The proceeds from the David Lynch Foundation’s
National Night of Laughter and Song will help support
10,000 veterans and at-risk youth in Washington, D.C.


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.


“Meditation makes me more relaxed and gives me a source of energy as well. It’s helpful when I’m overwhelmed, it gives me a sense of comfort and relief. It also contributes to my behavior because when I meditate I am less cranky and in a better mood. Meditation is useful to me and I hope to continue using it in college.” —Student at Bronx High School for Law and Community Service

The Quiet Time Program

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.

  • 25% of teenagers suffer from anxiety disorder
  • One in four high school students has been offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers

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.

Quiet Time outcomes include:

  • 21% increase in high school graduation rate
  • 10% improvement in test scores and grade point average
  • 40% reduction in psychological distress including stress, anxiety, and depression
  • 86% reduction in suspensions over two years


The Resilient Warrior Program

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:

  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Severe depression, anxiety, or emotional numbness
  • Family and employment problems
  • Suicide—today, more than 6,500 vets die by suicide every year (about 21 per day)

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.

  • A David Lynch Foundation-Wounded Warrior Project study found that:
  • 95% of meditating veterans reported less stress
  • 86% reported less anger
  • 85% feel more in control of their lives
  • 89% reported improved relationships with family and friends
  • 79% reported improved sleep


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.