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David Lynch Foundation: Teaching meditation to at-risk girls

At 6:00am on February 18 I walked out of my home in the midst of a tough winter in the Midwest. It was dark and frigid, three degrees to be exact. I pushed a few last belongings into every spare inch of my little green Corolla, blasted the heater and the mix CD I made for the road trip, and drove west into the icy tundra watching the sun rise in my rear view mirror. Three days later I arrived in sunny Los Angeles to begin the next chapter of the adventure we call life, as a Transcendental Meditation teacher for the David Lynch Foundation.

This whole adventure actually started last May, about a month before I was to graduate from college. I was in an airport in Texas when I received a phone call from David Lynch who said, “Puki, I want to encourage you to become a TM teacher and move to Los Angeles.”

I responded, “Okay, David, I’ll think about it…”

However, David’s response did not leave me much choice in the matter, “No Puki, you’ll do more than think about it,” he stated in a very matter-of-fact manner.

So here I am, less than a year later, living in Los Angeles, teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique as the most recent addition to the ever-growing list of amazing projects that the David Lynch Foundation is doing. The video below does a great job at giving you an overall picture of the David Lynch Foundation mission and vision.

David started the foundation in 2005 to make this stress-reducing meditation technique available to at-risk populations, mainly school kids in high-stress environments. Three weeks ago I started teaching meditation to girls at a shelter and school dedicated to assisting children between the ages of 11 and 17 who have been forced to prostitute on the streets for food to eat and a place to sleep. Talk about a high-stress environment!

I honestly had no clue how the girls were going to take to the meditation. All of the girls wanted to learn, except for one girl, lets call her Rachel. However, after seeing her friends complete their Transcendental Meditation instruction feeling calm and relaxed, she came running up to me asking if she could still learn that day. I met with her right then and instructed her.

The next day when we met to check in with all of the girls, Rachel was very bright, positive and engaged in the discussion. She shared with the group that she had slept better that night than she had in a long time. Over the next week, Rachel continued to tell me that she was sleeping better and feeling more rested and able to focus better in school.

I think we all know from experience how crucial sleep is to living a functional, healthy, happy existence. If the experience of transcending can help dissolve the stress and trauma that keeps these girls awake at night, what an amazing gift they have received…and it has only been three weeks since they learned.

More stories to follow.