Tag Archives: present moment

A common objection: “why should we laugh? It doesn’t pay the bills”

 We live in a world where very few things can make people laugh, while hundreds can make them frown, howl and cry. Many people lose track of the therapeutic values of laughter when stress and adversity knock at their door.

“Why should we laugh?” they say. “It doesn’t pay the bills.”

Society teaches that problems are serious and need to be addressed seriously. Laughter, on the other hand, is often perceived as frivolous and only relevant in its proper time and place.

There is a different way to look at this.

Laughing in the face of adversity won’t pay your bills, but it will teach you equanimity. It is not about strength, but courage, because it’s about letting go. Only one who knows how to create a balance between the favorable and unfavorable situations can maintain mental balance and composure. Life is not always fun, but it certainly is much more fun with laughter than without.

Practices such as Laughter Yoga and the Laughter Wellness method help you feel at peace and good about yourself in the present moment, for no particular reason. They give you the ability to laugh at things that previously would have caused stress or anger, along with the ability to experience a new sense of forgiveness.

When you change, the world around you changes. When you feel good, you are more likely to address the challenges you have to face constructively and with a positive attitude.

You can laugh when you want to, because you want to, if you want to. You can train yourself to react positively in the face of adversity. Whatever happens to you, whether pleasant or unpleasant, doesn’t matter at all. Nerve impulses are just that ─ nerve impulses. They mean nothing.

Choosing to remain positive and be comfortable with your imperfections and the challenges in your life does not mean you have to be complacent about them. You should not. Laughing about them is a sign of maturity. It’s a political act, a declaration of freedom, a demonstration that we are not afraid, that we refuse to let fear, anger, guilt or resentment win and rule our lives.

Laughter Yoga is a spiritual practice that has the power to help me get everything that I want

Here is my latest working hypothesis: Laughter Yoga is powerful beyond what words can describe, both on a physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual level because it builds its very existence on laughing about nothing (we do not use jokes and do not even try to be or look funny) in the eternity of the present moment where the Divine resides.

Let me explain.

God (or any other word you use to describe what is Divine, far above human consciousness) can be summarized with the numerical number 0 because it is both everything and nothing at the same time, full and empty, the beginning and the end.

God is all about unconditional love, and that’s again all about the numerical 0 because “unconditional” by definition has no condition. It is and it isn’t. It gives and it keeps. It wants everything that you want and cannot say “no” (the challenge of course is on you to be crystal clear on what you really, really want, and that requires that you first take action to get it in the first place). I logically conclude that unconditional love pervades the present moment, here, now. Each time you truly access that space love starts permeating you just like water will whenever you get into a swimming pool.

I choose for this reason to see Laughter Yoga as a spiritual practice that has the power to help me get everything that I want because it helps me get out my mind and into my body.

My body can only exist here, now.

Anchoring myself in the eternity of now through laughter helps my mind to acknowledge, accept and love my present moment as it is. It forces me to take full ownership of my feelings here, now, and therefore of my life, here, now.

There are only 2 things I can do here, now, and they can only happen in the following order. First I must accept everything that I have and love it exactly as it is because it is the only thing that I’ve got. Then and only if I so wish, I have the opportunity to take action to change it, but that can only happen here, now (not tomorrow or the day after).

Laughter Yoga therefore trains me to constantly ask myself: what can I do now, with a positive attitude?

This is of course not the end of the journey (we’re still within the energy field of the numerical 0, neither at the beginning nor the end). It’s only part of the equation.

It is commonly said that laughter will take you half-way home to healing. This is very far, and at some point you will have to walk.

For me mastery of the mind is the ultimate goal, and Laughter Yoga prepares me for that. The mind you can control is a very powerful servant. The mind you cannot control is your worst enemy.

Here is what the 18th century Tamil philosopher and Hindu saint Thayumanavar said on this topic:

“You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may earn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito;
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk on water and live in fire;
But control of the mind is better and more difficult”

I am stubborn and actively working on it. Just like Paramahansa Yogananda said: “in the valley of sorrow, a thousand years or so tomorrow. But I’ll wait to see you, only you.” Everything will happen in due time with practice, patience, and lots of perseverance.

Ha, ha, ha.