Laughter Medicine – Steve Bhaerman
Are You Ready to Live Happily Ever Laughter?
If you understand that healing is more than physical — the word “healing” means to “restore wholeness” — then you recognize that Laughter Medicine will lighten and brighten every aspect of your life.
The Laughter Medicine program is like a Laughter Boot Camp where you give boredom and mediocrity the boot. Swami says it’s also like a Buddha Camp, where you use humor to create equanimity.
This course is for you if you’re:
- Seeking a healing perspective in life — for yourself and for sharing with others
- Curious about how to bring more fun into your public persona in a way that’s authentic and unforced
- Craving more satisfying connections with others
- Wanting more lightness of being in your daily life
- Noticing that seriousness has become a serious issue for you
- Desiring to have a weekly respite and sanctuary from seriousness and just enjoy laughing
It’s also important to be clear who this course is not for:
- Fundamentalists may resist it, UNLESS they are willing to put the “fun” before “da mental”
- People who have been sticking to their story, and are willing to be stuck with it
- Hermit crabs — people who are grumpy and isolated, and like it that way
- Dead people — laughter is an in-body experience
What Will you Learn in Laughter Medicine
For decades, Steve Bhaerman — who has gained a worldwide audience as the “cosmic comic pundit” Swami Beyondananda — has been entertaining (or “innertaining”) thousands with his trademark wit and wisdom.
On the more serious side, Steve is co-author (with cellular biologist Bruce Lipton) of Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There From Here). He also blogs about politics and current events from a spiritual perspective, prompting Marianne Williamson to call him the “Mark Twain of our generation.”
We’re delighted to offer this rare offering in conscious comedy to our global community. You’ll learn about comedy — with a transformational twist — from the inside out, and find out how even a non-comedian can practice “situational comedy” in almost any situation. In each session, there will be plenty of time for questions — both email and live — so that this course will be geared to your specific needs and desires.
Think of it as an oasis of non-seriousness in the course of your otherwise serious week. You’ll laugh while you learn, and learn while you laugh.
And, jest for fun, the Swami will be offering his cosmic comic commentary as part of each session.
Session 1: It’s a Joke, Laugh – the Magic of Cosmic Comic Consciousness
Have you ever noticed that the Dalai Lama laughs a lot? Ever wonder why Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was known as “the giggling guru?” Did they know something the rest of us don’t know, or have forgotten? Very likely they were in touch with what Swami Beyondananda calls Cosmic Comic Consciousness — the spiritual perspective that almost instantly heals by restoring wholeness.
In this first session, you’ll learn how and why laughter is medicine in the Native American sense: an alchemical (and all-comical) tool to give you a God’s-eye view of your situation. By cultivating this one playful practice, you’ll be able to embrace your challenges with a fresh new perspective.
You’ll learn some simple cosmic comic practices to help you:
- Break through the rigidity of seriousness, through the open-hearted expression of humor
- Instantly gain problem-solving resources you didn’t know you had
- Uplevel your mood not through denial but through loving and laughing acceptance
- Demonstrate spiritual leadership, and leave everyone — including yourself — smiling
- Finally “get” the Cosmic Joke, and be able to laugh with the Creator
Session 2: Laughter Really IS Medicine
Ever since Norman Cousins published his groundbreaking book, Anatomy of an Illness, in 1979, recounting how he used humor to treat a life-threatening illness, scientists and lay people have been exploring the healing power of laughter. (As the Swami says, “Sure it works in practice. But does it work in theory?”) You’ll learn about jaw-dropping studies that actually show that watching 30 minutes of comedy a day can vastly reduce a heart patient’s chances of having another heart attack. You’ll find out why laughter improves auto-immune function, and how “being of good cheer” provides untold additional health benefits.
And that’s just the beginning of the good news. In this session, you’ll learn the science of Laughter Medicine. AND you’ll learn the art of using laughter as medicine to heal emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The word “healing” means “to restore wholeness” and nothing gives us the “big picture” (what Swami calls “the God’s-eye-view”) like heart-opening laughter and mind-expanding comedy.
During this session, you’ll gain valuable information and practical knowledge to help you:
- Circulate the energy of healing laughter (what Swami calls “ho-ho-holy hee-hee-healing”) throughout your body and awaken every cell
- Use laughter — and the relaxation it provides — to release tension, restore and rejuvenate your body and become more youthful and resilient
- Change your spiritual perspective from gravity to levity, and change the energy field around you
- Create a better state of mind and state of heart
Session 3: The Alchemy of Humor
Have you ever wondered where a joke gets its energy from? Why do people laugh so hard at certain jokes or funny things? And why is there so much release, relief and awakening in the wake of laughter?
