Humour and the spiritual life

In my last post I was reflecting on the phrase ‘follow your bliss’ and how humour and joy are part of  what supports us in our practice. Someone sent me a link to a video recently which made me laugh a lot. I’m reminded how important humour is and how easily in the ‘spiritual life’ one can take on a rather serious demeanour.

A friend of mine is a Sufi and leads laughter workshops. He’s always so happy! And if I think about it the people I know who seem most deeply connected to their practice are also the happiest people I know. My Abbot Ajahn Sumedho would always have a smile and a laugh bubbling not far beneath the surface, likewise other friends in the monastery both monk and lay practitioners. A friend of mine said to me recently he wonders if I need to laugh more. He has a point that my first Abbot who gave me my monastic name might agree with! My monastic name was Bodhinando – the Bliss of Awakening/Enlightenment. I always took it as a reminder that with liberation comes bliss – not a dull annihilation. So perhaps opening to joy and bliss now is a little window into the bliss of perfect freedom.

The video below is great in that it is both a spoof of a spiritual delivery and message and yet also works as a meditation! It’s a great reminder how not to take the rituals and routines of spiritual teachings too seriously. And perhaps at times such humour and language might even be more effective than ‘spiritual’ instructions! If you are offended by mild swearing do not watch!


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