Is it possible for New Age principles and humor to live in harmony? I´m not sure, but I´m willing to give it a try. Maria, my roommate here in Peru, and I discussed this topic this morning after our morning Andean spiritualist yoga class. We decided that New Age spirituality is a valuble paradigm that we both embrace whole-heartedly, but that many New Age practitioners and spiritualists tend to frown upon the insertion of humor into the mix.

I try my hardest not to take myself or my spiritual practice too seriously. This includes meditation, yoga, prayer or ceremony. I understand that in order to get the most out of any of these things, that I have to have a modicum of sincerity about the experience and practice. But that does not mean that I have to take myself so damned seriously. 

That´s when I remembered the heyoka of the Native American cultures. The heyoka is the sacred clown, the one who shows the folly of humanity through his constant joking and insistence on doing things backwards. The heyoka teaches us not to take ourselves or the details of life too seriously.

One night recently I returned home fairly early from a neighboring hostel´s bonfire party. Javier was already at home and surprised by my early return.

¨What made you come home so early?¨ he asked.

¨Well, when they started drumming for world peace, I knew it was time for me to get outta there,¨I said.

Javier stared at me for a minute and then said, ¨Oh Anna, you´re just not . . . spiritual enough.¨

¨Yeah,¨I replied. ¨It´s true.¨

Then we both erupted in a peal of cackles, like a couple of witches. I suppose we heyokas have to stick together.