Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Learning to laugh

Eventually, what is in vogue in other countries will make its appearance in Korea and usually improved. The Global village is a blessing or not depending on our ability to discern. 

Recently, we have been hearing about different programs  dealing with laughter in our society: laughter therapists, laughter coaches, laughing Yoga, and sensitivity programs  bringing more laughter into our lives. Could this be a sign that there is not enough laughter in our society?

The editorial in the Catholic Times mentions a program  a group of religious attended receiving  accreditation in being teachers for laughter. The programs are welcomed by individuals, organization, companies and now finding a welcome in the church.  The title of the program was: "awaken laughter that sleeps within." Anything that will help us to be more authentic and happier is certainly welcomed.

Some years ago the editorial tells us a Religious Sister with a yellow butterfly necktie over her religious garb played the clown by moving her body every which way, rattling on and singing. She had the many thousands gathered to hear  talks on spiritual subjects  riveted  on the Sister, overcome by laughter. At the time they did not know what to make of what happened, for they  were there to hear talks on spirituality and  this Sister during one of the rest periods gets up on the stage acting the clown. However, looking back in retrospect, they did pay  more  attention to the spiritual talks and were relieved of much stress by her time on the stage.

This past week there was a training program only for religious. The religious recently have begun to reflect on the relationship of laughter to their spiritual life, but they express that it is not easy for them to join others in their programs. The usual programs have little to do with spirituality.

The religious learned during their training program the deeper significance of laughter: laughter of the body, laughter of the spirit, and the happiness that comes with the ability to laugh. This time together allowed them to look within and uncover areas of life they were not familiar with and to rid themselves of the obstacles that prevented laughter from entering their life.

The editorial hopes they will continue to be therapists of laughter. If the religious can add this role to their other duties, as they minister to thousands of people, they can be conduits of laughter within the  Church.

The Korean Church has imported many movements from the West; we have all  the Catholic movements that exist within the Church.  Many of the programs may have lost vitality in the countries of origin, but in Korea, they are going strong. In the years to come there is hope that the Koreans will develop their own programs that will help us  spiritually, and export them to the rest the world.


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