Laughing Buddha is not just a Feng-Shui ornament or icon kept at one corner of your home for happiness. Recently I visited the home of one of my friends. I found a couple of small Laughing Buddha statues of different colors and styles decorating the showcase of his living room. There is no doubt that Laughing Buddha statues emit vibrations of very high frequency and they have an important place in the Feng-Shui for bringing happiness, peace and prosperity. However, they can do much more than that. They can be used to teach and remind us of the way of living a mindful, alert and happy life, which is the true Buddha way of living.
You may wonder what is a Buddha way of living. In my book In the book “Laughing Buddha: The Alchemy of Euphoric Living“, I have elaborated on this. For example you can put the statue of the Laughing Buddha at such a place in your home that may remind you to smile and laugh wholeheartedly at least once a day. Learning to laugh and giggle at small wonders of life will raise your vibration to much higher level. We should learn this from the children, who have the unique gift of spontaneously living in the moment and having fun in just about any situation. This habit will completely wipe away the negative conditioning of the past and make your life full of joy.
Enjoy making fun about yourself. “The laughing Buddha has been described as an icon of euphoric living. The Laughing Buddha can remind us that we should not take life so seriously. Buddhism teaches us the interconnected-ness of all that exist. So, why be so serious? Learning to see the lighter sides of life will add much joy to your life. Your smile has tremendous value. It can bring rest to the weary heart, cheer and sunshine to the one that is sad and discouraged. Those that are too tired to give a smile are really pitiable. Both laughter and smiling are contagious. When you smile at someone they usually reciprocate with a smile. This establishes a connection between people. A smile and a sincere laughter can make your day brighter. The simple act of smiling and laughter releases endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones. It lowers the stress level and strengthens your immune system.” : From the book “Laughing Buddha: The Alchemy of Euphoric Living”
Buddhism teaches us to follow the universal Law (which it calls ‘dharma’ or ‘Dhamma’ in Pali) that underlies everything in this universe. When you follow the Dhamma and keep yourself aligned with it, you align yourself with the basic rhythm of life and the universe. It enables you to laugh and smile from your heart. The Laughing Buddha can be a reminder to bring your individual life into harmony with the greater principle of life of the universe. The Laughing Buddha can remind you to live with greater wisdom and courage, to live with more vitality and compassion. This is what it means to live and manifest the conditions for an enlightened life.
You do not need to be a ‘Buddhist’ to keep the statue of the Laughing Buddha in your home. Similarly, you do not need to be initiated to any organization to follow the simple teachings of the Buddha which can make your life more joyful and harmonious. As I often say to my students, Buddha’s teachings can be treated just as life-lessons, which can benefit everyone who is seeking the true meaning of life. Buddha’s teaching is more a lifestyle than a dead philosophy. Buddha’s teaching is like a shaft that can take us to the other shore, the shore of enlightened living. It is not something to worship. Though I find many Buddhist organizations to make his teaching sometimes too much ritualistic, I personally feel that the Buddha himself was much more practical and liberal. He was just an intelligent human being like you and me who applied himself diligently to find the true meaning of life. He applied himself diligently to attain a state that is beyond sorrow.
The statues of the Laughing Buddha can remind us to adhere to the principles of an enlightened living, which is a way of euphoric living. Next time you look at a statue of a Laughing Buddha at your home do not just move on unmindfully, with your head crowded with thousands of thoughts. Just use the statue as a reminder-slip to stop for a moment, breathe deeply and smile, before you go on your way. This simple practice will bring much happiness and light to your life.