In All Undue Seriousness

I’m going to step out from under the turban for a moment, and speak to you as Steve Bhaerman about why I’m doing my class on the Alchemy of Laughter, and why the cosmic comic perspective is so valuable in these times of heavy-duty shift.

First of all, I love laughing and I love making other people laugh.  I started writing the Swami column just to amuse myself, and when I saw how my musings amused others, I knew I found my calling.

At the same time, people who know me well – and those who can read between the punch lines – know I have a serious side too.  Oy, do I have a serious side.  And my serious side sees a world in serious condition.  The world at this moment seems like one massive crisis, and one big fat opportunity.

I spent three years immersed in writing a “serious” book with Bruce Lipton, Spontaneous Evolution:  Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here.  Based on Bruce’s background in cellular and evolutionary biology and mine in political science (no, I never did get to dissect a politician in political science lab), we came to a simple conclusion:  The next phase of human evolution is the recognition that we are each and all cells in a super-organism called Humanity.  The multiple crises we face are an invitation, an opportunity for our entire species to evolve.  Some might call this evolution “heaven on earth”.  The cellular community beneath our skins would simply call it “health”.

Now while this idea is “simple”, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy.

While evolution might sound fine and dandy in the ideal, when it comes to the “real deal” it can be messy and uncomfortable, particularly when we insist on holding on to structures (physical, mental and spiritual) that the forces of evolution are sweeping away because they have become obsolete in our lives.  Over the past two years, my wife Trudy and I have undergone a transformation that we jokingly (and seriously) call “involuntary simplicity”. In the wake of these changes, challenging as they’ve been, we’ve been awakened to a much, much higher quality of life.

And through it all – thank God for humor!  Thank goodness we’ve been able to laugh, because the perspective of humor has given us cheerfulness in the face of challenge, has made us more flexible and resilient, and it’s given us the courage to face life and make necessary changes.  Being able to laugh has helped us find and stay in that space of inner peace, even when our outer peace seems to be in pieces.

Laughter is medicine, yes.  And not just in the physical sense.  Laughter is medicine in the Native American sense of medicine, as an alchemical (or, all-comical) tool to help us turn the dross of life into golden peals of laughter – that leaves awakening in our wake.  So – seriously – here are some of the benefits of cultivating a cosmic comic perspective in these evolutionary times:

Physical Well-Being.  Medical science has been studying the healing power of laughter ever since Norman Cousins used it to heal a life threatening condition and wrote his book Anatomy of An Illness nearly 35 years ago.  In a more recent study, Dr. Lee Berk at Loma Linda University found that heart patients who incorporated 30 minutes a day watching comedy along with their medical regimen required fewer medications.  Even more remarkable, in the one-year course of the study, only 8% of those who included laughter suffered another heart attack, as compared to 42% of the control group!  So folks, hearty laughter and “regular-hilarity” save lives!

Emotional Balance.  It may be that many of the physical benefits of laughter come from how it releases emotional stress, and helps us become more cheerful and resilient.  Regardless of external challenges, when we naturally and authentically resonate with this joyful state, we attract situations and people who are happier and more functional.  As the Swami would tell us, if you’re looking to uplift humanity, begin by uplifting the corners of your own mouth in a smile.  Like chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt.

Mental Flexibility.  Here is where the magic of humor holds an important key to the evolutionary upwising.  Because it integrates both the linear and intuitive brains, comedy helps us include, transcend and integrate seemingly contradictory ideas.  At a time when we must evolve from “this-or-that” thinking and begin to entertain new possibilities, humor is perhaps the most important – and certainly the most enjoyable – way to spark and expand creative thinking.

Spiritual Perspective.  You ever wonder why the great spiritual teachers who walk their talk – like the Dalai Lama and the late Swami Satchidananda – laugh so much?  It’s because they realize they are not who they think!  Unlike so many of the rest of us, they clearly get they are not their personalities, so when you-know-what happens, they don’t take it personally, or poisonally.  The cosmic comic perspective activates our “observer” so we gain a “God’s-eye-view” of our situation, and we recognize that who we are is much, much bigger than any circumstance.

As Bruce Lipton tells us, crisis precipitates evolution.  And if we look around us, we see the chances of precipitation are 100%.  We are coming to see that if our species is to survive, we must learn to work together.  And that’s just half of it …

We also need to play together, because play proliferates the seeds of joy, creativity, magic and miraculous transformation.  Play activates our childlike nature, and this “innocent perception” opens us to new possibilities – particularly as the old impossibilities prove less and less workable.

Maybe the first step in transforming the serious condition of the world is by addressing our own conditioning to be serious!

So come play with us.  Not only will you wake up laughing, you will learn how to leave laughter in your wake.  Remember, what goes around comes around.  The laugh you save may be your own.

