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March 7, 2011 5:11 PM   Subscribe

Tom Waits has teamed up with The David Lynch Foundation to help launch DLF Music and their ‘Download for Good’ campaign on PledgeMusic. The David Lynch Foundation "is a non-profit educational organization which was established in July 2005 to ensure that anyone at-risk for traumatic stress can learn Transcendental Meditation."
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (47 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
They should do a musical together instead.
posted by fuq at 5:14 PM on March 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Transcendental Meditation™
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:17 PM on March 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


But you're innocent when you dream.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time, there was a poor child, with no father and no mother, and everything was dead, and no one was left in the whole world.
Everything was dead.
And the child went and searched day and night, and since nobody was left on the earth, he wanted to go up in to the heavens, and the moon was looking at him so friendly, and when he finally got to the moon, the moon was a piece of rotten wood.
And then he went to the sun, and when he got there, the sun was a wilted sunflower.
And when he got to the stars, they were little golden flies, stuck up there like the shrike sticks among the black thorn.
And when he wanted to go back down to Earth, the Earth was an overturned piss-pot, and he was all alone.
And he sat down and he cried.
And he is there to this day.
All alone.

Okay, there's your story.
Night night.
posted by JHarris at 5:25 PM on March 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Looks like a lot more than Tom Waits is in on this (she said, listening to their clip from Peter Gabriel's contribution).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:29 PM on March 7, 2011


Strange that two of the coolest people in the world buy this stuff. I assumed they had other sources of magical power. Unknown Armies/Tim Powers type sources. Demonic sources.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:36 PM on March 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've pretty serious reservations with the TM organization that Lynch espouses, although I think there is merit in the method that its founder co-opted and that can be found through much much cheaper means.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:37 PM on March 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I don't know about this, I just don't know about this. But here is Tom Waits and Kool Keith and Final Fantasy VII!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:45 PM on March 7, 2011


Strange that two of the coolest people in the world buy this stuff.

Why not? After all, they go to the same hairdresser, right?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:50 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tom Waits in a tree
posted by puny human at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you listen to George Harrison's posthumous solo album you have to think there is something to meditation. The guy knew he was dying and his album is one of the most upbeat and life affirming pieces of music I have ever heard.
posted by zzazazz at 6:17 PM on March 7, 2011


If you listen to George Harrison's posthumous solo album you have to think there is something to meditation.

Not to mention, say, the Buddha. That guy was proof for sure that there's something to it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:32 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


We all need something to get us through the night and silence those doubts about our own existence. This still seems a bit silly for Lynch & Waits though. Figure they'd worship Glycon, like Alan Moore.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:35 PM on March 7, 2011


I think it's great that they're all about helping people to see the good in meditation, but, as others upthread have noted, this transcendental meditation thing is basically a religion -- they give you your mantra, it's some big deal, this mantra is supposed to have special significance for you, they say that their way is the only *real* way, etc and etc, blah blah blah.

No one needs any religion to pray, or to meditate, or to mediate their experience with prayer/meditation, no one needs religion to find peace. Religion is hogwash, it's window dressing, it's tacky, dirty, stinking, disgusting walmart polyester clothing on a beautiful woman, sortof hard to enjoy the beauty of the woman when you're puking your guts out, overwhelmed by the stench wafting from her clothing.

Not that I've got any issues with religion, of course...
posted by dancestoblue at 6:37 PM on March 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


C'mon man (or woman). There's some truths that are impossible to face, and you gotta get through life somehow. Read Ernest Becker's 'The Denial of Death'. Hell listen to Waits' "Come On Up To The House" or watch a bit of Eraserhead. Then tell me that anyone who needs some comfort or meaning is a fool.
These guys have created some great art. I find the whole TM thing (and the whole religion thing) a bit laughable too but I'm not gonna mock people who've done nothing to cause me harm. They've got their comfort, and that's awesome.

Except not touring Australia. That's pretty annoying.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:46 PM on March 7, 2011


Lynch's pitch video looks like a Saturday Night Live Digital Short.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:46 PM on March 7, 2011


No one needs any religion to pray, or to meditate, or to mediate their experience with prayer/meditation, no one needs religion to find peace.

