Chamundai Curran

Episode 27    9 August 2021

Laughter is the best remedy

Chamundai Curran.jpg

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Laughter is the best remedyChamundai Curran
00:00 / 37:25

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Chamundai Curran

Owner, The Laughter Lawyer

Lawyer, mentor, coach

Chamundai Curran is the owner of The Laughter Lawyer, a training organisation for wellness, personal effectiveness, relationship building, conflict resolution and coaching and mentoring programs, based on laughter yoga. 

Chamundai coaches and mentors lawyers and professionals who are interested in spirituality, feel called to look more deeply into life, their purpose, and who seek to be of service to humanity using their unique gifts and talents.

We talk about how laughter is a true healer, by lifting a person, placing problems in perspective, aiding emotional wellbeing, enhancing creativity and transmitting positive physiological hormones and other chemicals to the body. It's a boon for lawyers who tend to take ourselves too seriously!  

Bio

Show notes

Links

Transcript

Comments

Bio:

Chamundai Curran is the owner of The Laughter Lawyer, a training organisation for wellness, personal effectiveness, relationship building, conflict resolution and coaching and mentoring programs. She was a lawyer for 25 years and always felt called to help others and to serve - and initially helped others as a family lawyer. After many years, Chamundai felt called to help in a different way - eventually being a traditional lawyer was no longer a "fit".

She has spent more than 30 years immersed in Indian spiritual traditions (gaining the name Chamundai, given by her spiritual teacher, which means strength, courage and dispelling darkness).

Chamundai now coaches and mentors lawyers and professionals who are interested in spirituality, feel called to look more deeply into life, their purpose, and who seek to be of service to humanity using their unique gifts and talents.

Show notes:

  • [2:04] Chamundai's early legal career was traditional, as a family and litigation lawyer. She found that traditional law didn't fix her clients' problems. She began to delve into counselling as a Lifeline counsellor to help her clients.

  • [6:01] Chamundai's spiritual quest started early, as a child she was curious about esoteric questions and as a teenager took up yoga in Sydney. She felt strongly pulled to the yogic tradition, meeting the guru Swami Satyananda.

  • [8:54] I discuss with Chamundai the concept of reincarnation and 'past lives' influencing choices we make in our current life, which sometimes expresses itself as a strong attraction to a particular country or tradition.

  • [12:24] Chamundai also began to awaken to an intuition in her work, guiding her to clients and leading her to discuss healing concepts with them.  

  • [14:55] Chamundai became involved in Lifeline unintentionally, through a friend's invitation, who didn't tell her what it was about but invited her to a training session for counsellors.

  • [17:47] From counselling - which taught her valuable compassionate communication skills - Chamundai trained in mediation and restorative justice.

  • [20:18] Later, Chamundai became inspired to start a laughter club, based on a divine thought that came to her after feeling dispirited with the legal profession.

  • [22:24] The idea of a laughter club led Chamundai to find laughter yoga, which tied back to her love for yoga and her  earlier spiritual training.

  • [28:47] Growing out of her experiences with laughter yoga, Chamundai started The Laughter Lawyer which systematically lifts people to a higher place through laughter as therapy.

  • [29:45] Through The Laughter Lawyer, Chamundai assists clients with wellbeing. She also sees it as vital to building community for like-minded lawyers.

  • [33:20] Chamundai sees more lawyers gravitating towards integrative law and opening themselves up to spirituality. It might mean going down unexpected paths.

  • [35:59] A good teacher will provide a person with options and open themselves up to inner wisdom instead of creating followers. 

Links:

The Laughter Lawyer website: laughterlawyer.com.au

Lifeline, a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga.  

Paramahansa Yogananda's classic spiritual work Autobiography of a Yogi. Paramahansa Yogananda is often referred to as the Father of Yoga in the West.

An article from the Wholebeing Institute website about active listening written by Carl Rogers and Richard E Farson.

The Laughter Yoga website, the official page of its founder Dr Madan Kataria.

"I Love to Laugh", video of the Mary Poppins ceiling scene.

