Posted by: bobroth | February 25, 2010

On the Road with David – From the Archives

“Catching the Big Fish”


Here is a revealing exchange between David and an interviewer from the news site:

MSN: Other than public speaking, what are you most afraid of?
DAVID: Dying.

On and off during the past five years in support of the David Lynch Foundation, David has traveled to over 20 countries (usually paid for by local film schools) to answer questions about his films, the creative process, meditation, his foundation, life, etc. He may not like it much, but his audiences really do…


Barnes and Noble David’s book, “Catching the Big Fish,” had just been released, and he was a featured speaker at the Barnes and Noble flagship store on Union Square in New York City. There are four floors at the store. David spoke to about 400 people on the top floor meeting area (it is a big place). But there were as many as 500 or 600 people (by the manager’s estimation) jammed into the aisles on the lower three floors who could not get upstairs. So the manager piped David’s interview through the store’s emergency sound system so everyone could listen. David was joined onstage at the end by the great girl group, Au Revoir Simone.

Yale David spoke to a packed house of 1200 students at Battel Chapel at Yale University in New Haven… To a student who asked, “Don’t you have to suffer to create?” David replied, “If you are really suffering, if you are really depressed or have a migraine headache or diarrhea, then you can’t even get out of bed to create. Suffering squeezes off the conduit to creativity. An artist doesn’t have to suffer to show suffering, just like the artist doesn’t have to die to show a death scene. You have to understand suffering, you have to understand the human condition, but the suffering should stay on the screen on not in real life.”

Brazil During an 8-day, fantastically whirlwind tour Rio Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Bella Horizonte, and Puerto Allegre (for the Portuguese translation of his book), David spoke on college campuses, visited schools were the students meditate, held news conferences, and met with government leaders. Here he is interviewed at the Globo Television Studios in Rio. One of the most searingly poignant moments came during David’s visit to a crumbling school auditorium outside of Belle Horizonte, where 3,000 meditating students from the favelas (shantytowns) had gathered to hear David speak and to meditate together. This you have to see…


“Softer than the flower where kindness is concerned,
“Stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake.”

—Vedic definition of the enlightened

Meditation is not a selfish thing. Even though you’re diving in and experiencing the Self, you’re not closing yourself off from the world. You’re strengthening yourself so you can be more effective when you go back out into the world.

It’s like they say on airplanes: “First put your mask on, and then help those next to you put theirs on.” My friend Charlie Lutes used to say, “There’s a guy crying on the curb, and you sit down to comfort him, and pretty soon there’s two guys crying on the curb.”

So compassion, appreciation for others, and the capacity to help others is enhanced when you meditate. You start diving down and experiencing this ocean of pure love, pure peace — you could say pure compassion. You experience that, and know it by being it. Then you go out into the world, and you can really do something for people.

From “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity” by David Lynch (Tarcher/Penguin)


  1. David’s humility is what I love the most.

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