While plenty of meditation-based traditions do fall into religiosity, cults of the guru and the rest, for many centuries and at their best a lot were genuine teaching lineages where one generation would hand on experiences in a technique that has been liberating and healing to multitudes. So, even as an atheist as I should probably add, this has been one of my problems with a general disdain for 'organised religion', which seems to be based on familiarity with a Abrahamic model were that is a vehicle for dogma, apparently unaware that elsewhere it, inter alia, saves each new generation having to re-invent the wheel if they want access to a very useful practice.
Don't know too much about TM so my remarks are general, though the trade-marking isn't a good sign, so to speak.
posted by Abiezer at 6:49 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe at the highest levels TM initiates can achieve yogic powers.

What makes me sad about this is that it makes Lynch and Waits LESS mysterious. I like to think of them as prophets or holy men, initiates in knowledge beyond what we know. It's bullshit, of course, but it's entertaining bullshit. Pinning it to a source of known bullshit makes it less fun.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:03 PM on March 7, 2011


Strange that two of the coolest people in the world buy this stuff.

You really think so? These are from ScienceDaily:

Meditation helps increase attention span (July 16, 2010)

Meditation Reduces the Emotional Impact of Pain, Study Finds (June 2, 2010)

Mindfulness Meditation Training Changes Brain Structure in Eight Weeks (January 21, 2011)

Brief Meditative Exercise Helps Cognition (April 19, 2010)

Meditation Beats Dance for Harmonizing Body and Mind (March 2, 2011)

Mindfulness Meditation Effective in Marriage and Family Therapy Curriculum (April 7, 2010)

Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Fatigue, Depression in Multiple Sclerosis (Sept. 28, 2010)

Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) Meditation Found to Boost Brain Connectivity (Aug. 18, 2010)

Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia (June 15, 2009)

Brief Training In Meditation May Help Manage Pain, Study Shows (Nov. 10, 2009)

Meditation Provides Hope For People With Depression (April 27, 2009)

Transcendental Meditation Helped Heart Disease Patients Lower Cardiac Disease Risks by 50 Percent (Nov. 17, 2009)

Meditation May Increase Gray Matter (May 13, 2009)

Simple, Low-Cost Steps Enhance Adolescents' Health (April 21, 2010)

That took about four minutes. I get pretty seriously fed up with the instant, smug, scientistic ignorance of some metafilter types on subjects like this one -- the lazy substitution of bias for knowledge, and the almost proud lack of awareness of a vast, growing and easily accessed research literature.

I'm not a very accomplished meditator, but I can tell you that it doesn't take much experimenting to open your mind to the possibility that the David Lynches of this world stand with science in this case, and are supporting a research-validated technique that some MeFi commenters might benefit from opening their minds to.
posted by namasaya at 7:16 PM on March 7, 2011 [13 favorites]


There's a difference between meditation (which seems to work for me as a way to reduce stress) and Transcendental Meditation.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Just to be clear:
George Chryssides similarly says, in his 1999 book Exploring new religions, that the Maharishi and Guru Dev were from the Shankara tradition of advaita Vedanta.[18] Peter Russell, his 1976 book The TM Technique, says that the Maharishi believed that from the time of the Vedas, this knowledge cycled from lost to found multiple times, as is described in the introduction of the Maharishi's commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita. Revival of the knowledge recurred principally in the Bhagavad-Gita, and in the teachings of Buddha and Shankara.[19] Chryssides notes that, in addition to the revivals of the Transcendental Meditaton technique by Krishna, the Buddha and Shankara, the Maharishi also drew from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[18] Bromley also says the technique is based on Indian philosophy and the teachings of Krishna, the Buddha, and Shankara.[4] In a chapter of a 1998 book titled Alternative medicine and ethics, Vimal Patel writes that the Maharishi drew from Patanjali when developing the TM technique.[20]

So, it's a modern offshoot of a specific teaching in Hinduism and possibly Buddhism. I've seen arguments for and against it being a cult, it doesn't draw the same kind of outrage as Scientology (but who does?). They offer courses in Yogic flying, which definitely sets off my BS detector. The videos clearly look like some one in good shape that can push down hard with their legs while in the lotus position and achieve a small hop. If learning that costs big money, I'd say they're a scam.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:47 PM on March 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hell listen to Waits' "Come On Up To The House"

Indeed. The gateway to my own off-kilter brand of transcendental meditation cost me the price of a good pair of headphones.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:57 PM on March 7, 2011


All antipathy I might have felt toward TM was put to rest when Ram Dass, explaining the dynamics of desire and the transcending thereof, made an insightful aside about Maharishi's schtick, to paraphrase:

Maharishi knew the western mind would never accept meditation for its own sake, so he told us to meditate for a Cadillac. Of course, once you start regularly meditating, that all-consuming desire you had for a Cadillac sort of goes away. But you keep meditating anyway.

