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  • When is the last time that you laughed?

  • I mean, really laughed.

  • You know, not just kinda smile, and superficial,

  • but deeply, from your heart and your soul

  • you laughed. When was the last time?

  • One minute ago. Wonderful.

  • If you live in Delhi, I live in India.

  • If you live in Delhi

  • at 5 o'clock in the morning in the parks

  • people get together and they laugh.

  • They go, "HA HA HA HA HA".

  • [laugh]

  • Sometimes they actually laugh.

  • But they like it. They feel good.

  • It seems to open them up.

  • They come again and again, every morning at 5 o' clock.

  • People going "HA HA HA HA HA".

  • [laugh]

  • There is a doctor

  • whose name is Patch Adams.

  • And when he was in training,

  • to become a doctor in West Virginia in America

  • when he was on the rotation

  • to take care of the kids - pediatrics,

  • in particularly when he was taking care of the very sick kids with cancer

  • he would dress up as a clown,

  • big red nose

  • and huge shoes.

  • And he would walk into the children's oncology hospital,

  • cancer hospital,

  • and the kids would laugh.

  • They loved it.

  • Didn't matter if they died,

  • they got better, they didn't get better.

  • They loved it.

  • They felt good.

  • Unfortunately, the administration saw otherwise.

  • And he was asked not to come back in a clown's outfit.

  • Unfortunately.

  • But then they made a movie about him.

  • And the movie is called "Patch Adams".

  • Humor is very, very powerful

  • in helping us to feel well.

  • There was a man by the name of Robert Cousins.

  • American.

  • He was the editor of the New Republic.

  • And he got sick.

  • All of his joints froze up.

  • He couldn't move,

  • and he was in tremendous pain.

  • So they put him in the hospital.

  • The doctors did all the testing,

  • this, that and the other for two weeks.

  • They could not decide what was the problem, nor did they treat him.

  • After two weeks, he said to his best friend,

  • "Get me out of here!"

  • "Please do three things for me.

  • Number one: take me out of the hospital,

  • and check me into a hotel."

  • Secondly, he said to his nursing friend,

  • "Put an IV and give me massive doses of Vitamin C.

  • 25,000 grams a day."

  • And thirdly, he said, "Please go to the library,

  • and check out any book you can find

  • on my favorite humorist."

  • You know, humor author that writes humor.

  • And his was Bennett Cerf.

  • This was a few years ago.

  • And so the friend did all this,

  • and would read to him Bennett Cerf.

  • And in the hotel room, Robert Cousins,

  • who couldn't move, was in tremendous pain,

  • would laugh, and laugh, and laugh,

  • listening to his favorite humorous Bennett Cerf.

  • Two weeks later, he walked out of the hotel,

  • a hundred percent cured.

  • [laugh]

  • It's a true story.

  • After that, UCLA,

  • University of California at Los Angeles,

  • UCLA Medical School hired him

  • to be an Adjunct Professor

  • to teach humor, to teach laughter

  • to the medical students

  • so they can use that in their practice

  • with people that were hurting.

  • So humor is something very, very valuable,

  • and helps us feel more relaxed

  • and feel -- on a deeper level -- happy.

  • I'd like to turn to a second point

  • that I'd to talk about today

  • which is love and compassion.

  • Love and compassion actually might be...

  • might be the "raison d'être":

  • the reason for us to be alive.

  • You know, sometimes when we're young,

  • sometimes when we're old,

  • we ask ourselves, "What's the meaning of life?"

  • "What am I doing here?"

  • You know? "What am I doing here?"

  • And it may be that love and compassion,

  • concern for others, kindness,

  • is our reason for being here.

  • That brings meaning in our lives.

  • It makes us feel meaningful,

  • it makes us feel valuable,

  • and it makes us feel happy.

  • And those that we're serving,

  • those that we are being compassionate or loving towards,

  • they also feel well.

  • They also feel happy.

  • So I call this love and compassion

  • a win-win situation.

  • You know, happiness for both.

  • Very, very powerful.

  • Active listening is one very important form

  • of love and compassion.

  • You know, when you're with somebody that's hurting.

  • Maybe you know them, maybe you don't.

  • And they want to just kinda, you know,

  • let it all out.

  • And you're there.

  • If you can be relaxed, and listen,

  • in a nonjudgmental way.

  • Without judging them, and listen.

  • It means so much to that person.

  • It also enriches your life.

  • It's kind of a blessing that you receive

  • to be able to listen to that person's problems.

