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If you can't laugh, it's not sacred.

I believe that keeping your sense of humor burning inside you is an important part of learning any technique or process, especially one whose goal is self-improvement.

It was my sense of humor that got me through my sad early years, and it keeps me going every day in the face of life’s challenges. When I have a bad day it is almost always because I’ve lost my sense of humor and have taken some annoyance or even a series of them way too seriously.

Having a sense of humor is a tremendous asset when it comes to relationships. It is one of the most valuable and attractive features a person can have. If you can keep looking for the humor in your situation, not only will you find it, it can get you through practically any difficult time. It helps you to keep going forward, even in the face of defeat.

I have never been interested in any spiritual practice, belief system, or ceremony where you couldn’t laugh or otherwise express joy. You can imagine my delight when I met and studied with one of the twentieth century’s great philosophers, Professor Arnold Keyserling of the University of Vienna, who told us unequivocally, “If you can’t laugh, it’s not sacred.”

Having one of your core beliefs confirmed by someone you respect is a sign that you are on the right path. This happened to me again when I read this opening line of one of the Dalai Lama’s books, “The purpose of life is to be happy,” and I thought, That’s what I’ve always thought!

Laughter really is the best medicine in the Native American sense of medicine, which Professor Keyserling told us is “that which makes you whole.”

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