Ha Ha Ho Ho!!!
Yea! I had my first Laughing Yoga Get-Together last night (Friday, Feb 5th). It was a potluck, with folks bringing ribs, vegetarian soup, chicken, fruit, pie, tea and root beer! After we had a feast, we did some stretches, letting the food settle, and did our HaHa HoHo clapping. Soon it was a laughter riot and everyone really got into it.
Well, almost everyone. One person, did not participate, and she had a look on her face that said this is just silly and I don’t want to look silly. I could tell she was living in her head. And it was torturing her. Well, Laughing Yoga IS pure childlike silliness – melting way the serious “Me.” Laughing is Living!
Well, still she opted out, sat and watched. I was dissappointed at first and then, I could see where my thoughts were going with this – “Why did she come? She wants to take control and make it her game night? Is she like a kid who is sitting out because we won’t play her way…Even though this is intended to be a Laughter Yoga get together..blah, blah, blah.” Within a few seconds the mind was going off in ALL different directions. I was getting sucked into her suffering.
Then I noticed that my mind was going into a downward spiral. I “saw myself” observing my “mind-thing” and was able to catch myself. We each take responsibility for our own joy. And if joy is defined as coming from within, and happiness is found in the world of form, then I certainly cannot hope to make any one laugh – We can only make ourselves laugh. We only stand in our OWN way of our OWN joy. And hey, I can bring a horse to water, but…Anyways, suddenly the practice for me began. Despite what anyone says, or what I perceive them to say or mean, or what I think is happening in the world around me, it is more important for me to be aligned with Presence & Joy, rather than “Bite the Hook” into other people’s “Me-ness” and even more importantly “Bite the Hook” of my OWN “Me-ness.”
I love the idea from the American Tibetan Buddhist Monk Pema Chodron’s “Don’t Bite the Hook: ” Audio. Even more than getting hooked into someone else’s personality, what we are really getting hooked into is Ourselves – or our attachment to ourselves or identity. If that is true, I have to ask myself, “What am I trying to protect?” What part of “Me” is getting hurt?
If we were not so attached to “ourselves,” or not so hooked into our own “Me-ness,” then other people’s “Me-ness” could try all day long to snag you with a harpoon (the biggest hook I can think of) and there would be nothing to hook into. The “hook” would go right through you. This sounds great, but how does it work in practice? How do we do this???
Well, here’s one method: What if you could sustain laughter and the experience of being present and feeling joy – all day long. Instead of thinking, and going down a downward spiral, I let me mind laugh. Its a fake laugh, but the curious thing is that I can feel a smile bloom after a couple of minutes. This is an odd experience, as I don’t remember ever laughing in my head before nor had anyone ever instructed me to do so. But so far it does a similar thing to laughing out loud. It puts you in the present and in the now, and I am not so worried about it. It is a little thing in life, and my worrying about it has more to do with my own ego – trying to be right. I’m ok with being wrong, and it just maybe that some people are not ready for it, or consciously do not want to be open to it. That’s ok.
I cannot take responsibility for other people’s happiness and joy, we can only assist them to a point. If I forced someone, or told someone they have to do whatever, then they really cannot claim that experience completely for themselves. If we do force it upon others, even guilt them into doing it, we take their power away. What will happen when someone else forces them to do their own bidding? In the end, over time that person is left with no power, doubt that they cannot trust their own choices anymore. In the end, our own choice (without reason other than what we choose) is what matters. Choice without reason has NO crutch or other reason to topple it. We often don’t like to take our own responsibily and we differ the decision to others – so that we cannot blame ourtselves. I speak out of personal experience folks. Now this Choice without reason is attributed to Landmark Forum. The flipside to “being in power with Choice without reason”, is “inspiring others from your person experience”.
Now, in my opinion, if someone is consciously not participating after being in the room of a Laughter Yoga session, then it may be that person is actually doing more work in her mind to not participate. She in effect is saying no to participating to being connected to Life. Now, to be fair I can definitely be accused of this as well so I’m not singling her out, I’m just making the point (for myself really) that we have a Choice to participate in Life or Not. If others’s do not want to participate, we can only help assist and point to what we can suggest at the time. We can make a commitment to keep trying, but ultimately they have to make the final choice for themselves.