Laughter brings some energy from your inner source to your surface.
Now, even medical science says that laughter is one of the most deep-going medicines nature has provided man with. 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 some energy from your inner source to your surface. Energy starts flowing, follows laughter like a shadow. Have you watched it? 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. They are diametrically opposite: either you can laugh or you can think. If you really laugh, thinking stops. If you are still thinking, laughter will be just so-so, it will be just so-so, lagging behind. It will be a crippled laughter.
When you really laugh, suddenly mind disappears. And the whole Zen methodology is how to get into no-mind — laughter is one of the beautiful doors to get to it.
As far as I know, dancing and laughter are the best, natural, easily approachable doors. If you really dance, thinking stops. You go on and on, you whirl and whirl, and you become a whirlpool — all boundaries, all divisions are lost.
You don't even know where your body ends and where the existence begins. You melt into existence and the 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. You just have to become more and more of the sort, of the quality, of no-mind. More and more, thinking has to be dropped.
Laughter can be a beautiful introduction to a non-thinking state. And the beauty is…. There are methods — for example, you can concentrate on a flame or on a black dot, or you can concentrate on a mantra, but the greater possibility is that by the time the mind is disappearing you will start feeling sleepy, you will fall asleep. Because before the mind disappears there open two alternatives: sleep — sushupti — and samadhi: sleep and satori.
When thinking disappears, these are the two alternatives left: either you move into satori — a fully alert, no-thought state; or a fully asleep, no-thought state — sleep. And sleep is more natural, because you have practised it long. If you live sixty years, twenty years you have been asleep. It is the greatest activity that you have been doing; one third of your life is spent in sleep. In no other exercise do you spend so much time and so much energy.
So if you are doing TM-type meditations, repeating a mantra, by the time the mantra helps you to become non-thinking, immediately sleep will possess you. Hence, I call TM a sort of tranquillizer. And that is the appeal in America for Maharishi and his method, because America is the only country which is suffering from sleeplessness so tremendously. Insomnia has become almost common.
If after forty you have not started suffering from insomnia, that simply means that you are a failure, that you could not succeed — in business, in politics. In power you couldn't succeed; you are a failure. All successful people suffer from insomnia, have to suffer. They suffer from ulcers, have to suffer. So remember: insomnia, ulcers and things like that are nothing but certificates of success — that you have succeeded.
TM has an appeal for the American mind, because repeating a mantra — monotonous, the same again and again — the mind loses interest in it, starts falling asleep. That's the beauty of laughter: you cannot fall asleep. 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 — the first thing and the last thing! You try it. It is very beautiful. It will look a little crazy — mm? — because so many serious people are all around. They will not understand. If you are happy, they always ask why. The question is foolish! If you are sad, they never ask why. They take it for granted — if you are sad, it's okay. Everybody is sad. What is new in it? Even if you want to tell them, they are not interested because they know all about it, they themselves are sad. So what is the point of telling a long story? — cut it short!
But if you are laughing for no reason, then they become alert — something has gone wrong. This man seems to be a little crazy because only crazy people enjoy laughter; only in madhouses will you find crazy people laughing. This is unfortunate, but this is so.
It will be difficult, if you are a husband or a wife it will be difficult for you to suddenly laugh early in the morning. But try it — it pays tremendously. It is one of the most beautiful moods to get up with, to get out of the bed with. For no reason! because there is no reason.
Simply, you are again there, still alive — it is a miracle! It seems ridiculous! Why are you alive? And again the world is there. Your wife is still snoring, and the same room, and the same house. In this constantly changing world — what Hindus call the 'maya' — at least for one night nothing has changed? Everything is there: you can hear the milkman and the traffic has started, and the same noises — it is worth laughing for!
One day you will not get into the morning. One day, death will come.
Before it knocks you down, have a good laugh — while there is time, have a good laugh.