Posts Tagged ‘healing laughter’

There is certainly a right time and place for gravitas. But, today, there is a lot of reason for grave thoughts and seemingly incessant worry. The Sufi see the Beloved in a dance, in song and in laughter. Jesus said “be again as little children. ”

The one thing about little children is their spontaneous play and laughter ( assuming a reasonably normal childhood and wholesome circumstances). There is much to make us somber, so the proper spiritual tack to take lies in finding ample cause to smile and laugh.

What makes me laugh is absurdity: statements intended to make deep sense that say nothing at all, or the many paradoxes of life (e.g., only through prudent law and regulation can a society be truly free). I also find the level of seriousness that we bring to play as adults hilarious.

Where is the spiritual lesson in this? When I get intense, preoccupied and locked into obsessional rounds of worry, I take ten steps back, so to speak, and do what seems at the time ludicrous: I go find the funniest movie to watch and laugh my way back to sanity. I also look for the quirky in the moment, the funny turn of phrase, or the melodrama in the drama that makes me chuckle.

Today, for example, I played baseball with members of my family. My 8-year-old nephew was next at bat and he made two demands before going to the plate with bat in hand: (1) this is going to be a fantastic hit so go ahead and applaud now, and (2) remember, no strikes or outs for me; I am a little kid!

These sage comments came right after a debate about whether the last runner was tagged out or slid into second base safely. All the competitive adults were of mixed opinion as we became very serious indeed. My nephew broke through all that need to win, severity and argument, replacing it instead with the simpler need to just play, and a chance to laugh.

May your day and night bring you both a little play, and some hearty laughter.

© Brother Anthony Thomas and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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