Hear Swami’s State of the Universe Address here.

Find out more about the Alchemy of Laughter here.

 

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Om Made Gifts From the Swami!

“There’s no place like Om for the holidays.”

— Swami Beyondananda

Dear Friends:

What with the over-commercialization of the Holiday season (heck, the over-commercialization of everything), many folks have gotten turned off to the holiday gift giving ritual.  If you’re in that number, we completely understand.

Others, however, recognize that heartfelt giving will flourish long after empty ritual falls away … and there is something special about giving another person something thoughtful, meaningful, helpful, beautiful … or even funny.

If you’re looking to light up friends, family, acquaintances and anyone else with cheer … comedy that leaves ‘em smiling as well as laughing, and that gives more happiness bang for the buck, Swami humbly offers the following “Om made” gifts for anyone who loves to laugh, or who needs to:

For the spiritual seeker … Don’t Squeeze the Shaman CD, with lots of spiritual comedy from the Swami.  Actually, anyone can enjoy this one, since what used to be considered woo-woo is now merely “woo.” Learn more.

For the one who loves music while driving … Drive Your Karma, Curb Your Dogma CD, including six karma driving tunes and surprising recorded comedy.  Ever hear Howard Cosell do an infomercial for Nothing?  Here’s your chance. Learn more.

For just about anyone who appreciates heart-opening, mind-expanding humor regardless of religious or political affiliation … Beyondananda and Beyond:  Two Takes On the Healing Power of Humor CD … you’ll laugh while you learn, and learn while you laugh. Learn more.

For the political “junkie” or activist … Supreme Court Jester CD, to help us laugh at politics … because there’s definitely something funny going on. Learn more.

For the political type who loves to read … Swami For Precedent:  A 7-Step Plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Dysfunction book.  An essential book to help move the evolutionary upwising forward. Learn more.

Finally, for anyone who wants to see the Swami offering his cosmic comedy in person, and fielding questions from the audience … Tickling the Body Politic DVD.  No, it’s not just about politics … it’s about spirituality, personal growth, children, adults … guaranteed to keep ‘em laughing till the sacred cows come home. Learn more.

You can buy these by the each, OR you can buy any six (including duplicates of the ones you feel best for your audience, in any combination) for just $59 (includes US shipping) as part of our Fool Enchilada Special.  (We will send a follow up email to see if you want one of each, or more than one of some.) Click here to order.

You can also get any four for $44 (we will send follow up email to see which you prefer).  Click here to order.

AND there’s more … for each product you order, Swami will include a special holiday gift card and an individualized signed greeting from Swami.  So, if you order the Fool Enchilada, it comes with 6 such cards … the four for $44 will have four, etc., etc.

AND even more … with every 4 for $44, you will get one of our e-books … your choice of either Wake Up Laughing:  An Insider’s Guide to the Cosmic Comedy, or The Zen Cohens of Harry Cohen Baba, each a $15 value, and for Fool Enchilada orders you get both of them!

And … if your folks have already had enough to laugh about, and are ready for serious transformation … there’s always Spontaneous Evolution:  Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here.  Learn more. (This book is out of stock until January 2013.)

Yes, you can order the book and we are running a special on the Spontaneous Evolution 5 CD Set where Bruce and I discuss walk and talk our way through the book … 5 80 minute CDs, perfect for long trips or at-home listening … normally $39, for this month only it’s just $35 (includes FREE US shipping). Learn more.

And if you wish to order nothing from the Swami … well, if you’ve been a fan long enough, you know we used to sell Absolutely Nothing by the box … until we ran out.

In any case, we wish you a cheerful and cheer-filled holiday season, and may you wake up laughing … and leave laughter in your wake!

Steve Bhaerman

PS  Please note that all holiday orders must be received by December 18th to insure timely shipping AND Swami’s autograph!

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Amazing Grace and Profound Gratitude

 

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and not just because I love turkey and dressing.  I’m grateful that we have set aside a day expressly to express gratitude, which is why I find it more heartfelt to send out Thanksgiving cards than Christmas or Hanukkah ones.  So … consider this my holiday greeting:

THANK YOU!

If you’re on my mailing list, and have elected to receive my messages, thank you.

If you’ve been to one of our shows, or told anyone about them, thank you.

If you’ve bought a Swami product, or even thought about buying one, thank you.

If you’ve intentionally or unintentionally made someone laugh recently, thank you.

If you’ve hosted or promoted one of our shows, thank you.

If you’ve allowed the Swami and I to humorize your message, or if you were inspired to humorize your own, thank you.

If you participated in any teleclass I did – or even told someone about the teleclass (tell-a-teleclass) – thank you.

