Polly Liontis


People ask me if Spirituality needs to be so serious. Are you kidding me? The Buddha was known for his joy, his laughter, his smile, and his big Buddha belly (which in the culture at the time was a symbol of abundance on all levels and especially generosity of Spirit!!!).

In Sanskrit, the term LILA, or LEELA, describes the entire Universe as a Cosmic playground.

And as Shakespeare famously said, “All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

Yes, Spirituality can indeed be very serious business, but it can also be smiling at a person whose spirit is bereft and offering them a window to the infinite, expansive, loving, compassionate nature of the soul.

Thich Nhat Hahn, the great Buddhist monk, implores us to smile with our eyes, smile with our hands, smile with our feet.

Spirituality can be joyful and simple. When Thich Nhat Hahn leads the walking meditation for children at Plum Village (a Buddhist monastery in France), he has the children speak one word as each foot touches the ground, “Oui” and “Merci”, “Yes,” and “Thank you”. How incredibly beautiful is that? Yes, and Thank you, to Mother Earth. We would all do well to engage in that walking meditation every day of our lives.

So, the Buddha is laughing, because in the Buddhist philosophy we believe that there are qualities inherent in the spirit – equanimity, peace, loving-kindness, compassion, and joy.

These qualities may be occluded by our fascination with the thinking mind, which is why it’s incumbent upon us to take that journey inward and begin to know the deep, vast, expansive terrain that is our soul.

Yes, the Buddha is laughing, and smiling, so I suggest we join him!!!!!!

I'll bet the Buddha's smiling at this peaceful cat!
I’ll bet the Buddha’s smiling at this peaceful cat!

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