Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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. And please stop your meditation.