Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

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Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby David2 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:02 am

Hi,

as it is known, some monks practice hatha yoga asanas.
What about laughter yoga? Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga if he choses to do so?

With laughter yoga I mean the practice of deliberate laughing for some minutes.
(See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter_Yoga)

Is laughter yoga compatible with buddhist practice?
Any thoughts much appreciated.
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby David2 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:05 pm

Well, no answers so far, so I guess it is not compatible. :tongue:
That makes sense, though, now that I am thinking about it again.
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:11 pm

I put together a smidgen of references on laughter once before, but it wasn't received well; I'll try to dig it up if you like, but the upshot is that no, it wouldn't be appropriate.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:14 pm

Why all this laughter and celebration when the world is on fire? (Dhp.146)

Forced laughter doesn't sound like real laughter to me. I don't think it would have the same effects, being forced, rather than a more natural one when something really funny is going on. And even the real ones are short-lived and could be clung to.
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:26 pm

AN 3.103 - Lamentation wrote:This, monks, is reckoned to be lamentation in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, singing. This is reckoned as causing madness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, dancing. This is reckoned as childishness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, immoderate laughter that displays the teeth.
Wherefore, monks, away with the bridge that leads to singing and dancing! Enough for you, if you are pleased righteously, to smile just to show your pleasure.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby David2 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:48 pm

Thank you David and Dave, that was helpful. :anjali:
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby manas » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:37 pm

daverupa wrote:
AN 3.103 - Lamentation wrote:This, monks, is reckoned to be lamentation in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, singing. This is reckoned as causing madness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, dancing. This is reckoned as childishness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, immoderate laughter that displays the teeth.
Wherefore, monks, away with the bridge that leads to singing and dancing! Enough for you, if you are pleased righteously, to smile just to show your pleasure.
...it sure is tough being a muso in the Theravada... :thinking: but as I'm only trained in music and have to earn my bread by it, I will console myself that at least it isn't trading in poison, weapons, meat or human beings...

:namaste:

(Yes, I know that ultimately, what is said in that sutta quote makes sense even to my current level of understanding, in the sense that singing and dancing would tend to encourage attachment to the khandhas as self, which is wrong view...I was just expressing my dry sense of humour regarding the occupation I chose all those years ago, before I had a clue what I was getting into... :|. )
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby befriend » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:43 pm

please be careful when you quote buddha when he says why all this laughter when the world is aflame. ive never heard any dhamma teacher say you should put your fingers in your ears when someone starts making a joke, so you dont laugh. newcomers to buddhism might get confused.
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Re: Is a monk allowed to practice laughter yoga?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:41 pm

befriend wrote:please be careful when you quote buddha when he says why all this laughter when the world is aflame. ive never heard any dhamma teacher say you should put your fingers in your ears when someone starts making a joke, so you dont laugh. newcomers to buddhism might get confused.


:thumbsup:

Certainly, if you hear a good joke it is okay to laugh. If you are a lay person and enjoy comedies, it is also okay to watch them, go to comedy movies, etc.

But for the more devout days, such as Uposatha or for monks and nuns, the practice is more serious and comedy entertainment shows are avoided. But even for monastics a joke now and then is certainly okay too, especially to make a point, such as the way Ajahn Brahm often does.
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