Harry Belafonte I Wasn't Asleep I Was Meditating!!

10/18/2011 9:55 AM PDT

Harry Belafonte -- I Wasn't Asleep, I Was Meditating!!!!

Harry Belafonte says he was NOT catching up on some zzzzzzzs in the middle of a live news broadcast Friday ... insisting he was merely "meditating" with his eyes closed.

Belafonte's rep, Ken Sunshine, released a statement to TMZ ... explaining, "After weeks of literally hundreds of interviews promoting his HBO documentary, memoir and CD, Mr. Belafonte had an early morning satellite TV tour this past Friday."

"True to form, there was a technical glitch in the feed to a local station in Bakersfield, CA. His earpiece wasn’t working, so he decided to take the time to meditate before the rest of his Day-O.”

Sunshine adds, "Mr. Belafonte is 84 years young, but sharper and more awake than most who have been interviewing him. Maybe the world would be a better place if more people took a moment to meditate.”