Yogi Bearer

Director David Lynch, shown in 2003, is touring college campuses to promote his vision of achieving world peace through Transcendental Meditation
Director David Lynch, shown in 2003, is touring college campuses to promote his vision of achieving world peace through Transcendental Meditation "scholarships." (By Alex Wong -- Getty Images)

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By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 2, 2005

LOS ANGELES David Lynch is wiggling his fingers. As the filmmaker becomes excited, wiggle speed increases. He is really wiggling now. He is talking about diving into an infinite ocean of pure bliss.

Earthlings, pack a bag. David Lynch is on a mission. It might not be the mission you would have chosen for him. But it is his mission and he appears sincere. The director behind some of the most disturbing images in cinema, who brought us the mutant baby in the avant-garde classic "Eraserhead" and the portable gas-inhaling mask apparatus for Dennis Hopper's "mommy, mommy, mommy" character in "Blue Velvet," would now like to save the planet from negativity.

"It's a no-brainer," he says.

The plan? Peace factories.

"You build a facility like a factory, you house the people, you feed the people, they do their meditation," he says, "and it's a beautiful, beautiful thing for the world."

Lynch is sitting in the recording studio at his three-house modernist complex in the Hollywood Hills, just down the road, as it turns out, from Mulholland Drive, which is also the title of one of his inscrutable films.

His space, if not his mind, is spare and uncluttered. There is a row of guitars (he plays). A studio for his canvases (he paints). In a kitchen sits a high-end espresso machine. He confesses a fondness for caffeine and sweets (he famously went to a nearby Bob's Big Boy restaurant almost every day for seven years for a chocolate milkshake). On a recent morning, the 59-year-old artist is dressed in a white shirt, buttoned to the collar, like a cowboy nerd. His pompadour of gray is swept up, three stories tall. He smells richly of recent cigarettes.

From his work in film and television (he was also the creator of the series "Twin Peaks"), one might expect Lynch to be creepy. He is not. Instead, he appears almost sunny, as happy as can be, talking about his plans for the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace and about his ongoing tour of college campuses to promote his vision.

For 32 years, twice a day, morning and evening for 20 minutes, Lynch says, he has practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique developed by the Beatles' former guru, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, originally from India and now living in Holland.

The peace factory workers would do the regular TM, Lynch says, and more.

Like what?

"This is going to blow your mind," Lynch warns.


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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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