A smile is a precursor to a chuckle. A chuckle a precusor to a laugh and a laugh a precursor to absolute total abandonment in mirth. It is scale and if you are not familiar with it then perhaps you need some practice.
Did you know that laughter can be used as a form of meditation? Laughter is used in medicinal practices and has been for hundreds of years. When you laugh you will have less aches and pains in your body. It is both helpful and it is healing.
I have actually enjoyed the privilege of a “laugh master”. A person who lead a group of us in laughing meditation. I love to laugh and do it frequently during my day. I am known for my laugh. This is an aspect of my personality that I enjoy and I get it honestly coming from a family who celebrated having a good sense of humour.
Funnily enough we know relatively little about laughter having almost no scientific study of it. But as with many things we have an intuitive understanding without necessarily having the scientific proof. Most of us would agree that laughter is contagious. It is like a yawn or a smile. We have an almost automatic response to someone else laughing. And we have laugh memories as well which is why we can use laughter as a meditation even when we are feeling low.
Let’s begin our laughing meditation for today. Think back to something that you found very funny in your life. For me it is a scene from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. I laughed so hard at that movie that I hit my head on the seat in front of me the first time and then bonked heads with another person the second time. It is, for me, one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I have only to envision one of several scenes and I can begin to smile, then chuckle and finally (if and when I let myself go) I will start to laugh and then laugh harder and harder. That in a nutshell is a laughing meditation in my books. So let me just put it into three simple steps for you:
Step 1 – relax and make sure your surroundings will not inhibit you (perhaps you choose to be alone or with someone else who wants to meditate with you).
Step 2 – envision something funny from your memory. It could be short term or long term. It could have been a movie, a situation, something another person told you. Allow yourself to feel the laughter again.
Step 3 – start laughing. If it does not happen naturally then try “kick-starting it”. You could either look for a video on YouTube (see laughing meditations) or you can simply allow yourself to make a laughing sound. The very fact you are trying to make yourself laugh may well put you over the edge. In any event allow yourself to laugh until you feel a sense of release. Your laughter will naturally subside and you can allow yourself to regain your new equilibrium with the endorphins flowing and your mood elevated. Enjoy.