Start and End the Day with Laughter


“In a few Zen monasteries, every monk has to start his morning with laughter, and has to end his night with laughter — the first thing and the last thing! You try it. It is very beautiful. It will look a little crazy — mm? — because so many serious people are all around. They will not understand. If you are happy, they always ask why. The question is foolish! If you are sad, they never ask why. They take it for granted — if you are sad, it’s okay. Everybody is sad. What is new in it? Even if you want to tell them, they are not interested because they know all about it, they themselves are sad. So what is the point of telling a long story? — cut it short!

But if you are laughing for no reason, then they become alert — something has gone wrong. This man seems to be a little crazy because only crazy people enjoy laughter; only in madhouses will you find crazy people laughing. This is unfortunate, but this is so. It will be difficult, if you are a husband or a wife it will be difficult for you to suddenly laugh early in the morning. But try it — it pays tremendously. It is one of the most beautiful moods to get up with, to get out of the bed with.

For no reason! because there is no reason. Simply, you are again there, still alive — it is a miracle! It seems ridiculous! Why are you alive? And again the world is there. Your wife is still snoring, and the same room, and the same house. In this constantly changing world — what Hindus call the ‘maya’ — at least for one night nothing has changed? Everything is there: you can hear the milkman and the traffic has started, and the same noises — it is worth laughing for!

One day you will not get into the morning. One day the milkman will knock at the door, the wife will be snoring, but you will not be there. One day, death will come. Before it knocks you down, have a good laugh — while there is time, have a good laugh.

And look at the whole ridiculousness: again the same day starts; you have done the same things again and again for your whole life. Again you will get into your slippers, rush to the bathroom — for what? Brushing your teeth, taking a shower — for what? Where are you going? Getting ready and nowhere to go! Dressing, rushing to the office — for what? Just to do the same thing again tomorrow?

Look at the whole ridiculousness of it — and have a good laugh. Don’t open your eyes. The moment you feel that sleep is gone, first start laughing, then open the eyes — and that will set a trend for the whole day. If you can laugh early in the morning you will laugh the whole day. You have created a chain effect; one thing leads to another. Laughter leads to more laughter.

And almost always I have seen people doing just the wrong thing. From the very early morning they get out of bed complaining, gloomy, sad, depressed, miserable. Then one thing leads to another — and for nothing. And they get angry… it is very bad because it will change your climate for the whole day, it will set a pattern for the whole day. Zen people are more sane. In their insanity they are saner than you.

They start with laughter… and then the whole day you will feel laughter bubbling, welling up. There are so many ridiculous things happening all over! God must be dying of His laughter — down the centuries, for eternity, seeing this ridiculousness of the world. The people that He has created, and all the absurdities — it is really a comedy. He must be laughing.

If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.
And the Zen monk goes to sleep in the night again with laughter. The day is over, the drama is closed again — with laughter he says “Goodbye, and if I survive again, tomorrow morning I will greet you again with laughter.”

Try it! Start and finish your day with laughter, and you will see, by and by, in between these two more and more laughter starts happening. And the more laughing you become, the more religious.”



Meditation & Traveling

One thing that is interesting when practicing meditation: traveling and going to places doesn’t mean that much as it used to, or as you thought it would be. You stop looking for the right place to be, and you focus more on your own place where-ever you are. You begin to be more concerned about what’s inside than what’s outside.

No matter where you are, it’s much more important WHO you are and how you react to the things that surrounds you. You can get the same happiness and peace where-ever in the world you are now. The beauty, happiness, peace and serenity of nature is lost if your mind is not in a good place. If you want to find your place, it’s all about what’s inside.

You find your place in how you react to the world around you. Because in the end, it’s all seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and thinking. there is nothing beyond those things. Where-ever you go, they’re all the same. What’s different is your reaction, your ability to accept and to be happy where-ever you are at all times.


— This is an excerpt from a video I watched last year; a talk from a Theravada monk living in Sri Lanka. his name is Yuttadhammo.


Don’t be Overwhelmed By An Ego Response

Here is an Interactive Transcript from this video: 

One day, somebody came and spat at the Buddha. The Buddha reacted to him by saying Thank you.

The chief disciple of the Buddha was very upset with the guy who spat at him and he was ready to grab him and hit him.

The Buddha interfered and he said to his disciple Ananda, “Everything in life has a meaning. It happens for a purpose. He spat at me and it was fine for me and I did not react except in a positive way. So he gave me a test; a test of my own ego reaction. I passed. But what happened to you, you failed.”

This is a great story. If you want to succeed in life, there is one thing: There will be people hurting your ego all the time, from morning to evening. Somebody will hurt your ego and you will be hurting somebody’s ego.

The bottom line is you should not be overwhelmed by an ego response. You should step out if somebody praises or somebody abuses you or ridicules you. You are not going to be carried away one way or the other. You are simply like the Buddha — totally freed from the ego.

You will see you will succeed in life if you develop this attitude because as soon as somebody boosts up your ego; he may be doing this to make you happy and it helps you get things done. Then you will get along with this person because whenever your ego is boosted, you feel happy and whenever it is hurt, you feel unhappy. But you should not be a victim in both cases.

If somebody is hurting your ego, let him hurt you but you are not going to be defined by it and you are not going to show any reaction, not even a facial reaction, since the face is the index of the mind.

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