Movies & Meditation: Our Favorite Action Heroes Who Go ‘Om’
Avatar: The movie’s hero, Jake manages to muster courage by meditating and communing with the ancient spirits of the same Na’vi tribe that he initially set out to dupe and conquer. Transformed into their fearless savior, he bravely leads them into battle against evil exploiters.
The Karate Kid: Mr Han, played by legendary action star Jackie Chan, teaches little Dre to concentrate, and trains him in karate, teaching him important life lessons along the way, one of them being the importance of practicing mediation.
Kung Fu Panda: The lovable but ungainly panda, Po is taught to hone his kung fu skills through extensive and grueling practice but what helps him excel and find his inner champion is getting in touch with his inner peace, as taught to him by his master, Shifu.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: These unlikely, pizza-loving heroes fight crime and injustice while they manage to have fun, crack crazy one-liners and rib each other like the loving, teen siblings they are. But they never forget to take time out to meditate and stay true to their ninjutsu training like their sensei Rat taught them to.
The Hulk: Dr Banner is able to avoid turning into the giant green monster only by controlling his anger and keeping his pulse normal. He uses mediation to manage his seemingly unruly impulses and dangerous transformation.
The Lion King: Simba’s friend and advisor, the wise baboon Rafiki is like a shaman to the royal lions of Pride Rock. A meditation master, he teaches Simba to recognize his powers of leadership, and helps him connect with his dreams of returning home and get in touch with the memories of his father.
Kill Bill: This cult classic that made yellow jumpsuits and samurai swords synonymous in the sweetest way ever, was overflowing with gore and violence. Yet its central character played by Uma Thurman, goes through meditation that helps her to sharpen her focus and learn to punch through wood.
The Matrix: Keanu Reeves as Neo is brilliantly convincing as a corporate drone transformed into a killing machine who can outwit the system. But he’s able to tap into his amazing mind-bending powers only after he travels within through meditation, which is when he truly believes he is The One.
Meditation, when shown in Hollywood, tends to be portrayed as something done only by spiritual masters and mystical gurus. But we took a closer look and rounded up a few of our favorite characters who show us that there are only positive benefits to this spiritual practice.
From gory flicks like Kill Bill and action sci-fi films such as The Matrix, to adorable animation movies like Kung Fu Panda, as well as motion picture interpretations of popular comic books such as The Hulk, we’ve succeeded in showing you the most unlikely heroes to ever make meditation seem cool.
Here’s a video of Dr Bruce Banner—played by Edward Norton—keeping his green eyed monster in check with meditation, in The Incredible Hulk.
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