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The path to Freedom can sometimes seem like a never-ending battle. Even when we think we are getting somewhere, something is still missing. Almost but not quite was my story, as I tried harder and harder to free myself of the past. Just when I thought I let that go… there it is again. It is the fire of commitment that keeps us going no matter what. We intuitively know that peace and joy is our natural way to be… so what is missing?

The sooner we discover how to not take things so seriously, the faster the Joy of Unity unfolds.

Is there any value in what we take seriously on the path? Does it contribute anything to our lives or the lives of those around us?

This “serious” habit had been so strong in my life that I took it with me wherever I went. It makes sense that I did the same with my spiritual quest. Often trying and effort is common, even in silent meditation. No matter how many times we try to go inward and “be still”, we can still be in our own way.

The Silence of our true nature works in the opposite direction. It is effortless and never takes a single thing serious. We can see this fact for ourselves by exploring what does not change in our experience. This is easy to see since the infinite already sees like this. It allows everything to change and move yet it remains free from it all, including our own seriousness. Isn’t that funny?

By exploring the stillness, a solid foundation of Joyful freedom turns life into an easy dance. It does not get rid of the problems and challenges we face but allows for a beautiful new attitude to flourish. This makes all the difference in how we relate with both our inner and outer world as it unfolds in sweet simplicity.

The theme of my life has always been anxiety. I took this seriously because I wanted to get rid of it. To the degree I could allow, take a deep breath and relax into the unknown, just that much more peace would show up in my life. Now that same energy that I struggled to get rid of can be seen with innocence. Innocence is key. Seeing in this way frees up that same energy for a new creative expression. It was always like this, I simply could not see it.

The bottom line is that not taking things seriously equals freedom. The Path takes commitment but not seriousness. This is the way of the Joyful Buddha. If enlightenment was serious, who would want it anyways?

As we play in the infinite, we can finally discover how to laugh at the root of our problem. There is only one thing in the universe in the way and all we have to do is laugh at it. We take ourselves too seriously. Since what we truly are doesn’t, why should we?

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Paramananda was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1975 and currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where he works as an electrician.

He first learned how to meditate in 1999. Since then he has dedicated his life to exploring and sharing the freedom of this path. In 2003, he began to teach meditation and offer retreats based on the teachings of The Bright Path. These teachings reveal all that is required to walk this path with joy. He teaches that the silence and the humility of not taking yourself seriously are the foundations to seeing that you are already free.

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This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. Nice post. I’ve always seen humor as an indication of intelligence. Maybe it is also an indication of enlightenment. Thanks for sharing this inspiration!

  2. Love this and I’m also really enjoying your new book ‘The Path of Joy’. You have such a humorous writing style that always makes me smile. Here’s to never taking ourselves seriously ever again!

    1. Cheers Micci,

      I will certainly drink to that! Never serious again would be a spectacular way to live. Thank you so much for playing and for your kind words about A Path of Joy!

      1. You guys are ‘The Chit’ you know that, nice one…. I cant speak more highly of The Way of Nothing, I certainly lost myself in the pages, expanding exponentially, the fabric of nothing a garment of joy on the yellow brick road going nowhere.

        SweEt as a nUt


    1. Okay Heather that is probably the only appropriate use of seriousness. Good point! lol. If you are taking things seriously why not have fun doing it. Taking a look in the mirror while you frown and seeing how long you can stay frowning would be fun too. Have fun taking things serious.

  3. Thank you, paramananda! You have a gift for clarity and humor together…I hope loads of folks are inspired to check out your books after reading your article as there is so much more you offer…thanks much!!!!

  4. Life has always been ” serious business ” for me ! Thankyou for the reminder that it need not be that way !

    Loved both your books !

  5. Hola Paramananda! soy Rocana ishaya de Uruguay. Como estas? Es posible tener este articulo en español para poderlo publicar en la pagina de accendedores de mi comunidad. Te mando un graaaaaaaan abrazo.

  6. Paramananda,
    I find your comments on not taking life to seriously so insperational espesialy in my life right now, Its so strange how things happen when you seem to need them most. Ive always beleived that laughter is one of the greatst tonics and if you can smile this lifts not only yourself but others around you. A big thank you!!!!!

    1. You are very welcome Sarah!

      You strike me as someone who was born to not take things serious. When you do it must be terribly painful which is a good thing because the choice becomes so clear, so fast. Otherwise we would just keep putting our hand in the fire forever.

      In my experience I needed to be remind of this choice so many times it was embarrassing but I suspect that is the same for most of us on the path.

      We will just keep reminding each other until we explode in Joy okay.

      With explosive Joy and laughter.

      1. Oh so true explosive joy and laughter are the way to go. Surrendering to the silence when life can get negative brings such joy. My old dad used to always say to me ” There is always a positive to every negative”. I have tried to practice this through life and its worked so far. But now on the path ive had my eyes reopened and realise its just a choise, so simple, so I surrender to it and hey been laughing with joy eversince. (Ha Ha Well with the odd reminder need on the way) So please continue reminding us all with your insperation and the whole world will explode with joy and laughter. Such Bliss!!

  7. Thank you for the reminder! I take everything so seriously all of the time! I used to have lots of fun and I’ve found I miss it. This is the inspiration I need to help me get back to just having fun and not being serious all of the time 🙂

  8. Gracias, me encantó. Justo esta semana me descubrí tomando la vida muy en serio y mi cuerpo protestó, Fue un excelente recordatodio,

  9. Gracias Paramananda , por recordarme No tomarme la vida tan en serio, asi creci, creyendo. debia de ser…..jaja
    Mi maestro me lo dice constantemente, y hasta me dio un nombre que me lo recuerda….je
    Asi que tu libro, en español me cae como anillo al dedo ( espero salga pronto ) ya eres una Inspiracion ,
    gracias por compartir tu experiencia y trasmitirla..

  10. Thank you for these freeing thoughts! A couple of years ago, I changed my surname to Free. It’s fun to see how people respond to that. Some are critical, others are delighted… It’s been one way to take myself less seriously, and to remember that I can continue to morph as I choose. I laugh a lot, smile a lot, too. It helps me stay more fluid:)

  11. I totally resonate with that. So much energies gone wasted on petty little things. We all have very limited amount of the time on this earth, being too serious about anything does not lead to reaching the goal sooner or better. On the contrary, remain appeased and promoting peace at all circumstances can do miracles.

  12. The stillness is not serious, not silly. The world is not serious, not silly. What is not serious – what is the joke – is ego! Watching your mind moodily react and grab at things like an ill-tempered child making a fuss over a cheese string, there is great amusement. 🙂 A lovely post.

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