The Invisible Laughing Buddha
This laughing Buddha has sat on my desk for over 9 years. I bought it as a remembrance of wonderfully fun week at the Omega Institute.
I couldn’t tell you what was so funny. And if I did, it wouldn’t seem funny to you. It rarely does. Those stories we try to retell are rarely as comical to anybody else.
I brought the laughing Buddha home as a happy memento. It’s a reminder of the freedom of unrestrained hilarity rather than the rigidity of socially polite laughter.
But as with most things that are in front of us day in and day out, the Buddha became invisible to me. It’s not that I didn’t see him. I did. I used him as a paperweight. I mindlessly dusted him. I tapped out beats to music on him. I even contemplated his physical well-being with that extremely pudgy body.
But I lost sight of what he represented and what laughter really means to me. When I get on the worry-path, humor absolutely eludes me, and I create a worry/thought loop.
Courting worry causes cortisol stress hormones to run through our bodies which, along with being depleting, also perpetuates the worry/thought loop.
Laughter can interrupt a repetitive thought loop. It snaps us into the here and now. When we court humor, endorphins that help us feel good run through our bodies instead.
What I had forgotten was just how funny my life has been. The night I realized this, I tried to sleep but remained wide awake as comical scenes flooded in.
These were memories of raw laughter, of each person, of each situation, of each time frame - it was all happening now. And the people in my memory, loved ones both here and long gone, were just as alive or young and vibrant as ever.
Remembering the laughter so vividly perpetuates even more laughter. It’s a laughter loop. I choose that over a worry loop.
We all experience a wide range of events and situations in life that can slow us down or even leave us sidelined. Tuning into the humor, whimsy, and lighthearted silliness, whenever possible, can help lighten the load.
Do you even realize how funny your life has been?