 

David Hawkins' book Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour.  From over 20 years of kinesiology research Hawkins created a calibration system for all aspects of human endeavour - a kind of vibratory scale or ladder of consciousness.

The Integrative Law movement website.

Kim Wright's book Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practising Holistic Problem-Solving Law.

 

My podcast episode with Kim Wright. 

Sri Sakti Narayani Amma, Chamundai's teacher.

 

 
 
 
Chamundai Curran Image quote IG.jpg
 

Transcript: 

Geraldine  0:13  
Hello, everyone and welcome to the New Earth lawyer podcast. My name is Geraldine Johns-Putra. I am your host, I'm a lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia. Today I have with me Chamundai Curran from New South Wales, Australia. Chamundai was a lawyer for 25 years and she always felt called to help others into serve. She initially helped others as a family lawyer. But after many years Chamundai felt called to help in a different way. Eventually, being a traditional lawyer was no longer a fit. She has spent more than 30 years in western Indian spiritual tradition. She gained the name Chamundai given by her spiritual teacher. It means strength, courage, and dispelling darkness. Chamundai now coaches and mentors lawyers and professionals who are interested in spirituality, who feel called to look more deeply into life, and their purpose. She is the owner of The Laughter Lawyer, a training organisation for wellness, personal effectiveness, relationship building conflict resolution, and coaching and mentoring programs. Chamundai, welcome to the show. It's it's great to have you.

Chamundai  1:28  
Thank you, Geraldine. So good to be here and have the opportunity to catch up and to speak. Thank you.

 

Geraldine  1:36  
So we're going to start, given the intro, I think I want to delve into your background. And there's a bit in there that has some kind of juicy possibilities. So I'm gonna start though, before we get into the Indian traditions, with the traditional bit the part where you say, it just wasn't a fit anymore, you were a family lawyer, and then it just wasn't a fit. So tell us about that.

 

Chamundai  2:04  
Yeah, so I definitely started life as a traditional lawyer. And I actually loved the law and law school and was so excited to be like one of those TV stars who went to court and found out the truth. Except I found that when I went to court, it wasn't necessarily about finding the truth. And I found I had many, many clients, not only family law clients, but in other areas of law that I worked in, where even though we won the court cases, they weren't happy. And I was really puzzled by that. And I had loved litigation and court work. And I did work a lot in family law. So that was the area that I mainly practised in.

 

And these clients seemed so unhappy at the end of their legal case, even when they'd achieved everything they told me that they wanted. And I was really puzzled about what else is going on. And I felt like the legal system wasn't the structure that could help me enough to help them. Because I felt like they were calling for something else. And I was giving them a legal solution. And yet the legal solution didn't fix, especially in family law. Of course, the legal solution is not necessarily a solution to maybe the pain or the hurt that's under the problem and that's driving them to find a lawyer in the first place.

 

So the cases that I had, and the people and the clients that I had seemed to be looking for something more and I started to yearn inside me, how can I really help these people in a deeper way. The legal training that I'd had I felt didn't equip me to really support all of what they needed. So then I delved into an amazing kind of journey into counselling, which of course, was self-reflection and personal development of myself because as I trained to be a counsellor, and I spent many years in Lifeline, which is a fabulous, fabulous training ground, of course, what I uncovered was all of my own inner self. And I felt just like my clients that I had been almost like two people, like they would come to me like, here's my legal problem, but under it, here's my personal issues that are driving my legal problem. And I as a lawyer was like this legal persona, very logical, very, I will fix this, you know, I'll get into the legal solutions.

 

But when I stepped into Lifeline, and I stepped into the counselling world, I stepped into the other half of myself. And so my emotional self and my, more deeply into my spiritual self, which was happening alongside of this. And so then I was able to bring together a much deeper understanding of what's happening in the people. And that's I guess my passion is what's happening in the person of the other lawyer, the client, you know, even the judge whoever is involved, the counsellors, I'm very curious about what's happening in the people in the relationships. And so that's where my study went deep.

