Role of Humor on the Spiritual Journey
A few weeks ago I was sitting out on my deck and enjoying what I call holistic vision. Which is when you don’t focus on any one object, but instead take in the whole scenery together, using an unfocused, steady gaze. Being aware of the space between the objects magnifies the effect of this way of looking and it a meditation all on it’s own (meditation detailed in Brain Development & Enlightenment Part I).
As most parents with little ones know, getting some alone time can be challenging, so I was making the most of this quiet moment life had blessed me with and really enjoying the beauty of this meditation. As I was moving deeper into this state, all of a sudden Spiderman attacked me! Yes that would be my four year old son Shivum. So much for merging with the Oneness of nature and all that. It was time for Green Goblin to fight back .
This is how life is and it is important to be able to just have a big laugh and carry on. A sense of humor is absolutely invaluable when it comes to walking the spiritual path and exploring the world of enlightenment. In the article, J Krishnamurti Ponders His Enlightenment and Kundalini Awakening, Krishnamurti lists having a humorous approach as one of the keys to his own awakening. From those of us who have been involved in this business for a while, believe it when we say, a sense of humor is likely to be your best friend on your own journey to Self-Realization.
In reflecting over my own journey here are the situations and conditions where I have found humor to be a huge blessing…
1. The Egotistic Mind:
As you start to shine the light of awareness onto your mind, you are going to be alarmed by the amount of mischief that is going on in there. The endless attempts of the ego to assert itself and gain importance, pleasure, security, etc. Don’t start judging yourself and getting upset over this, instead just smile, have a laugh and remain a witness to it all. This is how the egotistical mind works and watching it dispassionately is the antidote.
2. Hiccups in Life:
Getting attacked by Spiderman in the middle of meditation can be potentially upsetting, but I think it is much healthier to learn to laugh about these situations than cry about them. In fact such situations are a chance to practice meditation for real. Observing your mind and thoughts at times like this, will give you a great deal of insight into your attachments and desires.
3. Your Neurotic Tendencies & Weaknesses:
We all have them . It’s what gives our personalities color and variety. So whatever idiosyncrasies and tendencies you have, they are what make you you. So take them in stride and learn to smile about them.
4. Impermanent Enlightenment Experiences:
The enlightenment states and experiences come and go. That is how they tend to be, so don’t be disappointed and anxious to cling to them. Enjoy them when they come and also, don’t take to task your desire to have them persist or repeat.
5. Catastrophes in Life:
Hiccups are relatively easy to smile about, but full fledged catastrophes are another story. Before something new can be built, the old has to be destroyed, and no matter how romantic you think this idea is, it’s actual occurrence can be quite painful and difficult. But really when everything around you starts falling apart despite your best efforts, remind yourself that you don’t necessarily see the big picture, then go ahead and have a good laugh at the state of your life. Then start over.
6. Terrible Meditation Sessions:
Trust me, we all have these also. Meditation sessions where you sit down with passionate intent to break free of time, space and self, but, instead end up spending the whole time planning your finances or fretting over your latest health issue. It’s ok, you will get ‘em next time.
If you don’t have a sense of humor about many of the situations you are going to encounter on this path, it is going to be very difficult for you to keep your sanity, commitment and balance. So remember this is all a big game that you are willingly playing, and learn to laugh at yourself and the twists and turns that life if going to throw at you.
Please do feel free to share your experiences with us of how humor has helped you in your own spiritual journey.