Sunday, May 20, 2007

Laughter and Yoga and Buddhists, Oh My!

Yesterday, we traveled to a very well-known Buddhist retreat and meditation center where we were invited to present Laughter Yoga to a small portion of the staff. One of our friends has been a staff-member and resident of this organization for several years, and she was excited to introduce her friends and colleagues to Laughter Yoga.

As presenters and workshop leaders, we were quite lucky indeed, being handed this golden opportunity to share our new gift with a willing audience in a beautiful and bucolic setting. The absolute pinnacle of the experience was the actual session itself, wherein a group of ten relatively serious and hard-working meditators needed little cajoling to let their hair down and the laughter fly. This group who study a form of meditation which demands a great deal of focused concentration and self-discipline were obviously ripe for a chance to let it rip, and our instructions to open up to a spirit of "childlike playfulness" fell on willing ears and hearts. The session was dynamic and hilarious, and I had one moment, personally, where I had a fit of absolutely uncontrollable laughter unlike anything I have ever experienced. Exhausting and exhilarating at the same time would be the best description of those moments of release. Subsequently watching these wonderful people all have moments of such freedom of expression was the definition of satisfying.

The icing on our laughter cake was being treated to a fancy dinner in a new countryside bistro with friends old and new, and then being housed in a "teachers' residence" for the night, as peepers serenaded the forest with their nocturnal song.

Success can be measured on many levels, and this experience would qualify by any standard. Our desire to bring Laughter Yoga to more and more people is only strengthened by the hearts and minds that seem transformed by this simple practice: to live and let laugh.
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