Thursday, 3 December 2015

Can Meditation & Humour Mix?


Here's a question or two for you (and all of us). Why does there seem to be so little meditation humour (or "humor")? Why are there so few meditation cartoons? With the noble exception of laughter yoga, meditation and humour are almost never presented as the happy bedfellows they could be. But why?

There's no hard-and-fast answer to any of these questions. Maybe not enough meditating cartoonists have come along yet. Maybe people simply aren't used to finding humour in meditation or spirituality. Or maybe it's simply something I haven't been able to find. (If you know differently, please *do* let everyone else in on it, in the comments below).

But maybe there is something else at work here too. Maybe meditation has got itself a reputation as something serious-certainly too serious to be laughed at. And perhaps a thought has got about that if a person dare have a sense of humour about meditation, well then, can that person be a "real" meditator? And once one person has that idea, then others who come along and model themselves on very serious meditation practitioners, attempting to be "truly spiritual" (whatever that is). Hence, the newcomers all feel obliged to be very serious also.

But in fact...

Humour and meditation are better together than apart

You only have to look as far as the current Dalai Lama to know that deep meditation/spirituality and humour can be perfect partners. The cynical might say that humour makes a leader's message that much more powerful, too.

But for the rest of us non-cynics, there are at least three more very good reasons for humour and meditation to go together. For one thing, both meditation and humour are both uplifting, lightening, positive forces. And few would argue that the world can do with as much of that kind of energy as possible.

What's more, if you happen to have a good sense of fun by nature, and then attempt to become serious because you feel you "should", in order to be "good at" meditation, isn't that actually going against your true nature? (Which of course, would be the exact opposite of the point of most types of meditation). NB. This paragraph does reflect something I once unwittingly tried to do myself...and wouldn't recommend.

Finally, we tend to feel comfortable laughing with ideas that have become part of the culture and cultural landscape, and that feel familiar. So, in laughing about certain aspects of meditation, we might also be acknowledging meditations's place as a mainstream part of everyday life...if we dare.


  1. What's your view? Can meditation and humour mix happily together? Please *do* leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas on this.