 

Geraldine  5:30  
And I suppose by saying to you, oh, let's start with talking about the lawyer stuff first, I've made a mistake of sorts that we tend to make in life, which is, let's separate it out. And let's talk about this part, without talking about what was really going on, and you've alluded to, which is your spiritual journey, because you've said your spiritual journey began 30 years ago, which means it predates the lawyer journey. So forgive me, let's bring it all together. let's integrate. Tell us what was going on there.

 

Chamundai  6:01  
And integrating is is the really key word I think, Geraldine, isn't it? integrating life and the law. Because actually, I started asking questions about God and what happens when you die? When I was four years old, my mother used to say, you just came and said one day, what happens when you die, Mum? And my Mum bless her said, well, if you're very good, you get to see God. After which I told her that one of the boys in my preschool class would never get to see God because he was really naughty. Clearly, from a very young age, I had an inner calling to know what is happening beyond the physical. 

 

Geraldine  6:46  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  6:47  
And definitely in my teens, even when I went to uni, I was doing yoga. And I was guided by friends and connections into the yoga ashram in Sydney, that was very popular, Satyananda Yoga Ashram. It's still going places. Its base was in Bihar in India. And I was lucky enough in my early 20s, that the guru from that school Swami Satyananda came, and he was quite an older man back, this is back in the 80s. And he rarely travelled outside of India, but I was one of the lucky people in the group that he came to visit the ashram. And when I went there, it was like, my heart exploded with love. And everything in me said, I've come home. So the music, the kirtan, the Sanskrit, I love Sanskrit, it's like, I can learn long chants just by listening to them and repeating them. And it just makes my heart on fire.

 

Geraldine  7:51  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  7:51  
I start to cry when I talk about how much my soul just ignited. And so I was so lucky with this master came and I was able to learn from him in my 20s. And I, and even though I was starting to be a lawyer in those days, I was in the early days of legal practice. I worked in Manly, and I would ride my bicycle, from my legal job via the local ashram in Manly, and I would stop off for my yoga and meditation class. 

 

Geraldine  8:23  
A-ha.

 

Chamundai  8:23  
And so I was doing that in my 20s. I was, but I did very much keep them separate in those days, I probably, I'm not sure if even people at work knew that that was my secret way home.

 

Geraldine  8:37  
Yeah, so you're talking about a time when those things were kept very separate, particularly in professions like the legal profession. Now, do you or did you at that point have any understanding of reincarnation? 

 

Chamundai  8:54  
Yes, I read one of the key moments on my spiritual journey was I was given the book which is very famous, written by Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi. And many spiritual seekers have read this book. And of course, as you read that book, for me, there was a complete awakening. There was a soul awakening as I was reading it, because everything that I read, my inner self told me to be true. So I felt like I had lived in India, I knew what an ashram was like. I knew what it would be like to wear an orange robe and be like a monk. 

 

Geraldine  9:32  
Yep. Yeah.

 

Chamundai  9:34  
That was so familiar to me that it was like that was the normal world and living in Western clothing in a normal house and driving a car and going to an office was the abnormal world. That was how I always felt.

 

Geraldine  9:51  
And that's exactly why I asked you that question because what you're describing sounds very much like a soul recognition that people talk about when they're associating with something that comes from what we call a past life. But it's resonating a lot. And this one, for some reason, where you supposedly have many, many past lives, but there are some that come into or bleed through into this one, more strongly than others. And it certainly sounds like the connection with the Indian and the yogic tradition was coming through.

 

Chamundai  10:24  
That was like my home base, I kind of don't even think about past lives as being separate because time is not linear in the way that we perceive it to be. So I kind of think of it more as an opening into universal knowledge that everyone has access to, that everyone can find their piece of that knowledge that resonates in their heart. So for me, it might in our language, be a past life, because in this physical time period of my physical being here, I haven't lived as a monk. 

 

Geraldine  10:24  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  10:25  
But it's familiar because it's part of the fabric of what is possible. And it's happening in other places. So, you know, our life force is the same in every person on the planet, and in every piece of nature, in my understanding, and in what I've learned and been taught. And so it's almost like you can open a doorway into another piece of consciousness, and you can experience what it would be like to be a monk, or to be a priest, or to be a rabbi, or you know, to be Jesus or whatever your flavour is. So that's what it was like, for me, it was like, I remembered something that I just forgot, because I just forgot.

