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I felt like I was catching up on three years of laughter – the same amount of time I have been a full time student (a fascinating correlation). I have been very stoic and studious, to the exclusion of having much fun – it has been very beneficial, just not much lightheartedness (being a good student that is). Well let me tell you, several people at the Drubchen thought I was having a bliss trip every night – as I would sit on my cushion and laugh at seemingly nothing. I was laughing at something, but once I got going, it was difficult to stop. “Drubchen giggles” and “laughter spells” were words used to describe what happened to me at least four times. Here are a few of the things which set off my giggle fests: once, there was a meditator who had on a Buddhist retreat skirt (I forget the proper name of it – similar to a maroon kilt). He seemed to be tapping his yellow-sock-covered toe to the beat of the chant. I was fascinated by his toe’s seemingly disembodied movement (sleep deprivation will do that to a man) and then when his toe started dancing to a different beat I could not help but laugh! It was just sticking out from under the maroon skirt, like a little yellow dancing animal and I began to crack up. There were a couple of times I laughed so hard I cried and had to leave the shrine room. Another time, one of the retreatants and I were playing little harmless tricks on each other. And when he playfully stepped on my foot, I waited for him to turn his back and I deposited a little banana peel in his coffee… It took several minutes for him to realize this, but the resulting “oh gosh” and groan made my laughter roll like there was no tomorrow. Hopefully my karma is not too bad for these little pranks.
The next laughter therapy session happened because a young man, a guy fresh to the
retreat scene, somehow fell asleep in a strange position in a chair, leaning forward on his hands and then he started audibly snoring – in the shrine room. I started giggling and I wanted to wake him, but I was laughing so hard I could not get off my cushion – tears started flowing and I dug through my Dharma bag (a purse with a Buddhist symbol on it) and luckily I found a picture of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama which seemed to sober me up. I had been looking for my ear plugs but that did the trick. Yet another time, this funny yogi said to me, “was I snoring?!”
I replied, “no, I don’t sleep in the same room as you, how would I know?”
He said, “no, I mean when I was sitting right behind you [in the shrine room]. I fell fast asleep and that is my greatest fear.” Maybe he should have talked to the young man who seemed well equipped to do so in a chair – without falling out of it. And of course, again, this got me rolling with laughter – especially once I figured out what he was referring to.
[10/26/09 Sitting here, nearly a year later, rereading my posts and revising where appropriate, I am still laughing as I read this! Very good, very good, Yay! – from Laughter Yoga]
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