Martin Scorsese is one of the cinema’s most acclaimed directors. Born in New York City in 1942, he was a quiet child with a strong case of asthma, and spent much of his young life alone watching movies. After high school he spent a year in a Catholic seminary preparing to become a priest. He later decided to enroll at New York University and found himself drawn to NYU’s famous film school, where the emerging French and Italian New Wave and independent filmmakers had a profound influence on him.
“Of course a lot of drama is projected onto the screens of our consciousness, our minds, day and night—patterns that you learn from childhood, intrigues, resentments, hatreds, and terrors…. The common response is to tough it out. In other words, to suffer. Now, I’ve been a firm believer in suffering all my life. My pictures are kind of volatile, and they certainly can attest to that. Yet, recently, I’ve learned that you may not have to suffer to make them as much. It may not be the way it’s supposed to be.
“For the last few years, I’ve been practicing meditation. It’s difficult to describe the effect it’s had on my life. I can only mention maybe a few words: calm, clarity, a balance, and, at times, a recognition. It’s made a difference.
“On this night, as you’re trying to raise the funds necessary to bring Transcendental Meditation to students, veterans, homeless men and women, native Americans, anyone suffering from strong stress, I want to thank you. I encourage all of you gathered here tonight to support this foundation. Thanks and goodnight.”