone just like sleep is right for everyone and exercise is right for everyone. To give you the example of sleep: you can really simplify transcendental meditation down to the basics and that is it accesses a universal mechanism that every human being has to take deep rest at will. Dee rest at will- just simplified to that. Give your body a state of rest deeper that sleep in many regards, and one of the first changes that takes place- which I always like to talk about - is Cortisol levels. cCrtisol is a stress hormone. When we are anxious we get high levels of Cortisol. If you get a good night's sleep, Cortisol drop 10%. In 20 minutes of TM Cortisol levels drop 30% to 40%, every time.

MarySue Hansell
That's amazing.

Bob
Every human being can benefit from reduced stress and reduces anxiety and more energy. and because it requires no belief and because there's no particular skill set in learning it once you've started, I think it's for everybody.

MarySue Hansell
So Bob, tell our listeners how they can learn more about TM for themselves.

Bob
it's a very simple process. You can go to www.tm.org and there you can find out about all the research, all the work that's being done, how it's being used, testimonials from people that we know and we don't know. And you'll find out about the course, the technique is taught over four consecutive days. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half over four consecutive days. You'd learn from a certified TM teacher- you can't learn this out of a book. It's not mass meditation, it's tailored for you. You find out everything about the technique there. You can go to a free introductory lectures and talk to a teacher, like you talked to Jean and Linda, and if you want to learn, you learn. If you want to find out more about The David Lynch Foundation and the work we're doing there, you can go to davidlynchfoundation.org.

MarySue Hansell
A point I wanted to mention, even though it costs a good bit of money for some people and of course there's the different ways they can apply for scholarships, I found that amazing- the personalized attention that you get rom the teachers and that you can ask such specific questions. I know I've done mindfulness for years before that and I thought that was good and it was helpful. But I found that TM, because of the very personalized approach and also all these refreshers, you're constantly, for the rest of your life, can seek help on your meditation techniques. This is really probably the cheapest thing around to do to help yourself.

Bob
Oh yeah, I taught people 40 years ago who I see on a periodic basis. they have hundreds of hours and they pay- it's a non-profit educational organization and there's a range of course fees for people who can afford it. It goes from upwards of $900 down to several hundred dollars for kids and The David Lynch Foundation provides scholarships- probably more people learn for free than have paid. Also, when you pay to learn you also help a veteran or an inner-city school kid or a woman who's the survivor of domestic violence learn for free, so it's a give-and-get. There are, like any good educational institution or healthcare service, there are grants and loans and scholarships so we don't have to turn anyone away.

MarySue Hansell
Wonderful. Bob, how do you hope The David Lynch Foundation is helping us to make the world a better place?

Bob
It's helping two ways: it helps the people for whom it's hard for them to feel positive or hopeful in their lives because they're so beaten down, for whatever reason, stress or trauma- they're almost immobilized, they're even beyond fight-or-flight level. that is a huge melting of the ice and giving them hope and a future. you can see those stories on davidlynchfoundation.org. But one of the things that I love that the David Lynch Foundation does is teaching transcendental meditation to the people who are BetterWorldians, who are working hard to make the world a better place and for whom exhaustion and fatigue- we want to do lots of good things in the world but we also get tired and we get worried and we get anxious. That can prevent us from continuing to work as hard as we'd like to, or as smart as we'd like to for a better world. So, we provide tools and a toolbox to help people handle both levels: the academic and stress and trauma that are very real in people's lives and can free all of us to be our better selves and to create a better world.

MarySue Hansell
Wonderful.

Raymond Hansell
That's a great ending for our show. I think that this interview has provided I believe- - for our listeners and all of those that listen along the way through our podcast - a good profile on the magnitude of the benefits of this particular practice. We can certainly validate from our own personal experience the impact that it's having. By the way, in the context of all the conflict in the world that's going on all over the media that you see every moment of every day, 247 it's really, really needed at this particular point i more than perhaps any other time so I appreciate you join in us today to talk about the Foundation. For our listeners, a reminder if you want to learn more, as was mentioned by Bob, please go to davidlynchfoundation.org. Bob, thanks for joining us today on BetterWorldiansRadio. It's been a great show.

Bob
I want to say one last thing. I really feel that the works that you're doing with this radio show and the listeners, so I'm going to call on the listeners to support this family in the work they're doing, however they need support. You are the good deeds that you're trying to generate. You are a wonderful example of what you want them to do. I'm going to make a donation to you and I encourage others to do the same thing.

Raymond Hansell
You'll have to give us a day or so, we're actually putting a donate page on our website, the 501(c)3 for The BetterWorldians Radio was just approved so we're going to convert this entire radio program to theBetterWorldians Foundation. We'll have more for our listeners on that in the near future. In the meantime, if you are a listener of this episode, please be sure to subscribe to our show on iTunes, give us a great review. We're always listening to your feedback, we want to know what you think. As we end our show, we'd like to share our mission at BetterWorldians. We strive to make the world a better lace by encouraging the very best in everyone. We focus on positive thinking, positive values and positive actions. In short, our vision is to bring out the BetterWorldians in everyone so that we can all make it a better world. So until next time, be a BetterWorldian.