David Lynch Explains How Meditation Enhances Our Creativity

in Creativity, Film, Psychology | April 25th, 2013

David Lynch meditates, and he meditates hard. Beginning his practice in earnest after it helped him solve a creative problem during the production of his breakout 1977 film Eraserhead, he has continued meditating assiduously ever since, going so far as to found the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and Peace and publish a pro-meditation book called Catching the Big Fish.

It might seem nonsensical to hear an artist of the grotesque like Lynch speak rapturously about voyaging into his own consciousness, let alone in his fractured all-American, askew-Jimmy-Stewart manner, but he does meditate for a practical reason: it gives him ideas. Only by meditating, he says, can he dive down and catch the “big fish” he uses as ingredients in his inimitable film, music, and visual art. You can hear more of his thoughts on meditation, consciousness, and creativity in his nine-minute speech above.

If you’d like to hear more, the video just above offers a nearly two-hour presentation at UC Berkeley with Lynch as its star. You’ll also hear from outspoken quantum physicist John Hagelin and Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition Maharishi University of Management. Some of what they say might make good sense to you: after all, we could all use a method to clear our minds so we can create what we need to create. Some of what they say might strike you as total nonsense. But if you feel tempted to dismiss all as too bizarre for serious consideration, you might meditate, as it were, on other things Lynchian: backwards-talking dwarves, severed ears on suburban lawns, alien babies, women living in radiators, sitcom families in rabbit suits. He’s certainly pitched us weirder concepts than meditation.

For some secular introductions to meditation, you may wish to try UCLA’s free guided meditation sessions or check out the Meditation 101 animated beginner’s guide above. If you’re not too put off by the occasional Buddhist reference, I would also highly recommend the Insight Meditation Center’s free six-part introduction to mindfulness meditation.

Related content:

David Lynch Talks Meditation with Paul McCartney

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi Explains Why the Source of Happiness Lies in Creativity and Flow, Not Money

David Lynch’s Surreal Commercials

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

by | Make a Comment (9)

Comments (9)

  1. Ramesh Bajaj says . . .
    April 25, 2013 / 6:46 am

    Could you show how to MEDITATE?

  2. Ravi Shekhar says . . .
    April 25, 2013 / 9:49 am

    here is a link which might help to know more about meditation


  3. Ravi Shekhar says . . .
    April 25, 2013 / 9:55 am

    dynamic meditation is the best for modern urban human being
    here is the method

  4. Lina Cuartas says . . .
    April 25, 2013 / 11:52 am

    Sure, I even have bilingual audios I made for children which interestingly, have been zapped up by grown-ups from every walk of life imaginable. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll provide you the link and code to download the audios…
    WArm Regards,

  5. Kim Matthews says . . .
    April 28, 2013 / 8:13 am

    I would be skeptical of anything that touts itself as the “best” form of meditations. What’s best is what works for you. That said, I’ve been practicing TM daily for over fourteen years and agree with what Mr. Lynch says. If you’re thinking about learning how to meditate, explore everything, then choose the one that seems most natural, pleasant and simple.

  6. LUCIA GOMEZ says . . .
    April 29, 2013 / 5:29 am

    Every word is EXACT.

  7. naveen says . . .
    May 10, 2013 / 10:15 am

    1 would like to know about articles and meditative techniques and other spiritual techniques and methods taught by your website

  8. Filippo says . . .
    August 17, 2013 / 11:24 pm

    the link, both links don’t work

  9. ArB says . . .
    April 8, 2016 / 9:30 am

    Dont waste your time on anything less than TM. This is what Lynch is saying in this video. I’ve been doing TM for over 20 years..and research shows TM is the best form of meditation (which you need to learn from a qualified TM teacher). Anything less will only give some weak partial benefit if you are lucky.

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