Posts Tagged ‘laughter’


One way I learned to create a happier life was to try to find more reasons to smile, and create more reasons to laugh. Even when I was feeling pretty low, the mere act of smiling and laughing helped me train myself to feel better as a default feeling.

Now, when I see people, I try to remember to smile at them, even if I’m deep in my own thoughts. When things get tough and stressful, I try to think of something to bring up that will help people laugh and ease the tension in an appropriate way. Sometimes it’s just the smiling and tone of voice that helps move the mood upward.

I’ve had a long day trying to beat a flu or something, and tomorrow is going to be a day with more than the usual amount of pressure and stress. I’m going to go find something funny to watch before resting, to remind myself to continually find the laughter.

Tomorrow, I’m going to keep on the lookout for reasons to smile. May you find many reasons also!


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Hotei happens to be one of my favorite buddha figures, and I know I’m in good company in that regard. He’s the Laughing Buddha, that big-bellied guy with an almost-as-big linen sack, whose belly you rub for luck. (The statues of him, I mean of course.)

Back when he was alive, he wasn’t the sort of zen master who gathered a school of disciples. What Hotei gathered was a playground of children. In his sack was candy and treats that he’d give to children, who loved to play with and around him. Yeah, he was that fantastic.

As I’ve heard it, sometimes someone would come up to him and tell him he belongs in some zen temple or another. He’d respond by telling them to give him a penny. At times he’d come across a devotee of zen, and he’d tell them to give him a penny as well.

Another story is that some zen monk asked him what the whole meaning was to zen. Hotei set down his heavy bag with a contented sigh. The inquiring monk then asked how zen is realized.

Hotei slung his bag back over his shoulder, and merrily went back to handing out treats to children.

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There can be great beauty to be found in sadness.  There can be a pristine aesthetic in tranquil emptiness.  Even heartbreak carries with it the echoes of the glorious warmth of love.

Today I watched a baby go nuts with laughter as his feet were brought up to tickle his cheeks.

That brilliant, two-toothed smile was a lovely to me as any vista.

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I truly believe good humor is a really huge component of success. It helps us take ourselves and situations more lightly, which frees our energy from getting all hung up. If we can laugh, we can release some of the tension and work with what’s left — and maybe even be a little more in the mood to handle it. In all the research I’ve read into theories on the nature and origins of humor, a release of tension has been the most common thread.

It’s because of this that humor doesn’t just help us weather adversity; it helps us learn and prepare. When we find something funny or entertaining, our minds open up to it in a way that we otherwise might not have. Our guard relaxes, making us more ready to accept that new or different thing.

I think there’s something else to it, too. I think we often find something to be funny cause it’s true, or because it exposes an untruth. That’s a vague generalization, but I think there’s something to it.

Anyway, that’s all what I thought of with regards to today’s quote:

When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
– George Bernard Shaw

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