1. Laughter-yoga meditation has changed me.
It has been just a year since I started practicing laughter-yoga meditation which I learned from Dr. Madan Kataria at the Spiritual Retreat (Laughter and Silence) in September, 2015.
Much has happened during this period, but every morning I have practiced the 50-minute morning meditation without a break. As a result, I feel that the less-pleasant aspects of my personality have disappeared. Before starting this meditation I had suffered from some less-attractive habits. When I remembered the bad experiences I sometimes had as an employee, my mood became dark. When I failed in something on my own, I was tormented, and tended to blame myself. And I got angry with others when they didnt do things the way I thought right. I was not only in a bad mood myself, but put other people around me in a bad mood. Now I smile and can cope with stress when things go wrong.
Moreover, I was always thinking about making money even after my retirement from the trading company where it had become habitual for over 30 years to think about making money. Now I habitually think about what is good for other people, rather than for myself. I open sessions of laughter-yoga exercises once a month in two places, and laughter-yoga English (a combination of laughter-yoga meditation and English learning) four times a month for people of my community. Since last year I have also lead laughter-yoga exercises at the summer festival and also an event for people over 75. I also started laughter yoga sessions as part of a preventive care project for senior citizens at Mihama Lively Plaza, Chiba City. All this is done of course on a voluntary basis. Not only am I able to enjoy the laughter-yoga exercises, but I can also deepen my human ties with the people of my community.
2. Laughter-yoga exercises and laughter-yoga meditation
As to the medical effect, it seems that laughter-yoga meditation has a much greater effect than laughter-yoga exercises, and you may not need to do laughter-yoga exercises if you practice laughter-yoga meditation every day. Moreover, the effect of doing laughter-yoga exercises only a few times a month is probably small. In the case of laughter-yoga exercises, we laugh at each other with eye contact, deepening human contact. For this reason, they have other benefits beyond those of laughter-yoga meditation. With this mind, I not only lead my own laughter-yoga exercises, but I also participate in sessions of laughter-yoga exercises that are held once a month in my community by another teacher (Ms. Misayo Maekawa, an inaugural student of laughter-yoga teacher-training course held by Dr. Madan Kataria in Japan). The purpose is not only to study the teaching methods of laughter-yoga exercises, but also to enjoy the sensory pleasures of deepening human interaction with other participants.
Laughter-yoga exercises play a key role in introducing laughter-yoga meditation which is practiced alone. In this meditation, you continue to laugh alone for no reason for 20 minutes. It seems that it is very difficult for a person who does not have any experience in laughter-yoga exercises to practice this meditation. In the case of laughter-yoga exercises, you are also supposed to laugh without reason. But you cant help but laugh when you practice funny laughter-yoga exercises and also because other people's laughter is infectious. I dont think I could start practicing laughter-yoga meditation without any experience in laughter-yoga exercises.
3. My laughter-yoga meditation
I do not repeat the details because I wrote them in my previous blog I Kept On Following The Dr. Madan Katarias 40-day Rule On Laughter Yoga Meditation. But I would like to mention the points which were modified during my practicing it for a year. First of all, my way of laughing in laughter meditation has been distilled to MuWa laughter (MuWahhahhahhahhahha), which I do from the beginning to the end. During the meditation few distracting thoughts can come. Even if some do come, they are not negative thoughts but positive ones. Furthermore, I have adopted complete yogic breathing in the silent meditation. In So-Hum breathing meditation, I practice Mantra meditation where I chant in my mind I-am-the-universe when I breathe out, and The-universe-is-me when I breathe in. While doing this meditation, I image that I feel oneness with the universe. There are basically no changes in AEIOU meditation and yoga-nidra.
Since I have found that laughter-yoga meditation has great benefits for my life, I hope that this meditation will spread all over the world. For this purpose, I hope a scientific study of the benefits of laughter-yoga meditation will be made and Dr. Madan Kataria will write a guiding book about it.