Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Mafia to Buddhism (video)


Wise Guy
Andrea Miller (Shambhala Sun)
[This probably only happens in Hollywood, not so much in Italy, New York, or Jersey.] Best known for his role in The Sopranos, Michael Imperioli is a dedicated Buddhist.

From gangsters to gurus, film to family -- this is his spiritual journey. In an interview, I ask Imperioli how he reconciles his Buddhist beliefs about compassion with the violence in The Sopranos and other shows he’s been in.

Hopefully, he tells me, “you’ll be revolted by it and you’ll realize it’s deluded to think that’s a justifiable way of living your life.” If you’re going to show a mob character, he continues, “it’s important to show him in a graphic way because otherwise, when you’re laughing with him and you see him with his wife, you’ll relate to him and maybe start to think something like ‘oh, he’s just another father.’

So you have to see that flip side -- the cruelty and the dehumanizing of the victims -- to realize who these people are and to realize that it’s a very destructive and unkind way of life. It’s more truthful to present both sides than to clean it up.” Buddhism can help... More

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