TO LIVE RELIGIOUSLY does not mean to live seriously, it means to live meditatively. And meditation has nothing to do with seriousness. MEDITATION IS PLAYFULNESS.
THAT'S WHY MY INSISTENCE HERE IS MORE AND MORE ON DANCING, ON SINGING. I have put vipassana and zazen in the background, because they can create seriousness in you. And you are already serious and it is dangerous. First your seriousness has to be destroyed, only then will you be able to enjoy vipassana without becoming serious.
First you have to dance, so in dance your armor drops. First you have to shout in joy, and sing, so your life becomes more vital. FIRST YOU HAVE TO CATHART, SO ALL THAT YOU HAVE REPRESSED IS THROWN OUT and your body is purified of toxins and poisons, and your psyche also is purified from repressed traumas and wounds.
When this has happened and you have become able to laugh and you have become able to love -- then vipassana. Now vipassana will not drive you serious, will not drive you in any way into some ego trip. NOW YOU CAN SIT SILENTLY; now sitting silently is not serious.
That is the special quality that I am trying to create here in vipassana -- it does not exist anywhere in the world. MY WHOLE EFFORT HERE IS TO BRING TANTRA TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY and make it neo-tantra, to bring tao to the twentieth century and make it neo-tao, to bring zen to the twentieth century and make it neo-zen, and so on and so forth: neo-sufism and neo-yoga...
CENTURIES DIVIDE YOU FROM THESE BEAUTIFUL THINGS; those centuries have to be dropped. And those centuries can only be dropped if YOU drop what has been done to you in those centuries. YOU HAVE BECOME TOO SERIOUS. Modern man is very serious; it has never been so before. And this seriousness is creating a distance from God, from the whole.
Tada, GO INTO YOUR SERIOUSNESS AND SEE WHAT YOU ARE HIDING BEHIND IT. You are alone, you are empty, and you are not capable of facing it. It has to be faced -- because emptiness is not bad, emptiness is immensely beautiful. If you escape from it, then it becomes ugly. If you go into it, it becomes silence and quietude. And if you disappear into it, it becomes creativity.
Vol 1, Ch #6: The Bridge of Love and Laughter
am in Buddha Hall