Monday, December 26, 2011

Laughter as Prayer

“What is the best way to worship?”

A spiritual teacher was recently asked this question and his answer was “any way that connects you to your higher self”.

Spending time in nature, singing, chanting with others, meditating and laughing were the things that first came to my mind. Nature first. Laughter 2nd.

I’ve often thought of my laughter club as a church and my role as laughter leader like that of a minister. For laughter connects us to our best self – most beautiful, forgiving, loving, open. Laughter reaches down to our core and pulls us up out of any muck we might be floundering in. It magnifies our essence.

Some say “Start your day with God and end your day with God”. Whatever that means to you, I think it’s good advice. Connect to your higher self first and last thing each day. For me, that ritual includes my morning laughter routine. It activates my joy and makes me a better person.

Anne Lamott said “Laughter is carbonated holiness.”

Photo: Stock.xchnge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We enter the darkest time of year. The Winter Solstice. After that it gets lighter three minutes each day!

Whatever this season means to you, I wish you more laughter, the kind of laughter that brings in the Light – to yourself, to your life, and to the world.

You can see it in the eyes of someone who laughs often. The Light of the Soul. It enters through the eyes.

May your life be filled with the light of joy and laughter - this season and always!

Photo: Stock.xchnge

Friday, December 16, 2011

All Writing needs Humor

Humor is a cornerstone of good writing. Even in stories that are neither light nor humorous.

Humor is an integral part of life. At least it should be. It’s better when it is.

Good writing needs humor. Just like good speeches. A sprinkling of humor, and the subsequent laughter, represent the stuff of life. We can’t do without it.

I’m reading a Barbara Kingsolver book. One of her older ones called Pigs in Heaven. And I’ve been surprised at how often I laugh out loud.

She gives her main character a very funny boyfriend, a built-in venue for humor. But he’s not only funny, he’s astute. His humor speaks volumes about life.

“School is out for Easter break. They thought they’d go have a religious experience with sedimentary rock.” (The Grand Canyon)

The protagonist and her mother are both very witty. Alice, the mother, says of her husband, “His idea of marriage is to spray WD-40 on anything that squeaks.”

Taylor, the protagonist, says of Seattle, “This isn’t a city. It’s a carwash.”

Kingsolver’s humor is making this read very enjoyable. Like life ought to be. Plenty of challenges but plenty of humor and laughter along the way.

Monday, December 12, 2011


“When you have a heartfelt belly laugh, all parts of your being – the physiological, the psychological, the spiritual – they all vibrate in one single tune. They all vibrate in harmony.”

Osho Rajneesh

Photo: Stock.xchnge

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Teresa of Avila

What do St. Teresa of Avila and D.H. Lawrence have in common? A lack of respect for over-seriousness.

“From our sour-faced saints, good Lord deliver us.” St. Teresa

“So long as there’s a bit of laughter going, things are all right. As soon as this infernal seriousness begins, everything is lost.” D.H. Lawrence

Photo: St. Teresa of Avila by Francois Gerard/Wikimedia

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Comedians are generally very sensitive people. To pick up the nuances of life astutely enough to formulate a joke, usually at lightning speed, and which always has to cut to the core of a truth to be funny, they have to be sensitive. And they have to feel enough of the pain of life to need to make a joke in the first place. Charlie Chaplin said, “To truly laugh you must take your pain and play with it.”

Case in Point: Harpo Marx. Definitely the sensitive one. My favorite Marx Brother.

Harpo would dramatically shift from goofy clown to sensitive musician in a flash – and just as suddenly alternate back to clown the moment his hand left his harp. Harpo never spoke but they say he had a rich resonant voice. Never underestimate the power of the sensitive one.

Just like Steven Colbert on The Colbert Report spontaneously breaking into an acapello Banana Boat song with Harry Belafonte. Nothing short of sweet.

Down and out with a sprained ankle, I needed some laughs recently and dragged out my copy of Night at the Opera. My favorite Marx Brothers movie. Totally goofy, corny and just hilarious! The one and only Margaret Dumont, the overcrowded train compartment, the on-stage antics during Il Trovatore, the expessions on Harpo’s face and on and on...

Photo: Harpo Marx/Wikimedia