Stage One: Close your eyes. Put on a blindfold if you can because it helps keep the eyes closed. Start speaking in gibberish, any nonsense sounds. Don’t worry about what you sound like. Just go totally mad. This is therapeutic madness. Make any sounds you like; just don’t speak in a language or use words you know. Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you.
Sing, cry, shout, scream, mumble. Let your body go free, stamp, stomp, jump, skip, lie down, run in circles. Do whatever you feel like doing without harming anyone. Do not let up. Keep a steady stream of sound going. If you are doing this meditation with other people, don’t get distracted by what they are doing. Stay with what is happening with you. If you cannot make loud sounds, for example if you live in an apartment complex, then mouth the sounds silently but with the same force as if you were shouting out loud.
Stage Two: Sit in silence and watch with non-judgment.
Do each stage for an equal amount of time, start with five or ten minutes.
The benefits are:
Releasing mental and emotional poisons from our body and mind
Discovering an alternative to dumping anger on another
Learning how to transform anger into creativity and compassion
Discovering the inner silence, peace and wisdom that reside within us
How can laughter and play lead to deep meditation and silence?
Through the laughter meditation technique, you can make a conscious practice of using laughter to release your stress and help you to drop deeper into inner silence and stillness.
Stage one: start laughing for no reason.
Stage two: sit in silence and watch with non-judgment. You can do this for any amount of time, just do the same for each stage. Laughter serves as a bridge to take us deeper into our inner silence. Laughter is an ordinary experience that can give you an extraordinary experience, a glimpse of no-mind, of a transcendence of mind. It can be used as a preparation for meditation. Play focuses on the positive and releases our stress. When we play, we are fully present because we are doing an activity that we enjoy. Play can be whatever it means to you, playing tennis, board games, walking on the beach, going to a concert. Play is doing activities that bring you joy. And joy intrinsically brings us deeper into our inner being, into our true authentic self, into deep meditation.
In what ways are sound and movement important in meditation?
To be beneficial, meditation must be grounded in the body. Humming is a technique designed to open us to trust, to bring us into our inner sanctuary of peace and serenity. As we hum we are generating our own energy to heal and center ourselves. Humming brings us straight down from the head and into the body, keeping us alert yet relaxed. It has a soothing, calming effect as the vibration of the sounds resonates throughout the body/mind. Humming is actually metabolized into natural painkillers, releasing healing agents in the body. It is particularly good for healing the heart on both emotional and physical levels, for releasing emotional distress, and for bringing us to a balanced state of deeply centered well-being. Dancing into meditation is a great way to direct your energy inward. Have you ever put on your favorite dancing music when no one is around and just cut loose? It’s a great way to release tension or unwind. Dancing invokes our joy, our life force energy. Through the dancing meditation, feelings can be expressed and creative insights arise. You become like a child again in love with movement for it’s own sake. Feeling free in your body allows your mind to expand, your heart to open, and your spirit to fly.
Grief and pain are difficult for people. Can you talk about healing pain through meditation techniques?
It is often fear that prevents us from allowing and facing pain and grief. The problem with this is that our minds create an extra layer of pain, inducing psychological pain. Mind is of the past and the future, never of the present. Our problems worsen when we think about our emotions rather than actually experiencing them. Reality is never the problem—our ideas about it are. We actually have a tremendous capacity to adjust to reality, but we cannot adjust to the future.
We cannot adjust to something that is not yet a fact. Pain exists because pleasure exists. They are complementary. Without valleys you cannot have peaks. How do we resolve this? Accept that pain exists as a way to take you deeper into yourself, into wisdom and maturity.
As you sit in meditation and allow your pain and grief, over time it transforms into inner silence, peace and wisdom. Feeling your grief and pain is enormously healing, cleansing and purifying. Even if it seems too much you must allow it, for if you really grieve and go deeply into it, you come out completely fresh and new. Healed. Unburdened.
What are your best suggestions for people new to meditation?
Decide upon the result you want before choosing a technique. Do you want to release physical, emotional or mental stress? Do you want to improve your relationships? Do you want confusion transformed into clarity and a greater ability to focus? Are you depressed or frustrated? Whatever the problem, the variety of techniques in Laughter, Tears, Silence, offer solutions. You can transform fear into love, anger into creativity and pain into inner peace and wisdom. The first thing to understand is that meditation is not something apart from your everyday life; it is a quality, a way of being. Any activity done with awareness is meditation. It is not the activity that is important, but your awareness as you do the activity. For example, when you take your morning shower, are you fully present? Or are you thinking about the day ahead? When you are fully present, enjoying the hot water on your body refreshing and invigorating you, then meditation is present. You can apply this focus of being fully present to any activity. Then you will be able to easily and naturally incorporate meditation into your day.
How can children benefit from these meditations?
Children need to have a form of meditation in their lives as much as us grown ups do. My experience has been that the expressive techniques in Laughter, Tears, Silence are ideally suited to children. They are already laughing, playing for example. Just offer them a quiet few minutes to sit or lie down after their activity. This will help them calm down, for example before eating or before going to bed or before a math class or a math test! Here are some 2 Minute Meditation suggestions for children:
Gibberish –good for expressing anger, frustration, and also having fun.
Dancing-good for creativity, activating joy and releasing tensions.
Humming- healing for the heart and centering.
Running-good for releasing tensions and activating life energy and joy
Playing-good on every level.
Drawing/Painting/Crayoning-good for creativity, relaxation, fun.
The first expressive stage is always to be followed by approximately the same amount of sitting or lying down in silence – or as quiet as they can be. Start with one minute of each stage. My experience is that sometimes children need more time to let off steam and so it might take them a little longer to fall into a collective quiet. Allow them to find it themselves without being authoritative or judging them. Keep it short unless they ask for it to be longer (which they might well do). Make it fun, light, a sharing. Do not use force. If they don’t want to do it, let go of the idea. Suggest it at another time. If the word “meditation” is not appropriate to use in your situation, call them relaxation techniques, fun-time or other wording of your choice. Children naturally and easily fall into a calm, silent place if they have first had an opportunity to take the lid off the pressure cooker and express themselves freely.
Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart
By Pragito Dove March 10, 2010
$14.95 · 192 pages · ISBN: 978-1-57731-683-1