We had a session on different forms of Ego. We were talking about being serious and if it is truly required for great functioning in the society. My concern was that I feel that I am serious and if you look at all these laughing Buddhas and read spiritual texts or see enlighten beings - all of them are anything but serious. They laugh all the time and their beings are so light. Anyway, I had the experience of laughing mediations before but still when we did them here I did not experience serious breakthrough in my mental set up. So first we did the traditional laughing meditation and it was fun. A girl from France who was leading this meditation had a contagious laughter. For the second meditation we lied on each other stomachs (of course men were separate from women because it is a monastery) and started laughing. I put my head on a tummy of a girl with a great great laugh. And when we started laughing I could not stop not only during the mediation but through the whole day after that and oh, boy what an experience! And then I had a click about my upbringing.
It is very difficult for Russians to understand the concept of laughing without a cause. We even have a proverb in Russian that "laughter without the reason is a sign of stupidity." Parents would get annoyed if they hear "too much" giggling for no reason. As a result we grow up believing that being serious is a good thing and all these laughing people are idiots. The whole culture is this way. Remember how we are surprised that no one is smiling in the streets of Moscow?
Anyway, sad and true but can be changed maybe?