  • Love and compassion, kindness,

  • is an incredible way to go forward

  • in our lives to find deeper happiness.

  • Sometimes we say, "Well, what about me?"

  • That's old style of thinking, you know.

  • We're taking care of ourselves

  • by taking care of others.

  • It's very powerful.

  • I can see a few of the heads nodding yes.

  • I can see some smiles.

  • And because of the lighting,

  • I can't see you very well in the back.

  • But I think we're getting nods and smiles

  • from some people also.

  • You know this, but we often forget it.

  • So it's important to come back and remember this.

  • Love and compassion, kindness,

  • active listening, generosity.

  • All kinds of generosity.

  • Doesn't have to be giving money, you know?

  • We can, you know, kinda give a smile.

  • Somebody that's lost, we can help them find their way.

  • All kinds of generosity.

  • It's mutually enriching.

  • Third point. So I've talked a little bit about humor,

  • and I've talked about love and compassion,

  • I'd like now to turn to meditation.

  • This is very much part of my life.

  • OK, I've done lots of meditation.

  • And it's something extremely valuable.

  • In general, meditation can help us come back

  • and find our center.

  • It can balance us.

  • Anybody here under stress?

  • Raise your hand if you are under stress.

  • Okay, there's a few hands.

  • I think more of you are under stress.

  • You're not raising your hands.

  • You're too stressful.

  • [laugh]

  • What does it mean if I raise my hand?

  • We all have stress.

  • It's part of a modern society.

  • It's part of our lives.

  • It helps us kinda refocus

  • in the present moment.

  • When we're out of the present moment,

  • when we're in the past,

  • dwelling on the past,

  • "I shouldn't have said that...

  • Argh... I could have done that better..."

  • You know, on and on and on.

  • We're out of balance.

  • We're off our center.

  • We don't feel well.

  • Similarly, when we're thinking about the future,

  • "Well, I should do this...

  • No... I should do this...

  • Maybe I should do it this way..."

  • We're out of balance.

  • We're off our center.

  • When we're in the present moment,

  • we feel nourished.

  • We feel refreshed. We feel well.

  • Meditation can help us come back to that center,

  • that balance, the present moment.

  • Of course, there's a lot in meditation.

  • It's much more than that.

  • It can help us develop the love and compassion,

  • it can help us develop the wisdom,

  • so we can recognize that our ego is actually false,

  • and develop more humility,

  • kindness, gentleness.

  • Meditation is very vast,

  • but I'm just going to focus on this aspect of

  • being in the present.

  • So what I thought I would do is

  • meditate with you for a couple of minutes.

  • OK? So I'd like you to sit up straight,

  • but relaxed straight.

  • Yeah, get the shoulders moving,

  • just kinda relax the body a little bit.

  • Okay?

  • And you can use your eyes

  • open or closed, whatever.

  • I'm losing my zen here, excuse me.

  • If you'd like to leave your eyes closed,

  • that's fine. Don't fall asleep.

  • I see some yawns already.

  • I like to meditate with my eyes open.

  • I'll keep my head straight.

  • What I'll do is glance down like this,

  • so less distraction.

  • For this meditation I'd like you to

  • keep your mouths closed.

  • If any of you have a blocked nose,

  • then, you know, keep your mouth open.

  • You have to breathe.

  • OK? Ideally, keep your mouth closed.

  • And just breathe normally.

  • You don't have to force it.

  • Doesn't have to be big, little...

  • long, short... just normal breathing.

  • I want you to focus at the bottom of your nose.

  • Right here. Okay?

  • Focus there with your mind.

  • Concentrate on the bottom of the nose.

  • And as your air goes in and out as you breathe,

  • focus on that at this point.

  • You don't need to follow the air in,

  • and follow... not that.

  • Just focus right at the bottom of the nose.

  • Now you'll probably, most likely,

  • quickly you'll get distracted.

  • Just start thinking about, you know,

  • if it's me, it's chocolate cake, or something like that.

  • When you get distracted, recognize, "Oh, I'm distracted".

  • Bring yourself back to the breath.

  • We may have to do that again,

  • and again, and again, and again...

  • It's okay. That's meditation.

  • Okay? So for about two minutes,

  • let's meditate together.

  • Please meditate.

  • Your hands, if you'd like,

  • you can put them in your lap

  • with your left hand down

  • and your right hand on top

  • and the thumbs touching, pointing up.

  • Okay? Left hand down,

  • right hand on top,

  • thumbs pointing up,

  • and then just relax that in your lap.

  • Okay? So please meditate.