According to an article in Psychology Today , in the United States alone, approximately 3.5 million people are homeless and 1.35 million of them are children. Yes, that’s over one-third of the homeless population! These children lack basic necessities–food and clothing, medical and dental treatment, supplies, etc. However, most importantly, these children lack one major thing most humans need and desire—stability.
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Children of the Night is a homeless shelter located in Van Nuys, California that is dedicated to assisting children between the ages of 11 and 17 who have been victims of prostitution. For more that three decades, Children of the Night has been providing services to these young people—a welcoming home, meals, clothes, supplies, an on-site school, counseling, social services, and the stability that is essential to their progress and success in life.
For the past 16 months, Children of the Night has partnered with the David Lynch Foundation to provide another kind of stability to the children—inner calm and peace through the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation Program.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Lynch became involved with Children of the Night after his wife, Emily, began volunteering at the shelter two years ago. At a press conference on June 3rd, Lynch explained what the practice of Transcendental Meditation- which he’s done twice daily for 38 years – can do for these highly stressed children:
“If you’re a stressed human being – and especially a traumatically stressed human being – once you transcend and experience this deepest level, it’s like somebody took a hammer and hit the bolt at the top of a boiler filled with stress, and it starts pouring out,” said David Lynch.“It’s such a relief,” continued Lynch, whose six-year-old foundation has raised millions of dollars to teach TM techniques to some 150,000 people, mostly students, worldwide. “So, the girls got happier and less stressed and saw a brighter world outside, rather than a hell world.”
“I’ve done the meditation for a year,” said a 17-year-old resident. “It helps me realize the goals that I actually want to achieve. If I get scared, or nervous, or frustrated, I don’t leave right off the bat now. It’s just brought me a well of calmness that nothing else has been able to provide.”
Dr. Lois Lee, founder and president of Children of the Night, said that her own TM practice had a similar effect, enabling her to clarify strategies for her long-frustrated dream of expanding Children of the Night’s programs beyond Los Angeles.
“Through our experience with the David Lynch Foundation and through our discovery that Children of the Night can operate without walls, we know we can take our award-winning programs to adolescents who are forced to live in out-of-home care throughout America.”
“I would have never been able to make that leap in my mind without Transcendental Meditation,” Lee said.