Harry Hamlin discusses finding the grounding influence of meditation through his role in feature film, The Fourth Noble Truth.
Meditation is increasingly a topic of news stories and a part of popular culture. Meditation is even part of the subject of an entertaining feature film, The Fourth Noble Truth. The film’s star Harry Hamlin inspires on screen. A recent conversation with the talented actor gave me a powerful hit on inspiration when we discussed the power of practicing meditation.
Harry Hamlin and the film The Fourth Noble Truth
In The Fourth Noble Truth, Harry plays Aaron. Aaron is a narcissistic movie star who gets in trouble (the kind of trouble that involves handcuffs) because he can’t maintain his cool. In order to impress the judge, Aaron’s lawyer sends the misbehaving actor to a series of classes with the judge’s meditation teacher, who is played with sincerity by Kristen Kerr.
Once I heard the name of the movie I was immediately intrigued. The first lesson that the Buddha taught beneath the Bodhi Tree was the lesson of the four noble truths. Life is suffering, the cause of suffering is desire, there are methods for reducing suffering, and the method for reducing suffering is to live by the principles of the eightfold path. The Bodhi Tree was also the place where the Buddha sat and attained enlightenment. I visited that very location in India and sat under the Bodhi Tree. It was a highlight of my travels.
As Harry and I spoke about the film and what drew him to the role of Aaron in The Fourth Noble Truth, my interest in the film, in Harry’s story, and in meditation grew. Harry decided to take on the role of the reluctant meditator Aaron because he was looking for a grounding influence in his own life in the midst of chaos. He found a welcome and fun challenge in the idea of playing a self-obsessed movie star who is handed a somewhat unconventional punishment for road rage.
Harry Hamlin and his Personal Practice of Meditation and Fitness
Harry began his personal practice of meditation in 1976 during his classical acting training at one of the top drama schools in the country—the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He studied Transcendental Meditation (it was part of the school’s curriculum) and was given a mantra. When he is regularly practicing meditation, he says that he find his life runs like a well-oiled machine. Everything works and flows more efficiently. “The way you react is different, you sleep better and have an overall sense of calm,” Harry said. He continued, “When you step back and look at the big picture life is better, more enjoyable.” His meditation practice helps him step back.
In addition to meditation, Harry has a number of other healthy habits. These include hiking (his favorite outdoor activity is climbing mountains), weight training, and stretching. Healing from a recent foot injury required him to wear a cast and change up his routine. So he added daily 30 to 120-minute rides on a stationary bike in place of his customary hikes. And while Harry used to enjoy a regular yoga practice, an injury sustained during his stint on Dancing with the Stars led to placing his practice on hold to avoid forward folds per doctor’s orders. After the herniated disc he experienced has healed and Harry is looking forward to resuming his yoga practice.
Harry Hamlin and Food and Health
When it comes to food and health, Harry favors healthy and organic. He became vegan for a year after reading The China Study. During that year, his spine healed faster and more completely than the doctors thought possible. While he is not currently a vegan, he remains conscious about his choices.
The two of us had fun sharing meditation stories. If you have not yet tried mediation….go for it, it’s worth it. I promise you your life will improve. Just ask Harry.
The Fourth Noble Truth
The Fourth Noble Truth stars Harry Hamlin and Kristen Kerr. It opened in Los Angeles on June 5, 2015, at the Laemmle Royal (laemmle.com).
For more information about the film, visit: thefourthnobletruth.com