Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are You Happy On The Vacations?

Everybody is waiting for and dreaming about the vacations, whether they are simple weekends or long winter vacations, but they are an integral part of work.

The question is: does the dream come true? Do people enjoy actual time spent on their favorite picnic spot?

I always wondered when I saw tourists with the usual paraphernalia going with great excitement from one point to another. The same crowd, the same gossips, the same gobbling between rushing. What is the difference from their daily routine?
Now there is a research available to support my doubt.
' Researchers from the Netherlands set out to measure the effect that vacations have on overall happiness and how long it lasts. They studied happiness levels among 1,530 Dutch adults, 974 of whom took a vacation during the 32-week study period.
' The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.'

Not only that, there was no post-vacation happiness either. The exhaustion and subtle  disappointment shadowed their much hyped up trips.
Osho makes fun of this attitude of looking for fun elsewhere, not where you are right now. The bottom line is, if you cannot be happy now/here, you cannot be happy anywhere.

Here is an Osho excerpt:
"There are people who are working their whole lives just waiting for their retirement; then they will relax and enjoy. And they know perfectly well: six days they work in the office and wait for the seventh day, the holiday, and hope, "Soon Sunday will come and we will relax and enjoy." And they cannot relax and they cannot enjoy. In fact, the holiday seems to be so long and so boring; they have to fill it with something.

They go for a picnic. The same things that they would have eaten at home, in a relaxed way, now they rush towards a picnic spot miles away to eat. And they are sitting in the grass, and ants are very clever; they know perfectly well where the picnic spots are.

And cars are going there bumper to bumper. And many more accidents happen on Sunday than on any other day, many more deaths on the road than on any other day. Strange! Some holiday!

And the whole city is going towards the same picnic spot, the same beach! I have seen pictures of beaches and I cannot believe what is happening. There is not even space to walk! They are packed . Six hours it takes them to reach the beach, then for one hour they lie down amidst this whole mass of fools under the sun, and then back home... And the whole way they were quarrelling with the wife and the wife is quarrelling with... This you can do at home more at ease, relaxed in an armchair -- nag each other, do whatsoever you want! What is the point of going to the beach? Nobody is seeing the sea, nobody is seeing the sun. Nobody has time."

Excerpted from Guida Spirituale/

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Active Humour Can Prevent Heart Attack

Laughter, along with an active sense of humour, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.
An intense sense of humour is needed to be able to laugh at your own life situations. If you take life too seriously you won't be able to laugh whole heartedly.

Osho is the first spiritual master who has incorporated laughter and  jokes as a means to meditation.
He says, "I use so many jokes because I know religious truths are very boring. So first I take you towards boredom, I go into delicate matters, when I see now it is too much and you will not be able to tolerate any more, then I tell you a joke. The pendulum swings back. You are happy again. Again I can bore you! You are fresh, you are ready. Boredom and laughter are the most important qualities of human consciousness."

Many laughter clubs have sprouted around the world and the doctors advise it as a therapy, too. But this kind of laughter is devoid of two important points that makes laughter a meditation. First, laughter without tears cannot cleanse emotions as it does not dig deeper into the giggle points which are also the source of tears. If tears do not follow laughter, it remains superficial. If you laugh totally, it is bound to triggers tears which are cleansing and purifying. And second, silence has to follow laughter which connects one to the deeper layer of the self.

Laughing 'at' somebody is sick, laughing for a reason is intellectual, and laughing for no reason reason is spiritual.
If so much philosophy of laughter has bored you , here is some relief --
Solomon Einstein owns a nail-manufacturing company called "Einstein's Nails." Business is very good so he decides to take a winter vacation in Miami. He leaves his son, Matzo, to run the business while he is away.

One sunny morning, Solly is reading the Miami Tribune at breakfast when he comes across a full-page color advertisement with a picture of Jesus nailed to the cross. Under it is written, "They Used Einstein's Nails!"

Solly jumps on the telephone immediately and calls Matzo.

"You idiot!" screams Solomon. "Don't ever say such a thing again!"

Matzo assures Solly that he understands and not to worry, he will do better the next time.

Two days later, Solly is lounging on the balcony of his deluxe hotel room, reading the newspaper. He turns the page, screams and swallows his cigar. There in full color, Jesus is lying in a crumpled heap below the cross, and underneath is written, "They Should Have Used Einstein's Nails!"