The mind is a wonderful thing to utilize. The ability of the mind is endless. We know and understand this but to really explore its power is to go deep within and ignite all of it. It’s crazy to realize something so grand, refreshing and ever evolving is already embedded into your internal design, waiting for you to exercise its full potential.
We all have come across the word and basic meaning of Meditation but David Lynch a Film Director and Practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, saw a much greater need for its higher level transformation, in the result of practicing such an organic method of mental and emotional calming to heal and gain peace.
In July of 2005 David Lynch solidified his determination to Transcend by using the mind and officially beginning the beautifully inspiring journey of Transcendental Meditation. This foundation has brought thousands of people out of stress, depression, ptsd, and other toxic emotions as they cope through life.
Partnering to unite and spread awareness, The David Lynch foundation and TheARC DC banded together, adding another action of change to their legacy and continuous union. The special occasion this time was an awesome benefit concert to raise funding to bring the power of meditation to 10,000 DC-area young people. The event was entitled: “SILENCE THE VIOLENCE”. You can’t tell me that, that alone isn’t a major shift in the atmosphere of growth toward positive change. A lot of people talk the talk but this foundation is actually walking the walk by investing themselves tangibly into making change a reality.
I, like many, really understand the importance of silencing the violence. On the afternoon of this event, a teenager was stabbed inside of a Metro Rail station. So the need is massive to aid in hugely reducing non controllable anger, frustration, hurt, jealousy, envy, etc. Our youth need structure and guidance and it has been proven to work in the form of Meditation. Being able to practice it on their own and long term, no matter the chaos of the environment that may surround them, is POWERFUL!!! If adults can struggle with knowing and accepting one’s self, teenagers can really find themselves in a confusing mental bind as they try to navigate through the transitioning of age, hormones and responsibilities.
A packed house of 5,000 audience members sat in the newly established popular concert venue “The Anthem” in Washington, D.C., located at the Wharf DC. This benefit Concert was for all ages so it was beautiful to see entire families together from the teenager to the grandparent. This fundraising effort was already proving to be a success as all tickets were sold out by the time the concert began. Though I wasn’t able to attend the pre-show cocktail hour, I love the fact that they added that into the celebratory night for the guest who could participate.
Spearheaded by Both Roth a Washington, DC native and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation. This event ran smoothly and was strategically well put together. Mr. Roth is an author and teacher of Transcendental Meditation. He also holds down the title of Director of the Center for Leadership Performance.
Joined on stage with Bob Roth were two additional incredible individuals: Rashaan Bernard, who is the President of “Building Bridges Across The River”, which is the company responsible for building TheARC DC and who now manages it. The second stand out individual was an influential and dedicated woman: Rena Boone who is the Executive Director of the Meditation center at The Arc/Regional Director of the David Lynch Foundation and active teacher of Transcendental Meditation for 40 years.
The audience was greeted with a series of very informative video clips featuring various students, military veterans, Athletes, influencers, and everyday people who have been wonderfully impacted and heavily impressed by their results of Transcendental Meditation. There was even a 30 second request to close our eyes and focus on a good thought to introduce us all to meditation. The room became quiet as most did participate.
In between each video was a performance and it went in the order of Jeremy Elliott, Norah Jones, Mavis Staples Joined by The Celebration Gospel Choir directed by Thee Joyce Garrett (Who by the way, was my mother’s fantastic choir director at Eastern Senior High School). Last, was Katy Perry who was joined by a small orchestra and her two longtime backing vocalists, ending with a medley of songs that the Celebration Gospel Choir once again joined in one.
With headliners such as Katy Perry, Norah Jones and Mavis Staples, there was no way the union of great minds would not bring out a desire to explore the full potential of the mind while soothing your soul musically.