In this session, we explore the elements of humor — earth, water, fire and air — and how they combine to create an alchemical (or better yet, all-comical) reaction. You’ll discover what brain scientist Scott Weems says about our brain on humor, and recognize why humor and problem-solving naturally go together. You’ll learn how and why surprise sparks laughter, and why we are delighted by it. And you’ll learn how to bring more potential comic energy to any situation, and use the resulting explosion of laughter to reduce tension and elevate insight.
In this session, you’ll discover:
- How to cultivate all four elements to bring humor, release and enlightenment to just about any situation
- Why the simplest humor is often most effective
- How to gauge the heaviness and emotion in a situation — and release that energy through laughter
- How to spark an explosion of laughter — without even trying
- The secret element that all effective humor has that is “invisible” and yet essential
Session 4: The Architecture of a Joke
Have you ever wondered why jokes tend to use “threes” — a minister, a priest and a rabbi, for example? Or why the rabbi usually gets to deliver the punchline? Attend this session, and wonder no more. You’ll also discover how a joke is actually a mini-trance, and how it can stop the one-track mind in its tracks — and take us from our head into our heart. You’ll also come to understand the secret of successful joke telling: placement and timing of the punchline.
While it’s true that there are many kinds of humor that work perfectly well that don’t involve an actual joke, when we understand, appreciate and discover how to use the joke as a humor delivery system, we get to experience how and why comedy is like a magic trick, and how to cultivate that magical combination of surprise and delight.
In this session, you’ll discover:
- An approach to using the trance of a joke to break other trances of unconscious beliefs and behaviors
- How and why humor shows us “another way” and helps us cultivate creativity and innovation
- How to integrate the right joke at the right time into a presentation to brighten and enlighten your audience
Session 5: The Art of Self-Facing Laughter
In this session, Swami shows how laughing at yourself — in just the right way and in just the right time — is a key to health and happiness. Rather than being a put-down, self-facing laughter is a “put up”; levity raises our perspective to see ourselves and the conditions of our lives from a higher view.
What would it be like to start each day looking in the mirror and literally laughing in your own face? The ability to laugh at oneself — the foundation of a true sense of humor — is a skill that facilitates and lubricates every human transaction. Self-facing laughter can help you become your own best friend, and magnetize allies and positive situations. If God is laughing with us at our follies, who are we not to laugh?
In this session, you’ll explore:
- Three self-facing practices guaranteed to bring laughter and perspective
- Why and how laughter puts the ego in its proper place
- Self-facing laughter and how it can help you love yourself more — and make it easier for others to love you as well
- How to use a playful alter ego to alter your ego
Session 6: Find the Joke Hidden in the Picture
There will always be times — no matter how happy, healthy and awake we are — when a funny thing happens that fails to tickle our funny bone. At that point, it makes sense to ask, “Where is the joke hidden in this picture?” Is there a splendid irony, a secret insight that is hidden in clear sight? The skill is not so much being funny as seeing funny and hearing funny.
In this session, you’ll explore techniques used by comedians and amateurs to see funny, to listen with a different part of the mind and to find something uproariously funny or subtly ironic in almost anything that happens. Laughter floods the body with dopamine, activating all the learning centers in the brain, boosting creativity, productivity and engagement.
This session will focus on how you can use humor as a gateway to intuition, creativity and wisdom, through exercises designed to:
- Help you see funnier, to see our way “out of the box”
- Help you think like a comedian — or a child!
- Learn the art and science of reframing to gain leverage (and loverage)
- Shift the way we view certain challenges, so we can go beyond the typical “fight or flight” response to greater creativity and mastery
Session 7: Practice Random Acts of Comedy
In this final session, you’ll put it all together to enjoy and employ Laughter Medicine. You’ll discover the art of situational comedy — bringing appropriate humor to almost any situation. You’ll learn about practical jokes that warm the heart (rather than pouring cold water on some unsuspecting victim) and the art of “Fun Shui,” the playful arrangement of objects to elicit laughter and smiles. You’ll learn how to let your natural sense of humor emerge — without even trying. You’ll learn how to be a playful child and a wise adult all at once, a purveyor of Cosmic Comic Consciousness, and a beacon of light and lightness in your world.
You’ll also discover how to distinguish between positive and negative humor, and how you can use jokes to build bridges rather than blowing them up. Like any other tool, humor can be used or abused. This session will help you use humor to heal … and never to hurt.
In this final session you’ll discover how to:
- Embrace playfulness and humor as a natural habit…and your natural habitat
- Engage in the art of allowing humor to emerge, because “trying” causes it to submerge
- Advance past the “how” of humor to understand the what and the when
- Find the natural humor in your life and in your world, and use it to open hearts (including your own) and transform the trance
- Write your own “laugh story” to remind you “it’s a joke — laugh” and provide inspiration for others too
By the time you reach the final session, you’ll have had plenty to laugh about, and you’ll have discovered magnificent gold mines of natural humor. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll have a magical and joyful tool you can use for the rest of your life in an authentic, relaxed and engaging way.
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