If you’ve put us up in the past year, or merely put up with us, thank you.

To my Facebook friends, friends of Facebook friends, Linked In associates, and anyone and everyone who receives this message … thank you!

In the nearly 18 months since Trudy and I have been “home free,” we have encountered so many amazingly graceful people and situations, and have had adventures too humorous to mention.  Most recently, we were in Sedona, Arizona sponsored by Happy Oasis and Johnny Light (we wisely passed up an opportunity in a parallel universe to be sponsored by Grumpy Oasis and Johnny Heavy) and hosted by Michael Mirdad and the Unity Church of Sedona.  We had a full house – overfull, as a matter of fact.  When someone asked, “What if the fire marshal comes?” someone else answered, “Oh, don’t worry.  We’ll find him a seat.”  The evening culminated with Swami, Michael and several “swamettes” offering an updated version of a Beatles classic to commemorate the end of time as we know it:  Now Here Man.

In short, and in long, Trudy and I are as overfilled with gratitude as that venue was last Friday night.  We’re now back in California for the winter, except for the December 21st sojourn to Chichen Itza, where the Swami has offered to channel Ed Sullivan to introduce the Mayan elders, and Howard Cosell to do the pray-by-pray.  (In spite of that, they still want me to come.)

Finally, to quote Sly Stone, “I want to thank you for letting me be myself again!”  Thank you for supporting my unique work in the world, and I hope doing so inspires your unique work as well.

So … if there is any way we can incite insight and laughter into your life and world, please let us know how.  Swami and I are available for performances, fun(d) raisers and appearances in California this winter or spring, and elsewhere too, if the event is large enough.  And if you are anywhere in the Solar System reachable by Skype, Swami can appear as if by magic, remotely … and if you’d like to humorize your message or get specific cosmic comedy coaching, we stand at the ready to humor you as well.  Jest send an email and let us know.

Finally, if you choose to give the gift of laughter this holiday season, we want to give you a gift as well.  For any order of $16 or more between now and December 17th, we’ll send you FREE either my Zen Cohens of Harry Cohen Baba e-book, or the Wake Up Laughing e-book.  At a time of evolutionary change where the “shift” is most definitely hitting the fan, we will need all the heart-opening laughter and mind-expanding comedy we can get, and I know these e-books can provide the levity to overcome whatever gravity you might encounter. Click here to see Swami’s products.

Thank you for being a co-heart on the path, may we continue to live into the world we know is possible, and may we laugh, laugh, laugh till the sacred cows come home.

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Involuntary Simplicity – 3 Steps to Sustainable Happiness

An Inspiring Interactive Play Shop with

Steve and Trudy Bhaerman

From survival to thrival … letting go into the flow

Join Steve Bhaerman (alter ego of Cosmic Comic Swami Beyondananda and co-author with Bruce Lipton of the groundbreaking book, Spontaneous Evolution) and his wife and “co-heart” Trudy as they frankly share their own evolutionary journey – where they drastically downscaled their footprint, and upscaled their life.

After leaving their beautiful home of 12 years in what they call “triumphant surrender,” they experienced wave after wave of amazing grace as they let go of what was no longer needed, and received all they required to thrive.  With humor and honesty, they relate their own tale – and then lead you on your own journey to release the structures that no longer serve you … so you can receive the blessings that have been patiently waiting for you.

What you will learn includes:

• Profoundly simple indigenous wisdom and practices

• Making the shift from leverage to “loverage”

• Weaving your gifts into the “thrival” economy

• Simple practices for letting go … and connecting

Just as surely as the worldwide crises we see around us are pre-blessers (we much prefer that to “pre-cursors”) to evolutionary transformation, so our personal crises – whatever form they may take – are the gateway to our own “spontaneous evolution.”

You’ll laugh … you’ll learn … you’ll evolve.

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Now That The Shift Has Hit the Fan …
It’s Time to Gather Under One Big Intent

By Swami Beyondananda

“If you think nuclear power is fool proof, that is proof enough you are a fool.”
— Swami Beyondananda

There was nothing funny about what happened in Japan earlier this month. There is great sadness about both the unavoidable tragedy, and the avoidable one.

Let us be reassured, there is nothing wrong with nuclear power – unless something goes wrong, of course. And what could possibly go wrong? Technology has it all under control.

And there we have what’s gone wrong. We have declared that only matter matters, and we have put our faith in the machinations of the human mind. Spirit? Who needs it? It’s immaterial.

But there’s nothing like getting rear-ended by your own karma to get your attention. And if you’re paying attention, you know that in the recent battles between man and nature, man is getting his ass whupped. In other words, the human ego system is no match for the planetary ecosystem.

