LAUGHING IN ANOTHER STATE
Once upon a time I went to another state, not NY, to join some people in a communal meal, offer a presentation of my work/process and participate in a Q & A. Why is laughter such a post-issue regarding this visit?
My childhood was one of silence at meals, silence at non meals and then later in the convent SILENT SILENCE! I loved being silent because that was my fodder, food and practice from birth.
FORWARD MEAL STORY:
During the meal at this place, out of NY state, I was amazed because the intelligent, informed, articulate and kind humanitarians were not only TALKING BUT LAUGHING. LAUGHING ALOT AND LOUDLY. I was amazed and have not ever been surrounded with such laugh-joy and sound at a meal in my life and it was authentic and like being in a foreign country, listening to a foreign language, I observed, never having spoken their laugh-language freely or easily and especially at meals. (As nuns we ate in silence while the lives of martyr saints were read.)
During my presentation after the said meal, I was lovingly surrounded by a group of mature, spiritually advanced and active activists; truly living Catholic saints, given their daily practice of compassion, service and social justice seva. They gave such un divided and present attention to my video that it opened me up to my own naturalness and allowed me to collage and intuitively mention whatever the (HOLY) spirit suggested. So at one point I said that after taking care of my father for 7 years ( a process documented on video) , and after his death, I took a laughter workshop to allow my deeply intense feeling of grief and confusion come OUT OF MY HEART, mind and gut. Remember that in the room, there were PROFESSIONAL "LAUGHERS" and I was inspired to mention that I could not laugh but paid good money to learn to laugh at a workshop. And that now I was a laughter leader. And then I mentioned how the three levels of laugh PURIFIED the lower body, mid body and head, reverberating the brain. And here is where it may have not been my best use of skillful means because I also mentioned that at least 3 of the people there were NATURAL PURIFIERS and had NATURAL access to Ho HO HO, HA HA HA ,HEE HEE HEE. My bad, if this was not good community making on my part and I apologize to all present that night. But remember, the HOLY SPIRIT made me do it!!! And we were discussing the function of art as a way to purify body/mind/soul, so it all seemed to segue quite well, I thought.
MAYBE THIS IS WHERE IT DIDNT WORK CORRECTLY:
Maybe I was not able to "teach"clearly my intention for bringing laughter to my presentation and a few months after I left that intentional community and the state it was in, I did an examen of art-conscience and heard a guilty voice that said: "Linda, did your laughter thing work? Did it offend those people because maybe they felt that :
a. Talking about laughter to a group of people who were experts and maybe they thought they were being singled out, ridiculed, made fun of?
b. I discussed in a disjointed and not KIND WAY, how at least 3 of them had "classic" relief laughters and were natural purifiers?
Skillfull Means -R - Me, that is, I learned a lot.
And if I ever have a nudge from my inner self that what I am saying or doing with OTHERS is not working or might be offending, I will address the issue immediately and not 5 months later. Transparency/accountability/clarity/ forgiveness IS THE WAY.
For 19 years, I was adopted by a couple from India who were Jains. Once a year they had a day of forgiveness which I loved. It was not forgiveness from GOD...but forgiveness among all in their family, community and friends. They would Namaste with their hands and sort of bow and say, MICCAMI DUKKARUM . which loosely translates means, I'm sorry if I did, said or thought anything against you this year.
Now I bow , hold my hands in Namaste and say to you all, MICHAMMI DUKKARUM. I smile as I do this and mentor your beautiful laughs.
Watch the enclosed video if you wish. He's pretty good.
Linda Mary Montano