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Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 32 family,” says Imperioli. “I see the change in my wife, because it’s easier to see it in someone else. Patience, tolerance, peace of mind—these things have increased in her a lot. When you can see your partner being more patient and being kinder to herself, it inspires you. Those benefits are for the children as well.” The couple practices meditation in the morn- ing, as well as shortly be- fore bed, and Imperioli says that he doesn’t find it difficult to fit practice into his schedule. The challenge is more pro- crastination. Sometimes he struggles to bring him- self to the cushion or he struggles with runaway thoughts. At those times, he tells himself that it is his conditioned mind and to let it go and just sit. “I don’t find practice ever to be easy, but that’s okay,” he says. “I can’t say that I’m a 100 percent—there are times when I don’t practice. I try to not let that happen too much and I try not to beat myself up about it when it does.” Meditation has benefited not only Imperioli’s family life, but his work, specifically his concentra- tion as an actor. “When you’re acting or preparing to act,” he says, “you want to focus your attention and block out distractions. It’s not the same thing as meditation but the focus has similarities.” IN AN EPISODE of the ABC crime drama De- troit 1-8-7, night has fallen and James Burke is in an apartment, holding his mother and children at gunpoint. Unarmed but wired, Detective Fitch, played by Imperioli, walks into the hostage scene. “I know what it’s like,” says Fitch, with a whole SWAT team just outside the apartment, hanging on every word through the wire. “You love some- body so much. You don’t know why they caused you so much pain... that pain builds and builds... It’s like you’re a passenger. You’re in a car that’s speeding out of control but then you wake up and it’s you behind the wheel and it’s you who did these things. I did things... I hurt my wife. I hurt my kids. When I think about the things I’ve done, sometimes I really think it’d be easier just to end it... But I got these pictures on my wall. I see my kids—I can’t do it.” Fitch pulls a photo out of his suit pocket. The “You have to keep focusing on the elements of the scene and the objective of the character. You have to take in the reality of what you’re doing. The most important thing for an actor is to be in the moment.” PHOTOS©MYRIAMBABINPHOTOGRAPHY,©MARKH.PRESTON/ABCVIAGETTYIMAGES