Senior Woman Laughing — Image by © Steve Prezant/Corbis

If you observe the body language and expression of the so-called serious people, they are really dull and dead because the very seriousness closes their mind to the openness and freedom of life. Seriousness kills creativity and spontaneity which are the 2 great qualities of life. It curbs our creative thinking and makes us stick to the familiar mental patterns.  In short, seriousness is anti-life.

Seriousness is not our true nature, it is something that we acquire by and by as we grow up.  So what’s the root cause of seriousness?

The moment we are taught to continuously think, our energy is sucked by our mind and we stop living in reality. When we feel that we are a separate entity with too much of ‘I, me, my & mine’, the ego gets formed.  Seriousness happens when we start to pay undue importance to something, at the cost of everything else. For instance, we become too concerned about the end result or the achievement of our actions.  This over-expectation gradually becomes a sickness which leads us to more seriousness and sickness.

Science has proved that when a task is performed in a relaxed manner, our thinking and decision making capacity is automatically enhanced. On the other hand, the same task when performed in a serious manner dulls our mind because we are actually not allowing ourselves to perform at the optimum level.

The way to come out of the sickness of seriousness is to laugh at life and at yourself with an understanding that life is just a psychodrama that is unfolding every minute. When you laugh, you can’t be serious. When you are serious, it is impossible to laugh. So laughter is a perfect antidote for seriousness.

The whole Existence is nothing but a great joke, if you understand that the whole thing is only a cosmic drama you can never be serious. If you have the sensitivity to feel what is going on everywhere, you will find that your life will be filled with laughter.  When this understanding happens at a deep level, you will do things for the sheer joy of moving in tune with the cosmic drama or Existence.  Laughter is an important quality through which Existence expresses itself. When we laugh, for that one moment we become one with energy.  We fall in tune with Existence. However, it is the habit of continuous thinking intellectually that stops us from understanding the play of Existence.

Do you know that laughter stops the thinking mind? When we laugh heartily, for that one minute or second, we fall between the gap of two thoughts. Immediately we are brought to the present moment i.e. the centre of our being and we experience the consciousness of the present.

Scientists, who have done research on impact of laughter on human beings, found that laughter actually helps to slow down the ageing process. Another important reaction of our system from laughter is the anti-depressing chemicals such as endorphins and other chemicals essential for the brain are released into our body when we laugh,  giving us a sense of well being.  Laughter also makes us inhale deeply which provides extra supply of oxygen to our entire system. Laughter is also known to heal a number of diseases, especially those related to the nervous system and the throat area ( Visuddhi chakra).  No wonder we hear this old famous proverb “Laughter is the best medicine”.

Most importantly, laughter adds beauty and grace to us that is more than skin deep. Laughter is also very infectious which has the power to create an explosive positive group energy!   All over the world, you can find that many laughter clubs are being formed which is an affirmation of the benefits of this simple practice.

I am reminded of a beautiful story by my master, Paramahamsa Nithyananda:

Once there was a conference of Buddhist monks on the meaning of true spirituality. Each monk went to the stage and gave long speeches. Finally, it was the turn of a Zen monk to speak. He went on the stage and simply started laughing! He laughed and laughed…from his being. The laughter just rose from his belly. He started shaking uncontrollably with laughter.

His laughter was so infectious that soon all the others in the room started laughing without even knowing why! Without them even being aware of it, the laughter of all the monks produced a huge wave of positive energy in the room. The monks reached a state of tremendous elevation. Their thinking was shattered and their being was filled with bliss. The Zen monk finally spoke: “This is true spirituality.”

Laughter is the highest spiritual quality, it can lead you to enlightenment. It is a beautiful way of connecting with the energy of Existence, which is pure healing energy. All great mystics and enlightened masters realised this truth but sadly somehow the laymen always associate spirituality with seriousness.

So, the next time if you fall into seriousness unconsciously, just have a great belly laugh from the very core of your being. …wooo hoo….ha ha hee hee.. 🙂

 

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