There is an old cliché that laughter is the best medicine, Zen has a history of humor as a teaching tool. Zen Koans are filled with stories about Zen teachers using humor primarily to push their students minds out of the trap of rational thinking. There is probably no better tool to show us the absurdity of ourselves and most of our basic assumptions about the world. A humor can be tool to expose the irrationality of the world and even Zen itself. True Zen is a leap into the absurd and the inexplicable with your eyes wide open and no net to catch you. But in Zen this is no leap of faith, this is a leap without faith and that makes all the difference in the world. This is especially true when dealing with personal tragedy and loss because one of the first things that your mind generates at times like that is the simple question why? Why did this person have to die, why did this have to happen to me. Why, why, why?
I do not want to give anyone the impression that humor or Zen or any of Buddhism's skillful means will give you an unshakable place to stand, a place of refuge that is unassailable by the daggers of the world . The refuge that we take when we take our vows is only as strong and as unassailable as we make it.
In fact if you decide to stand on Zen assuming it is an unshakable platform upon which you may always stand you will almost always find yourself like Wiley coyote going over the cliff with a very strange look on your face. The fact is both Zen and humor have one thing in common to be successful the punch line has got to be a surprise. If it’s what you expected than it hasn’t worked. If what you seek Is some fantasy of superhuman powers, Immortality an unearned wisdom that sets you above others you have a long road ahead of you.
Buddhism's only real power lies in its truth. And the only real enlightenment is seeing that truth. The Buddha's words come down to us through the millennium without a promise of miracles, just a promise of the truth. They say in the west that the Buddha was the "Tathagata" , and commonly define this as he who has thus come, but a more accurate definition is "he who sees the world as it really is".
This is my son Sean White's new Comedy CD, " Dead and Gone" You can buy it on iTunes Or from Amazon.com, Or go to this link:
In any case those of you that have read my blog know my approach to the healing of what cannot be healed, I think it would be worth your while to listen to this CD and see how the same set of circumstances can be dealt with by the skillful means Of humor.
It may or may not amaze you, it certainly did amaze me, I guess all fathers consider their sons their students so this is a perfect example of the teacher learning from the student . The one thing I do promise, you will laugh, which is never a bad thing.