Laughter is the best medicine. If you can laugh when you are ill you will get your health back sooner. If you cannot laugh, even if you are healthy, sooner or later you will lose your health and you will become ill.
Laughter brings inner energy to the fore. When you really laugh, for those few moments you are in a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think together. When you really laugh, suddenly, the mind disappears. And the whole Zen methodology is how to get into no-mind.
Dancing and laughter are the best, natural, easily approachable doors to attaining no-mind. Existence melts into you; there is an overlapping of boundaries. And if you are really dancing ? not managing it but allowing it to manage you, allowing it to possess you ? if you are possessed by dance, thinking stops. The same happens with laughter. If you are possessed by laughter, thinking stops. And if you know a few moments of no-mind, those glimpses will promise you many more rewards that are going to come.
Before the mind disappears there open two alternatives: sleep or sushupti/ samadhi and satori. When thinking disappears, these are the two alternatives left: either you move into satori â a fully alert, no-thought state; or a fully asleep, no-thought state â sleep. And sleep is more natural, because you have practised it long. If you live 60 years, for 20 years you have been asleep. It is the greatest activity that you have been doing; one-third of your life is spent in sleep. Laughing, how can you fall asleep? It brings a state of no-mind and no-thought, and does not allow you to fall asleep.
In a few Zen monasteries, every monk has to start his morning with laughter, and has to end his night with laughter. It will be difficult, living in a family set-up, to suddenly laugh early in the morning. But do try it; it's worth getting out of bed laughing. Yes, for no reason at all. Isn't it good to be alive?
One day you will not get up in the morning. One day the milkman will knock at the door, the spouse will be snoring, but you will not be there. One day, death will come. Before it knocks you down, have a good laugh â while there is time, have a good laugh.
And look at the whole ridiculousness: again the same day starts; you have done the same things again and again for your whole life. Again you will get into your slippers, rush to the bathroom â for what? Brushing your teeth, taking a shower â for what? Where are you going? Getting ready and nowhere to go!
Look at the whole ridiculousness of it and have a good laugh. Laughter leads to more laughter. And almost always I have seen people doing just the wrong thing. From early morning they get out of bed complaining, gloomy, sad, depressed, and miserable. Then one thing leads to another and for nothing. And they get angry. it is very bad because it will change your climate for the whole day, it will set a pattern for the whole day.
In their insanity, Zen people are saner than you are. They start the day laughing. Then the whole day you will feel laughter bubbling, welling up. There are so many ridiculous things happening all over! God must be dying of laughter down the centuries, for eternity, seeing this ridiculousness of the world. The people that He has created, and all the absurdities ? it is really a comedy. He must be laughing.
If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing with you even the trees and stones and stars.
(Compiled by Swami Chaitanya Keerti, Osho World Foundation, New Delhi)