One of the first deep meditations I ever had resulted in laughter. Not just a chuckle but rather a full-out, belly busting laugh that continued for more than a few minutes. Why was I laughing? It was not so much that I laughed but rather laughing overtook me.
Let me explain.
I was in a room full of people guided into a meditation that used rhythmic breathing to bypass the conscious mind and go behind the defenses used to stop us from seeing the truth, otherwise known as denial.
We were all on the floor, lying on our backs, eyes closed, each in our own space both physically and mentally. After some time passed, my breathing began to bring me face to face with my mental pain and suffering. In a sudden and stark reality check, I clearly saw that my choice of how to perceive things was ultimately responsible for the pain and suffering I felt. It was clear that this was true for all people and all situations in my life.
Immediately to the left of me, in my mind’s eye, I saw the image of a man with long dark hair. He was thin and sat cross-legged wearing crispy clean white pants and shirt. He was handsome, under 30, clear complexion, deep beautiful eyes and was laughing heartily. He slapped his knee with wild abandon and laughed even harder with such intensity that I started laughing too, right out loud.
In that moment between this young man and I, without any words exchanged, I saw how silly all my pain and suffering were. They were my own creations, created out of ignorance because I did not know that I had created them and therefore had the power to change them at any moment. These very same creations of pain and suffering could be transformed into nothingness or even into joy by merely deciding I was going to choose a new way to look at the very same people and situations.
In a flash, all this was so easily understood. It was so simple and clear that I laughed harder, louder and more uncontrollably.
Meanwhile I was aware that in the room, I was the only one laughing. All the other people were breathing and meditating, some without reaction, many crying or screaming out in pain. I had a fleeting thought that wondered if I was I the crazy one for laughing or were they for weeping?
Once the laughter began to subside within me, the young man’s laughter also quieted. Then in my mind’s eye directly in front of me emerged the image of the earth suspended in mid-air. I was overwhelmed with the enormity of it. Then with a power from which I do not know where or how it came about, my once resting arms by my sides began to grow. It literally felt like they were extending longer and longer from my wrists, a few feet at first, then yards, then miles and soon they were so long they could extend around the entire earth in front of me, which is exactly what they did.
I was in awe of what was happening as it happened and did not want it to stop. It felt so good to have my arms extend at such speed. I felt enormous and powerful in spirit. When my hands were finally able to grasp each other on the opposite side of the earth, I felt such a rush of joy and happiness. Not the joy of laughter which felt more like a release. This was the joy of wholeness, of completeness, of absolutely no lack, no desire nor need of anything. Complete satisfaction, complete contentment. Complete Love.
And the young man just sat there and witnessed it all. Peace on his face. Peace emanating from his being.
I never really believed in the Jesus of the Bible as he had been shown to me before this. The story of that man never made much sense. But the image of this young man in my meditation made a lot of sense, without his uttering one word.
It has been quite a while since my encounter with him and I had forgotten his lesson of laughter, falling back asleep looking for answers to my pain and suffering in many of the same old places. But today I remembered him clearly and realized that it was the laughter, his and mine, that was the gateway to experience truth. The truth that love is always present, ready to flow through me and it is only my self-created dramas, that I believe are real, which block it.
Do not forget to laugh at yourself and at others. For in the laughter is the forgiveness of all people’s ignorance of their own power to choose what perception of life they have. Be courageous enough to laugh at even the most serious perceptions, so you may uncover the blockage to love you create with the drama of not having things the way you want them to be.
The laughter helps let go of the tight grip to have things a certain way and opens the door to receive the experience of a better way. A way you could not know was possible because you were so preoccupied with tunnel vision for how your life or the world should be.
Today is a good day to laugh. Laugh hard. Laugh long. Laugh loud.