David Lynch Is Making Tiny Lamps in Quarantine

The Los Angeles–based filmmaker is also doing a lot of meditating — to open up “the tube through which ideas flow.” Photo: YouTube

We’ve always been living in a weird film. The entire world is stopped right now, and no one knows what’s on the other side. None of us have been through something like this. For a lot of people, it’s fear of the unknown and a lot of anxiety, and for others it’s kind of a chance to reflect. It’s almost kind of hopeful, like maybe the insanity of yesterday is going to give way to something much more intelligent and kind. It’s a lot of time to think.

I love being at home. Right now I’m in the woodshop, and I’m working on these small lamps. It’s so much fun to dream up a different kind of lamp and have the tools and the materials to realize these things. I like working with resin, I like working with wood, and I like working with electricity. So the lamps encompass these three things in a beautiful way. It’s just a great thing to be in the woodshop working away.

As the weather gets warmer, I have a painting studio, so I’m going to get back into painting. People in isolation could be writing stories, they could be writing poems, they could be inventing different kinds of games. And they could be meditating. If you’re out there looking for ideas for a story, you’ll find that that tube through which ideas flow starts to open up when stress starts to go, and all this negativity starts to go. That tube opens up, the ideas start flowing more and more — it’s like baiting a hook. You lower that hook into the water, and these ideas will come. The ideas are there. You gotta catch ’em, that’s all.

[I meditate for] a full 20 minutes, morning and evening. Depending on where you live, there’s a legitimate [transcendental meditation] teacher not far away. You can’t get it from a book. Talk to a teacher about how you learn in the time of coronavirus, and after four days you’ll have this technique. It’s a perfect time for a husband and wife and the kids to learn and meditate together as a family. My kids started when they were 6, all of them. Stress won’t stick to ’em. And they’ll stay happy little campers. It’s such a beautiful thing for relationships. There’s this bubble of happiness that starts growing inside. The torment starts to go. Happy people don’t want to be mean to others, they want to help others.

Prisoners who get this technique say the bars disappeared. They felt freedom. Within every human being is this field of pure consciousness. A field of life itself. This field is eternal. This consciousness has unbounded intelligence, unbounded creativity, unbounded happiness, unbounded love, unbounded energy, unbounded peace. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi didn’t make it up; he revived this ancient technique that truly works. The potential for every human being is infinite enlightenment. You start wherever you start. Negativity cannot live in the light of this expanding consciousness. People see things like traumatic stress, anxiety, tension, hate, bitter selfish anger, need for revenge, and fear start to lift away automatically. Such a sublime experience. All this gold coming in and garbage going out. Life gets better and better. We’re built to transcend.

I have no plans for the screen right now, but let’s hope that shared group experiences will never go away. I’ve heard people talking about the longing for a return to theaters where people can come together. It’s something that I don’t think will disappear. But it’s in jeopardy right now, for sure. So can these theaters hold on through this troubling time? I hope so.

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David Lynch Is Making Tiny Lamps in Quarantine