Hollywood on the Potomac: Serenity Now

by Janet Donovan

Stars celebrate meditation as healing at David Lynch’s ‘Night of Laughter and Song’

Jerry Seinfeld (Photo by Joy Asico)

If you don’t know who Kesha Rose Sebert is, you’re not alone; neither does comedian Jerry Seinfeld. While walking the red carpet at the Kennedy Center’s “Night of Laughter and Song” event for the David Lynch Foundation, Seinfeld got caught up in a “streaker” kind of moment when he was nearly body checked by edgy rock ’n’ roll pop icon “Kesha,” who couldn’t contain her inner fan girl at the mere sight of him. In an off camera moment with SPIN, the comedian explained that the hug rubbed him the wrong way. “I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star,” he said “I was right in the middle of an interview … It was a little off.”

Luckily Seinfeld is into transcendental meditation to ward off stressful situations like being manhandled on a red carpet. He has been into meditation for about 45 years and credits its ease of use.“You just sit down and close your eyes and you find some serenity,” he told us. “It’s an effortless technique that brings your tension level down.”As a featured guest of the “Night of Laughter and Song,” Seinfeld was excited to support the concept’s increasing use by veterans.

The David Lynch Foundation’s Center for Health and Wellness was created in 2005 and works to heal traumatic stress and transform the lives of at-risk populations, both youth and adult, as well as veterans who suffer from PTSD. Proceeds from the stress-free evening benefited 10,000 local youth in the greater Washington area. Among the evening’s honorees were president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Pat Harrison, award winning journalist Candy Crowley, educator George H. Rutherford II and Rona and Jeffrey Abramson.

So, where did Jay Leno fit in on the star-studded line up? “I just found out about it five minutes ago,” he joked.“It kicks in quick if you just found out!” On a serious note, Leno explained that he couldn’t pass up the chance to help the brave men and women who serve our country, calling it an easy ask.

“Every single cause needs some help and it’s not really hard.” he said, “You can tell some jokes and it raises money, it’s not like I’m sweating my head off here, so it’s just for a good cause and it’s fun.” Leno added that he manages his pre-show jitters by clearing his head. “I always tell performers, if you have a problem or something in your life, just take care of it. It’s not exactly transcedental meditation, but it’s kind of a version of it.”

Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra- Lee Furness exuded chill on the red carpet, which was no surprise since the two had meditated on the plane ride there. They emphasized that the mental practice is available to everyone at any time, making it a valuable resource that can be “life changing.” “Everybody benefits from meditation,” Jackman said. “It’s not a religious thing, it’s a technique.”The couple used to meditate with their kids, saying that “the effect is not just that you get it, it’s the energy it creates within a family, a community.”

Hugh Jackman and Deborra Lee Furness (Photo by Joy Asico)

Katie Couric (Photo by Joy Asico)


Margaret Cho (Photo by Joy Asico)

Kesha (Photo by Joy Asico)

Images from the event can be found here

This article appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Washington Life Magazine.

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