- Aging with a Laugh and a Prayer by Bernadette McCarver Snyder presents accounts of older people who have discovered that laughter is one of the best and most reliable types of medicine. The author's pop prayers will put a smile on your face.
- Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by James Martin presents these blessings as great antidotes to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Martin shows how religious institutions can tap into the resources of joy, laughter, and humor. He makes a good case for humor as a tool for humility, a means of courage, and a road for fostering good relations.
- Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABCs of Faith by Frederick Buechner is a revised omnibus collection of three of this Protestant teacher's popular books of definitions and portraits. Be sure to read his piece on "Faith" where he discusses why Abraham and Sarah laughed because "it helped keep them going."
- Buddha Laughing: A Tricycle Book of Cartoons by the Editors of Tricycle Magazine contains 85 funny cartoons about meditation, karma, reincarnation, and enlightenment. A few examples: A garage with two gas pumps: "self" and "no self." And a Zen vacuum cleaner with no attachments.
- Chasing Joy: Musings on Life in a Bittersweet World by Edward Hays has a chapter in which this prolific and imaginative Catholic priest celebrates all the jolly Buddhist holy men and laments the fact that Christianity lacks religious images of saints who are incredibly happy. Of Jesus, he wonders: "Would a raucous full-bodied laughter diminish in any way his holiness?"
- The Courage to Laugh: Humor, Hope, and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying by Allen Klein shows how humor can be a healing and uplifting spiritual resource for hospital and hospice patients. Klein, who calls himself a "jollytologist," also discusses last laughs and the link between mirth and mourning.
- The Essential Crazy Wisdom by Wes Nisker pays tribute to the saints, holy fools, jesters, poets, and artists who have challenged conventional wisdom and tried to appreciate mystery, paradox, the unity of all things, balance, and transformation. Or as Abbie Hoffman once put it: "All 'isms' should be 'wasms.' Here is the bigger picture of laughter and its connection with meaning.
- Furry Logic: Wild Wisdom by Jane Seabrook is a delightful and very funny gift book with 30 full-color paintings of animals. A smiling pig quips: "I'm looking for a party where I can be the designated eater."
(See our Gallery of Images from Furry Logic).
- Haiku Humor: Wit and Folly in Japanese Poems and Prints by Stephen Addiss contains 120 haiku, a medium that has long been used to convey the surprises of life, its impermanence, and the contradictions of human nature.
- Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor by Susan Sparks proclaims that humor is a tool that can help us live with elegance, beauty, and generosity of spirit. Laughter fosters intimacy, grows out of faith, and engenders forgiveness. This book is filled with sprightly quotations like "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing" by Michael Pritchard.
- Laughter, Tears, Silence: Expressive Meditations to Calm Your Mind and Open Your Heart by Pragito Dove presents meditations which help people let go of mental overload, emotional turmoil, and physical stress. See her Laughter Meditation in the Practices section.
- Life Is Sweet: 333 Ways to Look on the Bright Side and Find the Happiness in Front of You by Addie Johnson is a creative treasure hunt for things that can bring joy and contentment. A section titled "Laughing It Up: A Grain of Salt Goes a Long Way" suggests laughing at yourself as a valid pick-me-up.
- Live Laugh and Be Blessed: Finding Humor and Holiness in Everyday Moments by Anne Bryan Smollin, an educator and therapist, has all kinds of suggestions on how to access more joy, humor and laughter in your life. According to an old French proverb: "The most completely lost of all days is the one in which we have not laughed."
- The Nine Intense Experiences: An Action Plan to Change Your Life Forever by Brian Vaszily challenges us to dive deep into our experiences. Take a look at "Intense Experience #5: Laugh It Off." Here is one exercise from this section of the book: "Can you remember two or three situations in your life when you laughed so hard it hurt? Periodically revisit these stories whenever you need to laugh."
- Thanks. I Needed That: And Other Stories of the Spirit by Robert Alper presents 32 stories by this Jewish rabbi who is a stand-up comedian with a wise and compassionate perspective. Here we see how a person well-versed in humor has a playful view of human foibles and a reverent attitude toward human goodness.
- A Time to Laugh: The Religion of Humor by Donald Capps is a scholarly examination of the five gifts of humor to religion. The author includes a wide selection of jokes for our perusal; two are in the excerpt.
- Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know by Gordon Livingston challenges us to take risks, honor our mortality, and be surprised. He takes off his hat to humor: "Humor is a form of sharing, an interpersonal exercise. To share laughter is a way of affirming that we are all in this lifeboat together. The sea surrounds us; rescue is uncertain; control is illusory. Still we sail on — together."
- Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism by Deepak Chopra is a parable about a comedian and his spiritual journey that illustrates the path to happiness and fulfillment. The bestselling author believes that the healthiest response to life is laughter.
More Books on Laughing