Marisa Tomei on how meditation has helped her cope with anxiety: 'A real layer of noise seems to have peeled off'

·5-min read
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: Marisa Tomei attends Sony Pictures'
Spider Man: No Way Home star Marisa Tomei says that her meditation practices have been crucial in building her self-esteem and worldview. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The friendship between Marisa Tomei and her longtime pal Lisa Bonet has lasted decades, since they first met on the hit sitcom A Different World.

In a new sit-down with Interview magazine, the two women open up about how their similar meditation and spiritual practices make them better humans — and even better friends.

“I have been healthy and feel grateful for that,” Tomei said in regards to the pandemic. “I actually appreciated very much the slowing down of a lot of the extraneous noise in my life — not being on a plane all the time, just getting to have my roots.”

The Spider-Man: Far From Home star added that she recently got a house in the country, where’s she’s been able to practice meditation to help deal with basic anxiety.

“I had meditated for years and years — you brought that into my life after Phylicia Rashad taught you,” Tomei said to Bonet. “During this time it’s been such a deep pleasure to meditate for longer and longer stretches, and feel my body unwind. A real layer of noise seems to have peeled off.”

Honing into that kind of practice, she added, has helped her tune out the “extra noise” from the news cycle so that her authenticity can shine.

“It’s definitely been a process for me to find my voice, to speak true words from my heart,” Tomei said. “I do that, but I have a lot of anxiety, so I appreciate the quiet. I feel like there was always some kind of rush happening in my household when I was a kid. I’m used to hopping to it and running. Slowing down is the simplest thing, but it’s really done profound things for me.”

“[I am] definitely learning how to be authentically me,” Bonet added of her own discoveries. “Learning to be new, and following this invitation from the universe to step into this river of uncertainty. We’ve eliminated all this extra noise, and now it’s time to grow our roots deeper into our own values.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04:  (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY)  Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF18/WireImage)
Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei have been dear friends since they starred together in the hit sitcom A Different World. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/VF18/WireImage)

Bonet further explained that the “more still we are, the more clearly the guidance comes through,” especially during this time in our culture.

“The revolution is definitely here and we’re all feeling the squeeze,” said Bonet. “If you aren’t, you’re in total denial, and the more you resist, the more you will suffer. Everything is crumbling out there. The personal work is understanding where empire and those archetypes live within us. The revolution is on the inside, and learning to be new in this new world.”

“All this revolution that’s going on is something I’ve been talking about for a long time,” Tomei explained. “I honestly didn’t think I’d see this much change in my lifetime, this much calling on the powers that be, this much tearing down of the old paradigms. It’s really heartwarming, and it brings me to tears. It’s not an easy process, but I’m really filled with joy that there’s so much waking up happening.”

Tomei, who just turned 57 earlier this month, added that she “made sure to dance” on her birthday, adding that sometimes pursuing “pure joy” as one ages can be the most important thing to hold onto.

“Sometimes I feel like, ‘Where’s that spark? I just don’t have that anymore,’” she said. “I don’t, but that’s OK. It’s actually a relief not to have that as much.”

Indeed, Tomei hasn’t kept her meditation practices secret from the world. In fact, she’s always been happy to share some of her age-defying secrets with fans.

“Moving meditation, like dance meditation, makes me feel at home in my skin; it helps me on a spiritual, mental, and, ultimately, physical level,” she told Vogue magazine in 2017.

Age has also brought her more confidence onscreen, especially when it comes to showing skin, as she told InStyle magazine that same year.

"I felt more confident being naked on screen as I got older, and I was glad I didn’t do it when I was younger," she explained at the time. "With the things that people say, it’s easier when you get older to go: That’s their projection, not me. It comes back to the word projection — what people want from me and trying to make everyone feel that."

And that's not all that's changed with age, as Tomei says that with more life experience comes wisdom.

"The drive is still there," she told InStyle. "I still have lots of passion for what I do, and I want to keep doing it, and that requires putting some elbow grease into the business aspect of it. But I also find that lately, I feel like I can say: I am who I am. I’m more comfortable. I have so many interests, and making a mark is not really at the top of that."

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