Say what you will about the dude, spoofing the western world into chasing enlightenment is epic guru win.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:17 PM on March 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


namasaya, I think you should read a little about Transcendental Meditation before you accuse everyone of being closed minded. TM is a moneymaking, cult like group that David Lynch has been espousing for years. It is not the same thing as meditation. In fact, some of us who believe in actual meditation happen to think that TM has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:33 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


By "traumatic stress" do they PTSD?
posted by Relay at 8:49 PM on March 7, 2011


namasaya, thinking that Mefites in this thread are dissing meditation is about as insightful as thinking that the recemt Catholic pedophile thread is dissing the New Testament.

Try rereading the criticisms, and you might just notice a different point ari$ing from them. Or not.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:58 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gonna Go Back To Beer Again
(to be sung in a country and western style)

I meditated for a Cadillac
but got an old Yugo instead
I meditated for a kiss on the cheek
but got a slap up side a' my head
I tried Om Mani Padme Hum
tried Transcendental and Zen,
but this here meditation ain't workin' for me
I'm gonna go back to beer again
this here meditation ain't workin' for me
I'm gonna go back to beer again

posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:04 PM on March 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone remember back when David Lynch would make films?

Good times.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 9:22 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember back when David Lynch would make films?

I meditated on it a while.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:15 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two of my favourite people doing something together. Amazing.
posted by gonzo_ID at 6:43 AM on March 8, 2011


I've always been curious how often decisions like this are made by artists, and how often they're made by record labels.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:44 AM on March 8, 2011


TM is a moneymaking, cult like group

I actually paid for a TM training session once, about 20 years ago, when I was trying to give up a bad habit. There was a little woo-woo in the intro video, about yogic flying, but primarily it was a decent one-on-one meditation course. They have never attempted to get any more money out of me since. Could I have studied meditation on my own at the library? Probably, but having paid good money for the course gave me the incentive to do the work, as it were, much like a gym membership encourages some people to exercise.

Maybe they get more cult-y with a different kind of person.
posted by nomisxid at 7:51 AM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't ever hear about TM without getting Charles Lloyd stuck in my head.
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 AM on March 8, 2011


Anybody in here actually experienced TM? Oh, sorry, I forgot that experience isn't data. For that you need to do some reading. Good luck learning anything from that you don't already believe in.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:10 AM on March 8, 2011


> Anybody in here actually experienced TM?

I learned a very similar form developed by a TM "instructor" that was unhappy with the organization and decided to package the basic method and sell it for $25 instead of $ALOT. I've done many other meditations with various groups, and found it to be decent enough, if ultimately something one needs to let go of and just sit without doing.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 AM on March 8, 2011


But yeah, I get your point reading rather than actually experiencing. See many threads in AskMe where people insist that books are enough to learn meditation rather than actually seeking out someone who knows how.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, meditation is good; it's free!
But TM is bad; it's not free!

But some rich, famous guys decide to help make TM free and to put some effort into increasing the likelihood that a large number of people who might otherwise never even consider meditating and could probably use it, get to be taught how to do it, in a systematic and easy way.

And what exactly is wrong with that?

Is it interfering with all the efforts you guys are currently making to get the truth about mediation out to these same folks? And all the money you're spending on making it possible for them to have a free meditation teacher for a few days?

Of course, I'm forgetting about how you've all tried TM and know there's no real meditation involved; it's all just a crazy cult that over 5 million people are secretly involved in, and you can't learn anything useful from it without getting $uckered; it's worse than no meditation at all, gotta be…
posted by dpcoffin at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011


Yeah, no meditation is probably better than getting involved with TM.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:09 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, no meditation is probably better than getting involved with TM.

