Oprah Talks to Hugh Jackman
Oprah: My God, I want to go.
Hugh: The school accepts everyone. There's even a school for children. Our son, Oscar, attends.
Oprah: I'm constantly reading, trying to figure out how the world works. I've been a student of spirituality and metaphysics. I always thought it would be fascinating to raise a child to understand the principles of divine order. That is a reason to have children.
Hugh: I totally agree. The main thing Oscar learns is how to be of service to others. At lunch the kids all serve one another before they eat.
Oprah: My favorite quote is from Martin Luther King Jr., who said, not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be great—because greatness is determined by service. If you can figure out how to use whatever your passion is—whether it's acting, law, or medicine—then you will raise the level of that profession to the highest quality on earth.
Hugh: Without a doubt. The word philosophy sounds high-minded, but it simply means the love of wisdom. If you love something, you don't just read about it; you hug it, you mess with it, you play with it, you argue with it. I learned about the school from a guy I met. After I'd known him for about three months, I said, "There's something different about you. What is it?" He said, "Come next Wednesday night. I'll show you." In class we learned an exercise. Twice a day, for two minutes—preferably at sunrise and sunset—sit down, be calm, get in touch with your five senses, listen without judgment. Then I went to acting school the next day, and my teacher—who is a legend—said, "I'm gonna tell you all something, and none of you will do it. But it will be the greatest thing I can ever tell you about how to be a good actor. The only thing that matters is being in the moment. That's the only thing that will make an audience connect. There's only one way to be in the moment, and that is to be in touch with your senses. Twice a day, you should sit." It was like, "Ding, ding, ding!" So right away, I knew the philosophy school would improve my acting, and it did. But after about eight months, I realized that acting was just another activity. The activity of being a husband, a father—those are roles, too, but underneath them is the spiritual center that connects us all, and that's what's most important.
Oprah: Whether you're an actor, a teacher, a parent...
Hugh: Irrelevant. Now I meditate twice a day for half an hour. In meditation, I can let go of everything. I'm not Hugh Jackman. I'm not a dad. I'm not a husband. I'm just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it. Oscar asks me, "What's meditation?" I say, "I'm just gonna go sit with God and have a rest." Occasionally, he'll sit with me.
Oprah: That's extraordinary.
Hugh: Everyone takes a shower every day, and we don't complain about it. We do it out of discipline. There will always be an excuse not to meditate. In the Hindu tradition, there's something called ahankara, or the ego. The ego says, "You don't need to meditate, man. You're really busy. What about the kids?" But do I say, "I can't shower today because I have to make time for the kids?" No.