When was the last time you laugh out loud in front of a group of people?
I rediscovered laughing yesterday in the Open Air Laughter Meetup Group. It is such an interesting experience and a great form of meditation. After that, some family time on the beach, with some nice iced oolong tea ;)
What is meditation?
I love to share my understanding of meditation. Meditation is the path to a quieter mind, with less judgement and more stillness in life.
What you do to meditate need not to be boring. Some practise Kungfu while mediating, others sing, or kneading bread dough (that's me). You could be having a walk and meditate at the same time.
Of course, most of us have a busy mind with too many thoughts going in all directions, hence doing something to "anchor the mind" is helpful for us to quiet our mind and be still, so we can let go, observe thoughts coming and going without judgement.
What is laughter meditation?
This year, I set myself the goal to "choose happiness".
This stems from the fact that I am actually overall a pretty happy person internally but my girls think I don't smile / laugh much. I can be critical and demanding (I hope I am not a tiger mum!), but really I am full of love and joy.
I want to show them that I am happy, in a way that they can see and feel.
As fate would have it, I stumbled across Virginia's Open Air Laughter Meetup Group.
So yesterday I experienced the laughter meditation for the first time.
We started with some deep breaths followed by laughs and clapping.
Try this now:
- stretch out your arms up above your head as you breathe in, and slowly swipe your arms down (like wings) as you breathe out.
- Do that 3 times.
- On the 4th one, instead of just letting your arms swipe down as you breathe out, bend forward and laugh as you breathe out.
Or start with a giggle and then laughing louder and louder.
Try doing it with a partner and keep eye contact as you both laugh, as if you are sharing a joke in a library, but you can't help but laugh.
Keep verbal communication to a minimum, as words can distort the thoughts. Just use body gesture, and pay attention to laugh from belly / abdomen area, not from shoulder and heart area.
These exercises I did and more for an hour yesterday certainly gave my jaw a workout!
We did it in a park with a small group. People walked pass us wondering what we were doing, but we laughed and enjoyed ourselves anyway.
And here is a point: happiness is from within.
Forget about how others see us, let go of judgement / approval.
For us, after a good laughing session, we zipped down to the beautiful Maroubra beach. Kids had a good time playing, while I sipped my iced cold Tie Guan Yin oolong.
Life is good, when we choose happiness :)