David Lynch Launches $500 Million Mental Health And Meditation Initiative For College Students

While our hearts collectively shattered after learning that David Lynch, will, in fact, not be premiering a film at Cannes this May, he certainly is busy with other (non-film-related) projects. According to IndieWire, Lynch has launched a $500 million mental health program under his David Lynch Foundation, which aims to provide training for Transcendental Meditation for 30,000 college students. The aim of this initiative is to help the target audience "become advanced peace-creating meditation experts and build a legacy of lasting global peace".

Changing the 'collective consciousness'

Lynch has been a proponent of Transcendental Meditation for years, practicing the method since 1973, and has described it as a daily practice that provides "effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within" (via David Lynch Foundation). Lynch's current initiative will invest roughly $500 million in its first year alone, in partnership with the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, an organization that aims to promote evidence-backed, nonviolent approaches to preventing socio-political conflict.

In a promotional video for the initiative, Lynch touched upon the importance of peace in a war-torn world (via PEOPLE):

"We don't know what tomorrow's going to bring if we don't get peace on this planet. This war in Ukraine, people were saying it's not going to happen, and now it's happened. People are dying. Cities are being destroyed. Things are very, very precarious. Everybody knows it.

People do many things to help humanity, but this has been going on for a long time. Talking, marching, singing — it's not brought peace."

Proposing an alternative to resolving these issues, Lynch emphasized meditation as a means to "start lifting" emotions of stress and negativity inherent within the human experience. The director went on to credit Dr. Tony Nader for championing the transcendental meditation movement, which highlights that change should be brought about within the "collective consciousness."

The initiative details reveal the meditation training will be funded for 10,000 students at Maharishi International University in the U.S (founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi), 10,000 students at the sister schools across India, and 10,000 students at partner universities around the world.

Dr. Nader also expressed his sentiments about Lynch's efforts:

"David Lynch is not only a brilliant filmmaker — he believes that world peace is attainable and can be achieved. His plan will do what all the bombs cannot do: help us create actual peace in the world."

Lynch's digital film, "Inland Empire" recently returned to the big screen after undergoing a 4K remaster, carried out in association with Janus Films.