But apparently, you've never been involved with TM, right? So how exactly do you know that?
posted by dpcoffin at 12:29 PM on March 8, 2011


Maybe we should sit queitly instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:43 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anybody in here actually experienced TM? Oh, sorry, I forgot that experience isn't data. For that you need to do some reading. Good luck learning anything from that you don't already believe in.

Kvetching that personal anecdotes aren't given enough weight in rational debate is... misguided.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:00 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


> But apparently, you've never been involved with TM, right? So how exactly do you know that?

I will say that I didn't qualify for any Lynchian TM subsidies back when I was seeking out such things, and damn well wasn't going to pay them $2500 to toss out a syllable from a chart. There are plenty of places where one can learn meditation that isn't a mechanical repetition of a word to induce a somatic state, but an active and progressive process of training awareness in all states.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:20 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


wasn't going to pay them $2500 to toss out a syllable from a chart.

I certainly agree that $2500 is a lot of cash to learn to meditate, and hard in all sorts of ways to justify. But that's got little or nothing to do with whether the practice taught by the TM organization is worthwhile to offer free as a practical, free to do, no strings attached and immediately helpful tool for stress reduction. Undertaking an "active and progressive training in awareness" is quite another project, is it not?

And if you've never had the experience, how do you know that TM training is nothing more than tossing out a syllable from chart?
posted by dpcoffin at 1:52 PM on March 8, 2011


Kvetching that personal anecdotes aren't given enough weight in rational debate is... misguided.

This thread is your idea of rational debate?

It appears so far to be largely an assortment of unsupported opinions, snarks and attacks on something only one poster has any acknowledged real experience of.

Demoting personal experiences to nothing but a handful of anecdotes seems a somewhat misguided strategy for benefiting from the lives of other people. Nonetheless, I typically prefer a solid anecdote to an uninformed opinion.
posted by dpcoffin at 1:54 PM on March 8, 2011


> nd if you've never had the experience, how do you know that TM training is nothing more than tossing out a syllable from chart?

Well, it's a bit more. Your $2500 buys a the whole setup and suggestion for it, meetings and ritual and all. The actual "training" is exactly tossing out the syllable from a manual, for the most part. Are you a TM instructor? I'm curious why anyone would be defending it so adamantly here.

As I said, I think the method has usefulness, but isn't a lifelong practice. It induces a tonic state in the practitioner, but I feel there are much better methods (such as Tsa Lung) to encourage the development of inner awareness. Especially so, the ones that don't have the baggage of being brought from a pop guru.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:50 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, I'm not a TM teacher, and I'm more interested in defending MetaFilter against what I see as one of its own worst tendencies (self-congratulatory prejudice, wherever it appears) than specifically in defending TM, or the TM organization.

I'm also interested in defending Lynch, Waits, etc.
What they're up to with this Foundation seems to have nothing to do with whether TM is the ultimate means of self-development, a worthy lifelong practice, the best way to meditate, or even associated with an organization that's sometimes weird if not at times downright stupid. From that point of view, it seems to me that Lynch is the best thing to happen to TM in a long time.

But more to the point, it seems to be doing something that's very hard to fault from any rational angle: Using their considerable talents, prominence and money (from no questionable motive) to bring a proven and easily-taught mental technique for stress-reduction to people who could possibly really benefit from it, and presumably aren't currently being offered anything better from anywhere else. It troubles my great fondness for the MetaFilter community to watch parts of it really not get it in the worst wiser-than-thou way, and without benefit of any real knowledge.

As for TM and me, it's been an inestimably useful life-long practice for me and many people I love, for over 40 years, as essential as my toothbrush. I dunno what difference that makes in this context; just anecdata… But it does make me more understanding about why Lynch or Waits (or Russell Simmons, Donovan, Bettye LaVette, Ringo Starr, David Lynch, Paul McCartney, Paul Horn, Mike Love, Moby, Clint Eastwood, etc.) might feel that making it more easily available was a good use of their time and talent. I haven't the slightest doubt that there will be many among the recipients of that Foundation's largess who will be seriously grateful.
posted by dpcoffin at 3:56 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hear Different
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on March 15, 2011


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