The Japanese have a centuries old ritual called Waraiko they use to greet a new year and to celebrate birthdays. The ritual consists of giving three hearty belly laughs! The first robust laugh is of gratitude for the previous year just ended. The second hearty laugh is in gratitude for being given a new year of life to enjoy. The third is a really full-bodied belly laugh, since it is to blow the dust off your mind, heart, and soul. Dust? The dust of habit and routine that slowly accumulates like all dust, causing the soul to lose the luster of its youthful vitality.

Instead of restricting the Waraiko ritual only to New Year's Eves and birthdays, consider the possibilities of using this ritual of three hearty laughs as your morning prayer. At the beginning of a new day, your first prayer laugh would be in gratitude for all the gifts of yesterday and a good night's sleep. Your second laugh could be for the wondrous gift of a new day of life overflowing with opportunities to enjoy it fully. The third and boisterous laugh would be to blow the dust off your soul so it and your heart can glisten like the rising sun. For some, just after arising may be too early an hour in the day for a good laugh, especially a high-quality belly laugh, so consider using its humorous cousin, a good chuckle with a broad smile.

Edward Hays in Chasing Joy