Friday, August 18, 2006

Mama Says Om - Laugh

There is nothing left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh.
Zen Master

This week the theme at Mama Says Om is: laugh. The verb comes from the Middle English laughen, thence from Old English, and the word probably imitates the sound which issues forth from somewhere down deep inside us when we encounter something silly, absurd or very amusing.

Laughter is good medicine for body and soul, and it bubbles up at the most unlikely times in life, generally when we need it most. The best laugh of all is one that starts deep in the diaphragm and emerges as a kind of resonant rumble, sounding as if there were freight trains in motion nearby or as if whole mountain ranges had arisen from their places and begun to walk the earth. Then there are the wicked cackles to which flocks of crows (or murders of crows in the mediaeval parlance) are given - some species of birds, like the crows, ravens, magpies and jays who visit my garden, always seem to be sharing a good joke, and at our expense. "Did you hear the one about the old woman dancing in the garden who. . . ."

A good laugh
engages one's whole metabolism and delivers a jolt of energy, sparkle and power which lasts for some time, energizing and refreshing us and reminding us too that life is an enterprise rife with that which is absurd, ludicrous and downright funny. There are many times when the twistings and turnings of our existence are so utterly ridiculous that all one can do is laugh about them, and a hearty laugh is nourishing and healing "stuff" of the first order.

Zen teaching tales often employ laughter as a metaphor for the state of enlightenment, and a generous unrestrained laugh from way down deep is definitely a Zen thing. No one has a happier expression or a more infectious laugh than the old guy in my garden.


Maya's Granny said...

Delightful. Laughter is so healing and crows, ravens, magpies, and jays so alive. Here in Alaska, it doesn't matter how cold the weather, the ravens seem to delight in it.

K Allrich said...

Oh, what a good lesson for us all!

I love your Buddha tucked in the greenery. [One of the first things I did when we moved in was find a spot - in my case, a juniper thicket right outside my studio - for my Buddha.]

Hope you are well and enjoying these last lazy days of summer.


Kim Antieau said...

Thanks. I needed that. I chuckled. I'll work on the belly laugh!