David Lynch's "Operation Warrior Wellness" Aims to Teach 10,000 Veterans to Meditate
An estimated 30-35% of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). But filmmaker and long-time meditator, David Lynch, along with Russell Brand, Clint Eastwood, and Donna Karan, are hoping to change that. I was fortunate to see all of these celebrities in-person yesterday at Lynch's "Operation Warrior Wellness" press conference. However, it was a casual pre-conference given by Lynch and WWII veteran, Jerry Yellin, that was far-and-away the highlight for me.
Before the conference started, I sat a few feet away from Lynch and listened him to speak about meditation. His passion for TM (transcendental meditation) oozes through him as he delivers one enthusiastic soundbite after another -- you can feel him light up when he talks about the practice. When asked about his own personal meditation practice, he speaks enthusiastically, saying he's meditated "every day, twice a day, for 37 years." He calls meditation a "glow of consciousness," which is a "magical thing... Happiness comes and then more ideas come. Negativity is the enemy. Negativity cramps the flow of ideas."
With Operation Warrior Wellness Lynch hopes to teach veterans this "simple, stress-reducing technique to help lift" thousands. He went on to say, "When soldiers come home, no one understands what they've experienced or seen. With meditation they get this technique in which all of this positive light comes back and helps them get their lives back again."
When the conference started, WWII veteran and Warrior Wellness co-chair, Jerry Yellin (pictured right, and below left with fellow veteran, Gordon Scott) spoke. At age 18, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Three years later he was a P-51 pilot landing on Iwo Jima. Jerry said he "sees the sights and hears the sounds from the war to this day." Although he has a wonderful marriage (he's been married for 59 years!), children, and was successful in business, he said he still couldn't experience fulfillment. That was until in 1975 when his wife "wanted to meditate, which meant I had to learn how to meditate, too." He says this was "the first time I experienced fulfillment." Wow.
Yesterday was a very special event filled with tons of goodness. I'll close with my favorite Lynch quote from the day, which is simple yet powerful: "With meditation, we have a treasure within. We get happier, and things get very, very good."
Namaste to that!