The David Lynch Foundation is a nonprofit organization which addresses the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations. In the past 12 years the Foundation has provided scholarships for more than 500,000 young people attending underserved schools, veterans with post-traumatic stress, and women survivors of domestic violence to learn the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique. Extensive, peer-reviewed research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Department, and other government and philanthropic agencies has found the technique to be highly effective for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, heart disease, substance abuse, and violent, impulsive behavior. Funds raised during the National Night of Laughter & Song will help teach 10,000 veterans and young people in Washington, D.C., to meditate.
Trauma and toxic stress are a daily reality among young people growing up in a climate of poverty, violence, and fear. This trauma undermines physical and mental health and impedes brain and cognitive functioning and emotional development.
The David Lynch Foundation’s Transcendental Meditation-based Quiet Time program serves thousands of students each year in underserved communities, fostering and sustaining positive learning environments. Incorporated into each school’s curriculum and offered to the entire school community – students, teachers, administrators, and principals – Quiet Time has been shown to increase learning readiness, positively impact grades and graduation rates, and decrease student truancy and teacher burnout. Quiet Time is currently in schools in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Post-traumatic stress among veterans has reached epidemic proportions, with devastating consequences. Over half a million U.S. troops deployed since 2001 suffer from PTSD. Yet fewer than 20% will receive adequate care due to lack of effective treatments, fear of stigma, or insufficient government resources. Left untreated, PTSD cripples functioning and places veterans at great risk for violent and self-destructive behavior, including:
The David Lynch Foundation brings the Transcendental Meditation-based Resilient Warrior Program to veterans through partnerships with such agencies and organizations as Veterans Administration Centers nationwide, the Department of Defense, the Fort Gordon Eisenhower Army Medical Center Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, and Veterans Lifeline. The Resilient Warrior Program has proven to be an effective tool and has achieved statistically significant results. In a clinical trial at the Fort Gordon Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, 83.7% of those instructed in Transcendental Meditation stabilized, reduced, or stopped using psychotropic medication within one month of beginning a regular Transcendental Meditation practice.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a simple, easily-learned, evidence-based technique, practiced for 20 minutes twice a day, sitting comfortably in a chair. During TM, the body gains a profound state of rest and relaxation while the mind is deeply settled yet wide awake and the brain functions with increased coherence. More than 350 peer-reviewed studies verify the physiological and psychological benefits of Transcendental Meditation for reducing stress and stress-related disorders, including hypertension, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, while increasing creativity, energy, intelligence, and focus.