Tag Archives: Compassion

Happiness, Joy, Laughter and Fun


Laughtacephalus, is a word I just coined to describe the idea of “joy on the brain.”  Laughtacephalus is a strategy for healing and health that taps into positive circuits of happiness, joy, laughter and fun in the brain in order to effect rewiring as an antidote to negativity and suffering, and as a pathway to a healthier brain.  When properly applied happiness, joy, laughter and fun can help reverse the downward spiral of health, and promote a robust recovery.   Oh, I should warn you to watch out!  Laughtacephalus  has contagious qualities!

Happiness and Joy

In “The Book of Joy” (pg. 14) Dalai Lama states, “I believe the purpose of life is to find happiness … The ultimate source of happiness is within us.”  He defines happiness (pg. 35) as “satisfaction”, and joy as “great  satisfaction.”

In his view, both happiness and joy can be of two types (pg. 53), one experienced through sensory pleasure (eating, sex, etc) and the other experienced through the mind (compassion, love, generosity, etc).  The sensory route to happiness is seen as fleeting and the mental route as more enduring and dependable.

Both sensory and mental forms of happiness and joy can be applied and shared for health and healing.  However, better ways are needed for monitoring and administering happiness and joy.  We have not invested enough effort into understanding how to apply them and often people go for days without experiencing laughter or joy.  We need to develop a diet of happiness and joy.

One of the secrets of happiness and joy is that you can have it for yourself if you provide it to others.  Interesting how this works!  Usually one needs to choose whether to keep something or share it.  But with happiness and joy you can share it and keep it at the same time.  Of course, you can also make others happy at the expense of your own joy, but then you will become depleted.

Smiling, Laughter and Fun

The physical manifestations of happiness and joy are genuine smiling, laughter and fun.  Do you experience hearty laughter on a daily basis?  Do you have fun at work every day?  Are your smiles genuine or are they just a mask that you wear?  We have been conditioned to think that fun and laughter are luxuries when in reality they need to be placed at the center of life.  We need to work just as hard at adding fun and genuine laughter to our lives as we do for the sake of survival.

Once again,  social interaction is the key and the goal should be sharing laughter and fun in a compassionate and caring setting.

Challenge yourself to find the forms of social interaction that increase happiness and fun for all involved.  This is a big challenge since many social interactions have become too formalized to allow for the spontaneity that comes with joy and fun.  Often there are hidden agendas associated with formal social gatherings that hinder pure fun or joy.

If you have taken part in fun and joyful activities lately feel free to share them.

It surely helps if you have young children since they naturally understand the importance of joy and spontaneous fun.  For example, my daughter is teaching me how to do cartwheels.  Here’s a warning though – you may need to check with your doctor before trying to keep up with a child that is  having fun!

“Be the change you wish to see in this world.”  Gandhi

I would love to see more happiness, joy, fun and laughter in my life, therefore I must find ways to grow by applying  laughtacephalus to my own brain.

We must be willing to grow new connections in our brains if the world is to become a better place.  Start reconnecting with laughtacephalus today!



Compassion and Health

Compassion, Faith, Truth, Justice, Security, Abundance, Joy

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Each of the seven virtues is related to health in powerful ways, and the combination of all seven can dramatically alter your progress  on the path of health.

Today’s blog post is in honor of my father, Prestor Saillant, Sr who went to rest in the Lord yesterday.

Last Sunset
Last Sunset on 9/14/14 at Goddard Beach, RI

Compassion #########

In the last 9 months of his life my father taught me a very profound lesson about compassion.  I was made brutally aware of the intense suffering that the elderly must endure at the hands of diseases like Parkinson’s.  Suffering that is often compounded by our system of health care.  But when, I questioned deeply why the elderly must suffer so, the “still small voice” inside responded, “He still has a lot of blessings”.   His logical mind remained intact, even though, he had to deal with faulty input from his senses.  And his memories of the past and present were largely spared.  He emphasized to me that caring for my wife and children should always be my first priority, but he greatly appreciated the time we spent together, and he always yearned for home.

Through the entire time my father also emphasized the importance of compassion from caregivers.  I noticed that he would always respond and gain strength when surrounded by compassionate people.   On the other hand, those who were simply trying to get a job done or who became negative, sapped him of his energy and will.  He said to one of his therapists several weeks ago that he could see through people’s smiles and could tell who really was smiling inside and who was only feigning a smile.

It is very challenging for a caregiver to develop the level of  compassion and patience required for true healing, and I realized that I still have much to learn.

From this experience I am convinced that we should not underestimate the power of compassion!  It is the gateway to health and healing.  This is the framework for all other virtues, and above all it can be viewed as an essential characteristic of true consciousness.  Consciousness expands when smaller entities share their contribution to awareness.  Sharing of consciousness means becoming aware of another entities existential experience, and thus expanding awareness in the process.  Thus through compassion a greater consciousness forms with transformational power.  Compassion is an essential force that allows billions of separate entities to unite on both a microscopic (i.e. cellular level) and macroscopic ( i.e. human population) level, while still prioritizing the experience of each individual.

Compassion for Self

The Golden Rule springs from this virtue (i.e. love your neighbor as yourself).   I hope you can see that for the Golden Rule to work you must have compassion for yourself!  Thus health starts by having a deep compassion for yourself which can then be shared as compassion for others.   Compassion for self means self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and self-importance and compassion for mind, body and spirit.  Remember that you are an emperor in a kingdom with 37 trillion subjects (i.e. cells) and take time to shower them with compassion.  This willingness to listen to your cells is a major step towards health.   There are many disciplines that help to increase self-awareness such as prayer, stretching, yoga, meditation,and tai chi.

Technology can help increase self-awareness by providing reminders for a stretch, for a workout or for taking a deep breath.  Technology also plays a role in tracking information that is important for health such as diet and symptom tracking.

Compassion for self means investing time and money in your health!

Compassion for Others

It is amazing that we often heal best by trying not to focus on our own pain!  The Golden Rule helps us to realize that there are always people worse off than ourselves.  It reminds us that although we need to take out time for ourselves, a balanced amount of time should be spent helping others.  The important emphasis here is on balance.  If you spend more time helping others than taking care of your own health you will likely end up sick and then not be able to help anyone.  If you spend more time taking care of yourself then helping others then you may also end up getting sicker by virtue of the golden equation (i.e. consider the hypochondriac).  You will end up getting stressed out about your health and the stress alone will make you sick.

Technology plays a huge role in keeping us informed of outreach efforts geared towards helping others.  It can also be used to increase awareness of those whose needs are not being met.

Compassion for others means investing time and money in the health of others.

Compassion First

As my father stated,  “care givers should first truly place themselves in the shoes of the person they are trying to help before approaching to help”.  For healing to take place we need to remind ourselves to surround ourselves with compassion, so that it is our first interface to others.

Compassion and Sacrifice

True compassion entails a measure of sacrifice and this is why the color associated with it is red.   Red is the color of blood when it comes into contact with oxygen.   It is understood by all religions that individual sacrifice for the betterment of others is the highest human calling.  The color red is a reminder that we should be ready to give our all in the battle for a more compassionate future.