Book review: “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity” by David Lynch

Do you like movies by David Lynch? I do. They are ground-breaking, strange, surrealist and somewhat similar to the books of Haruki Murakami. David Lynch is one of my favorite movie directors because he dares to be different and breaks the boundaries and conventions of contemporary cinema. It takes courage and confidence to be different and present your own view of the world. So, in this short book David Lynch discusses his creative process and how it is influenced by his meditation practices.  

David has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for several decades and he is very devoted to it. Lynch uses the metaphor of catching a big fish talking about ideas and creativity. He claims that you can only catch a big fish by getting deeper into your consciousness. David talks about the creative process as an ability to see magic in everyday life. David never comments on the contents and meanings of his works. His movies are about atmosphere, music, time, space, worlds within worlds.

I can’t believe that I have so much in common with Lynch. I love to meditate, I lived in Montana state in the US, I love art house movies and I also seem to have a unique perspective on the world around me. Some of the feelings he describes in the book are very familiar to me: the unified field of ideas, deep concentration, search for purpose, appeal to intuition and feelings of absurdity of everyday life.

For me, cinema could be either boring and dull or artistic and creative. Movies of David Lynch are certainly artistic and creative. Artistic movies create new feelings, new ideas, new worlds. I so much crave for the complexity and meanings that you cannot grasp easily. It is strange, but after watching movies by Lynch, you go out and see the world somewhat differently. Isn’t it the ultimate purpose of art?

You can visit David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace at http://www.DavidLynchFoundation.org

What is true love?

This question is very important for all of us as the meaning of love is being depreciated and narrowed down by media, corporations and popular culture. I have just finished reading a short book by Thich Nhat Hanh called “True love: a practice of awakening the heart”. Written by a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, this book is a true masterpiece. It is also a book to keep by your bedside and read at times when you need some emotional support. The author discusses the four aspects of love according to Buddhism: maitri, karuna, mudita and upeksha. Maitri refers to loving-kindness or benevolence, karuna refers to compassion, mudita is joy and upeksha refers to freedom. All the four concepts are about the focus on the loved one, not on yourself: the focus on understanding as the essence of love.

These are very important ideas especially for people who meditate regularly. Many meditations require us to focus on love, yet not many of us truly understand this concept.  Thich Nhat Hanh uncovers the essence of true love and provides some useful examples of mindfulness practices we can do every day. When we meditate, we bring our body and mind to the present moment and thus we can look into the essence of things. Human-made concepts and categories create fear and anxiety while meditation helps us to touch reality within ourselves. Love is about recognizing the presence of the other, being there when your loved one is suffering, deep listening, overcoming pride and practicing loving speech. Meditation is one of the ways how we can experience true love and freedom.

Do you practice mediation? Please share your meditation experience in the comments.