Post by Susan Jeffers Ph.D.
As many of you already know, I am a lover of the Laughing Buddha. I think you’ll agree that we all take life much too seriously! Because of my love of the Laughing Buddha, I’ve placed a number of them around our house and office as a reminder to lighten up and enjoy it all.
I have a wooden Laughing Buddha on my bedside table next to a picture of my laughing husband (who is also a Laughing Buddha!), a gorgeous pink quartz Laughing Buddha on my desk, a magnificent amber Laughing Buddha on my husband’s desk, a large stone Laughing Buddha sitting outside on our balcony…and many more. What they all seem to have in common is that they have all learned how to enjoy the feast and they certainly seem to have no worry about the future. They are always laughing!
My outdoor Laughing Buddha is the one that never ceases to amaze me. He is laughing when the rain pours down on him. He is laughing when the sun bakes down. He is laughing when we put a Santa hat on him at Christmas time. There is nothing that takes away his laughter. I know he would be laughing even if a tree fell on him and crushed him into a million pieces. I would be crying, but he would be laughing! Obviously, the Laughing Buddha has learned that, It’s all happening perfectly! The spirit that emanates from his smile is one of trust, appreciation and inner joy.
I believe the Laughing Buddha represents the inner intelligence that lives within us all. He represents the part of us that is in tune with the Grand Design. He doesn’t try to control the chaos. Instead, he listens and moves comfortably within the chaos as the world unfolds around him. He stays open to a constant flow of joyous survival versus turbulent survival. He makes us realize that we can’t get rid of the chaos, but we can get very creative with the turmoil. We are all the creators of how we want to see this world.
As a constant reminder to lighten up, I suggest you purchase a Laughing Buddha. They come in all sizes. A little one to put on your desk or next to your bed…or both…would be a good start. Understand that the Laughing Buddha does not have to be seen as a religious symbol. Buddhism is considered by many to be an inspiring philosophy…a way of seeing the world and becoming more enlightened about life. There are Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Atheists and others who embrace the teachings of Buddhism as a way of improving one’s life. So no matter what your religious belief, the Laughing Buddha can bring you great wisdom and peace of mind.
Once you acquire your Laughing Buddha, make sure you look at his joyous presence every time something is troubling you and ask yourself what your Laughing Buddha would tell you. I know you will find answers that will lift you out of your upset and elevate you to a more cosmic space. That’s what the Laughing Buddha does for me. Any time I am driving myself crazy trying to control everything around me, I look at my Laughing Buddha and laugh right along with him. I let go and lighten up. The Laughing Buddha reminds me that peace and joy lie within…not out there somewhere. And we all need reminders!
To take it one step further, you can pretend you are the Laughing Buddha. Some years ago my husband, Mark, was having difficulty with a few people in one of his projects at work and he decided that instead of letting it get him down, he would go to work as the Laughing Buddha. To him, that meant radiating a happy, loving energy no matter what was happening in the office. He created a list of his favorite happy affirmations and a few times throughout the day, he would repeat them over and over again. He would also e-mail me daily a message from himself as the Laughing Buddha.
The little game he was playing became our private joke, but the effect on his experience at work was very healing. He was actually able to deflect the negativity of the people in his project and embrace the happy nature of the Laughing Buddha. This enabled him to interact with everyone in a much more positive way. His demeanor changed so much that his assistant jokingly asked him what drugs he was taking! Mark just smiled.
We can all play the Laughing Buddha game in any area of our lives. Each time we play it, it shows us how to stay in the highest part of who we are, our Higher Self, for longer and longer periods of time. And lightening up and appreciating the beauty in our lives makes our spirits soar. Powerful stuff, so rewarding, and a lot of fun.
It is clear that appreciation of today is one of the most powerful tools for helping us embrace tomorrow. So take it all in. And once you do, you will be astounded by what you have been missing in this life, right here, right now. I keep going back to the telling words of Emily Dickinson…
As if I asked a common alms
And in my wandering hand…
A stranger pressed a kingdom
And I bewildered stand.
These beautiful words tell us that when we finally open our eyes, we stand bewildered by the riches in front of us. Life is beautiful…and funny. Open your eyes to it all…and don’t forget to laugh!
Namaste with Love