Veterans, medical doctors, researchers, and celebrities came together at the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan on December 13 to support the David Lynch Foundation’s launch of Operation Warrior Wellness. The outreach aims at providing funds to teach the Transcendental Meditation technique to 10,000 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder—PTSD—and their families.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Lynch hosted the event.
“It’s so good that we have Operation Warrior Wellness. Soldiers are truly suffering. There are so many benefits from Transcendental Meditation, but for sure it is a ‘stress-buster.’ And when the soldiers get this technique they are going to get their lives back again.” Mr. Lynch said.
Operation Warrior Wellness was inspired by Jerry Yellin, a decorated World War II fighter pilot who himself suffered from the acute problems caused by PTSD—and who later enjoyed the stress-relieving benefits of the TM program. “We have the ability to teach traumatized young veterans to meditate—and help them enormously,” Mr. Yellin said.
Colonel Brian Rees, M.D., who recently completed his fourth deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke about the suitability of the Transcendental Meditation technique for the military. “Research has found TM to be very effective treatment for PTSD. It’s easy to do, easy to learn and effortless to perform. It’s really a very suitable intervention.”
Norman Rosenthal, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School and for 20 years a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Mental Health, conducted recent research showing the beneficial effects of the TM technique on PTSD.
“Fifty years of research on this technique have produced astonishing results. I have been impressed by the excellence of the science and the large number of peer-reviewed publications. As a psychiatrist who tries to treat people with medications and therapy, I am fully aware that these approaches are far from perfect. Now, we have at our disposal a new meditation-based approach that can in a powerful, simple, and profound way help people, who, for the most part, do not receive any other ongoing input from mental health professionals. I think is very exciting development, especially in this era of diminishing resources.”
The news conferences ended with a special videotaped message from Clint Eastwood, who has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over 40 years:
“I am a great supporter of Transcendental Meditation. I think that it is a great tool for anyone to be able to utilize to reduce stress. And when you consider the stress that our men and women of the Armed Forces endure—the anxieties of going through combat—then TM is a great tool for them. But it’s a great approach for anyone to use in life in general; otherwise why would I have been doing it all these years—almost half of my life!”