They all were so awesome. Each artist was very explosive in their song delivery no matter how mellow or dramatic the intriguing arrangements were! The spirit of giving filled them and they laid their passions on the stage. It was evident they came there to serve the people and motivate. Jeremy Elliot came out and thrived. This artist is going places. The audience got acquainted with him well this night and I’m sure he left with several new fans. He may be a fresh name to some but he has been the songwriter behind artists such as: Justin Bieber and Trey Songs. He has an album out that you should consider checking out entitled: “The Deep End”.
As the night musically went on, the woman with the beautiful tone quality that catches you and mesmerizes your ears, Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter Norah Jones graced us with her stellar presence. She came out ready to take control of the stage with her trio: Bassist Josh Latannzi and Drummer Greg Wiz of The Candles Music, and herself as the Pianist. Norah Jones was breathtaking. Her voice is so pure and soothing. As her last song began, she played the first note and everyone went wild as we all united in our total love for her hit song “Don’t know Why”. She of course performed this effortlessly.
Then the incomparable and very Iconic Mavis Staples came out and tore the house down along with the Celebration Gospel Choir. This set pierced the soul. To know Mavis Staples is 80 years of age moving around that large stage and still saannggin her heart out is incredible. She was the highlight of the night. Her presence and positive energy emerged, took over and immediately was addictive. By the time she rocked out her internationally known hit jam: “I’ll Take You There” she had the audience to their feet and fully embracing the joyful moment while giving shine to the incredible Musical Director: Ron Mathes and the other amazing members of the band, as well as, partake in audience participation as she stated: “My family The Staple Singers have been “Taking You There” for more than 70 years. Hearing everyone sing and shout the words “I’ll Take You There”, makes it clear that nothing moves you like music does. We all were feeling all the good feels this song and Ms. Mavis Staples bring. Round Of Applause To her entire set!
This benefit Concert really flowed and moved along because the desire for more once an artist left the stage kept growing. So, as the final performer hit the stage, anticipation was at its highest as this internationally known mainstream pop artist Ms. Katy Perry came out dressed to impress and ready to rip the stage up with a high impact performance. She wasted no time and immediately started performing. She hit five of her biggest radio and fan top favorites. My personal favorites were “Roar” which was very fitting for the night and her final song that she performed as a medley with the fantastic and talented Celebration Gospel Choir. She went back to her upbringing in the church and began with “Oh Happy Day” and then flipped it with her song “Firework”. This brought so many people out of their shell and many up on their feet. You couldn’t help be sing and rock along. It was the perfect song to end the night with. She did take the time to speak of her experience fighting depression and how this Meditation practice has changed her life. She also asked for everyone to take out there phones, look at the screens and type what you see, while she herself took part in donating. On the screens were the words: Text “Meditate” to 20222 to donate $50 and Text “Change” to 20222 to donate $25.
Once Ms. Katy Perry slayed the stage, Rahsaan Benard, Bob Roth and Rena Boone came back out to thank everyone for coming out and supporting their fundraising efforts. As the event came to an end, it was Ms. Boone’s words that stuck. She summed this fundraising effort of passionately saying:
“We love the people in the district. We love the people in Ward 7 and 8. We are here to serve. We are committed to Eradicating Toxic Stress and Trauma in people’s lives. One person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time. When we reduce the stress, we reduce the violence. This is a game changer, THIS IS CHANGE!!! Change begins within!”
Everyone take a moment to go visit The ARC DC and also take the time to learn more about the David Lynch Foundation. Share your knowledge with as many people as you can. This opportunity sits right here in our area. It’s a train ride or few minute car drive away. Take advantage of a solidified way to increase peace and tranquility in your lives right here in Washington, DC.
Story By: @MarquitaCheron
About The Author: Marquita Cheron is a Jazzy-Soul/R&B Singer/Songwriter, Correspondent, Writer and overall Music Enthusiast; who has a love for every positive angle of the Music & Entertainment industry. Simply on a quest to reveal the greatness of amazing artists and their music to the masses, while also being a contributor of it herself.