Joke of the Week: The Three Laughing Mystics of China

As many of you who have been coming to class or checking my facebook know, I took part one of the Laughter Yoga teacher training this past weekend. I’m so excited to be doing this training because I know that laughter is a very important part of our lives and one of the best ways to manage stress.

If you did not attend class this week, here’s the joke that I told, which I learned from the teacher training.

The Three Laughing Mystics of China
I have heard about three Chinese mystics. Nobody knows their names now, and nobody ever knew their names. They were known only as the ‘Three Laughing Saints’ because they never did anything else; they simply laughed.

These three people were really beautiful – laughing, with their bellies shaking. And then it would become an infection and others would start laughing. The whole marketplace would laugh. When just a few moments before, it was an ugly place where people were thinking only of money, these three mad people came and suddenly changed the quality of the whole marketplace. The people forgot that they had come to purchase and sell. Nobody bothered about greed. For a few seconds a new world opened.

They traveled all over China, from place to place, from village to village, just helping people to laugh. Sad people, angry people, greedy people, jealous people – they all started laughing with them. And many felt the key – you can be transformed.

Then, in one village it happened that one of the three died. The village people gathered and they said, “Now there will be trouble. Now we have to see how they laugh. Their friend has died; they must weep.”

But when they came, the two were dancing, laughing and celebrating the death. The village people said, “Now this is too much. When a man is dead it is profane to laugh and dance.”

They said, “The whole life we laughed with him. How can we give him the last send-off with anything else? We have to laugh, we have to enjoy, we have to celebrate. This is the only farewell that is possible for a man who has laughed his whole life. We don’t see that he is dead. How can laughter die? How can life die?”

Then the body was to be burned, and the village people said, “We will give him a bath as the ritual prescribes.” But those two friends said, “No, our friend has said, ‘Don’t perform any ritual and don’t change my clothes and don’t give me a bath. You just put me as I am on the burning pyre.’ So we have to follow his instructions.”

And then, suddenly. there was a great happening. When the body was put on the fire, that old man had played the last trick. He had hidden many fireworks under his clothes, and suddenly there was a festival! Then the whole village started laughing. These two mad friends were dancing, then the whole village started dancing.