I started laughter yoga meditation on my own and in my own wayGo Back Norimichi Arao, Japan 5 January 2017
Five or six years ago I began to study meditation in the hope of improving my own not-very-pleasant personality. When I remember the bad experiences I sometimes had as an employee, my mood becomes dark. When I fail in something. on my own, I am tormented, and tend to blame myself. And I get angry with them when they don’t do it in the way I think right.
I have been reading many books about meditation, books by S.N. Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, J. Kabat-Zinn, Masaharu Naruse, and others. On the subject of breathing I read books by Hiromasa Muraki and Zen Master Hakuin about “kokyu tanden” This involves respiration by working the inner part of the lower abdomen just beneath the navel.
In the process I learned that laughter caused by humour has big benefits for us. In the hope that I might fix my own personality problems if I laughed a lot, I listened to rakugo comic stories and read Japanese and foreign humorous novels, though they did not make me laugh much.
By chance I heard about laughter yoga created by Dr. Madan Kataria, and began practicing “laughter yoga alone” by using a DVD published by the Japanese Laughter Yoga Association. But I still could not make myself laugh properly.
About 4 years ago I started "chanting meditation" developed by Masaharu Naruse similar to humming meditation and I continued it until starting laughter yoga meditation that will be described in detail later. My personality problem has been partly solved by this meditation, but not completely.
As I mentioned in Blog No.1, I am practicing laughter yoga exercises. From this January I started practicing 30-minute laughter yoga meditation every morning. This is a combination of laughter meditation and breathing meditation. I do three 5-minute sessions of laughter meditation and three 5-minute sessions of breathing meditation.
As for laughter meditation, the first and the second ones are “just laughing”, and the third one is silent laughter. Just laughing is composed of Wa-Wi-Wu-We-Wo laughters, A-I-U-E-O laughters and Ha-Hi-Hu-He-Ho laughters, which, I have been testing. This is the best laughter for laughter meditation. It seems to me that the initial fake laughter has gradually become genuine laughter.
As for breathing meditation, the first two sessions are the So Ham breathing meditation, and the last one is the humming meditation. Since September24, I have been practicing 50-minute laughter yoga meditation, which I asked Dr. Kataria to prepare specially for me.
It is difficult to clear one's mind of distracting thoughts by chanting meditation or breathing meditation. However, since laughter meditation makes us immerse in laughter, few distracting thoughts can come and also in breathing meditation immediately after it.
As a result of doing the laughter yoga exercises and 30-minute morning laughter yoga meditation, I have finally solved my personality problems. Moreover, my concentration seems to be enhanced so that I can practice the “pause of a tree”, one of the yoga pauses I amdoingevery morning.
I started thinking that the most important part of laughter yoga is laughter yoga meditation, and I re-read the books on meditation and also new books, including “Google’s Mindfulness Revolution” edited by Sangha, Japan and “Mindful Work – How Meditation is Changing Business From Inside Out” by David Gelles.
As a result, I realized again the importance of laughter yoga meditation, and participated in “Spiritual (Laughter and Silence) Retreat” guided by Dr. Madan Kataria, which the Japanese Laughter Yoga Association held this September, to deepen my laughter yoga meditation.