So here is a modest proposal. Maybe it’s time to do an intervention on our species, and check ourselves into a program. We could call it Assaholics Anonymous.

And there, in the privacy of being totally public, we can declare that the human mind alone can no longer run the show, and now we must surrender to a Higher Power – New Clear Power, the power of human hearts attuned to the One Heart. That would give us Heartland Security, and we wouldn’t need to worry about homeland security.

So, you are probably asking, now that the shift has hit the fan, how can I upshift my karma? Well, your timing is perfect. Because my friends and co-hearts Barbara Marx Hubbard and Stephen Dinan are calling on light-minded folks everywhere to gather under one big intent: co-create the greatest field of love, resonance and social synergy in the history of the world.

Hearken — The Beginning Is Near!

Now some mystics – pessimystics, that is – are saying that 2012 will be the end of the world. Well, Barbara Marx Hubbard is an optimystic. She believes December 22, 2012 will be the beginning of the world – the world we all know is possible. That’s why she has declared that date our Planetary Birth Day – the symbolic start of a new era in human evolution.

OK. So how do you join this evolutionary upwising? It’s simple. Today, Tuesday, March 22nd Barbara will be leading a FREE teleseminar at 5:30 PT and you can be there, no matter where you are!

Viva la evolution!

Swami Beyondananda

Here’s How YOU Can Activate New Clear Power …

In Birth 2012: Co-Creating a Planetary Shift, Barbara will offer a clarion call for us all to co-create a planetary Birth Day event on Dec. 22nd, 2012, that can definitively mark the turning of the era, setting humanity on a new evolutionary trajectory of peace, sustainability and prosperity.

Click here to get all the details

I’ll be joining Barbara on this special call and truly believe that what she will share with you will give you great hope and inspiration, as well as activate your own creativity!

We’re calling this Tuesday Activation Day – which is 21 months before Birth Day – and you’ll get to hear the extraordinary vision Barbara is holding and how The Shift Network and others are mobilizing behind it – a global broadcast that links millions of people in thousands of local hubs, all coming together to create a field of connection, heart resonance and evolutionary possibility for one special day.

This isn’t a pie-in-the-sky vision – it’s one held by other respected leaders such as Jack Canfield, Neale Donald Walsch, Jean Houston, philosopher Ervin Laszlo and dozens of others, including myself.

Increasingly, we are all recognizing that Barbara is a primary spokesperson and vision-keeper for this event, which connects to the many prophecies of 2012 as a time of great changes. Only those great changes are not going to happen by magic but through our collective, joyful, co-creative efforts coming together in a way that we have never done before.

In short, the anticipation around 2012 provides an OPPORTUNITY to create something unprecedented that can literally affect the consciousness of humanity and help open new possibilities for our future.

So I urge you to join us for this important event and share it with everyone you know. We want all who are called to play a role in the planetary Birth Day event to hear about this remarkable vision offered by one of the most inspiring and blessed visionaries on the planet today – Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Even if you can’t make the live event, do register as you’ll get the recording AND we’ll know you want to be part of the collaborations that emerge. Let’s mobilize our collective creativity and energy into something truly spectacular.
I assure you – you won’t want to miss this call with Barbara! Join me on Tuesday, and let’s co-create the next new version of humanity. Click here to register now

May the FARCE be with you,
Steve Bhaerman

Co-sponsors include:
The Shift Network, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Humanity’s Team, The Shift Movie, MaestroConference, Global Coherence Initiative, Intent.com, Worldshift Media, Gaiafield Project, Transforming Through 2012, Holistic Living, Peace 2012.

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It’s Time to Gather Under One Big Intent

Welcome to The Wake Up Laughing Blog

Welcome to The Wake Up Laughing Blog

“It’s time to wake up laughing. Why? Because there’s definitely something funny going on!”
— Swami Beyondananda

In these serious times that call for awakening, what better way to awaken than to wake up laughing?

Featuring the heart-opening and mind-expanding cosmic comedy of Swami Beyondananda, we seek to provide love, laughter and comic perspective as we ride the roller coaster to enlightenment – wheeee!

You can read about the Swami’s checkered background (now more updated to a soft herring-bone), his non-religion called FUNdamentalism (accent on FUN), his travels in this world … and out of this world.

You’ll also get introduced to Swami’s Co-Hearts – the folks who want to move the Evolutionary Upwising forward and are involved in their own helpful healing endeavors.

Sign up for Swami’s Daily Laughsitive, and every day you will have a snippet of Swami’s wacky wisdom to chew on. And remember, just one small epigram of enlightened laughter (the exact amount contained in one laughsitive) is enough to release up to a megahurt of emotional pain.

Tell your friends, because when it comes to laughter, the more the merrier!

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