 

Geraldine  11:55  
We're all one, all is literally one. So it's just like you said, if you can, if you found the way to open the channel into that aspect of self, because it's just an aspect of self, because we all one, whether it's something in a different place, which is also just an illusion, or a different time, another illusion, we have access to it. It's just being human beings on this particular plane, three dimensional, we don't know it.

 

Chamundai  12:24  
That's right. And I think the other thing that happened during that time is I realised that everything that I always thought was normal, not everybody around me thought was normal. So it would be normal for me to walk into a courtroom that was crowded with 50 people, and know who was my client that I'd never met before and never spoken to. But I would be able to walk up to them, and go, oh, you're so and so. Because I don't know, it's the intuition that we all have. 

 

Geraldine  12:58  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  12:59  
That for me was part of my everyday existence. And then I didn't ever question, how did I know that because, you know, and miracles of healing that would happen sort of around me as well. I never questioned them, because they were, that was the norm. And so even in my legal cases, when clients were open to it, we would speak about healing. And I think what came in later, as I got deeper into the spirituality and realised that was who I was, and being a lawyer was an additional role I could play with if I wanted to, then clients could have access, and other lawyers can have access if they want to those hidden dimensions that we often don't see, because they're not physically visible. But they're certainly working with us all the time. And everyone's had those feelings of the phone rings, and you have a sense of who it is. Oh, I was just thinking about you. You know who, all of us have picked up the phone, oh I was just thinking about you. Well, you know, that's, that's the unseen dimensions.

 

Geraldine  14:09  
Because going back to what we were saying a part of you is thinking about you, so how could you not pick up on it? So what I want to delve into now is okay, you talked earlier about getting into counselling, so you didn't do that in an uninformed way. By that I mean, you had an understanding that there was something else to your life, something deeper, which is the spiritual side. And then when things were happening with your clients and you're seeing that they were unhappy or completely unresolved, even though their legal conflict might have been resolved, you went into counselling. That must have been a decision you made because you could see that you needed a solution to what you were seeing.

 

Chamundai  14:55  
That is what you would expect. I kind of got into it in a bizarre way. This is too funny. One of my friends said to me, oh, look, you know, you're fed up, you're looking for something else, go to this course. That's all she said to me is just enrol in this course. And because I trusted her, and she'd been a long term friend, I just enrolled in this course. And to be honest, I didn't fully understand what it was until I got there. 

 

Geraldine  15:23  
Yes.

 

Chamundai  15:25  
And then they said this is Lifeline telephone counselling and I went, you're what? 

 

Geraldine  15:29  
Oh, you were literally tricked. 

 

Chamundai  15:33  
I literally, it was like a divine trick. Because if someone had said to me, you're going to go and counsel people on the phone, I would have run a mile, because it was kind of presented as this will help you get clear about what you want to do in your life. That's what my friend said to me. Then I went in, but when I went in, what struck me was these beautiful people who cared about everyone that like they hugged you and they asked you how you were feeling. And so it took only five minutes before I was hooked and quite happy to be a telephone counsellor. And then yes, it wasn't long before I realised that was exactly what my clients needed. But I didn't consciously go, I need to find counselling to help them even though you would think that's what I would have done.

 

Geraldine  16:21  
You know, what else is occurring to me that you're working in family law. And this is the most traumatic aspects of people's lives coming out, some of the most traumatic aspects of their lives coming out, divorce and separation, marriage breakdown. And you being a lawyer, hugging people. and being, getting into their emotional needs wasn't part of your training, just wasn't part of your professional portfolio, you had to go into the counselling world to see it. I had something similar, to me when I began to do more work around corporations that were looking to do purpose-led work. Now, as a corporate lawyer, we don't talk about such things. We're talking about the corporate laws or duties. And then if we're doing transactions, we're talking about the financials. But then I had to get into that world to see people really talk about caring. And I had that feeling that you're talking about one of the first events I went to, which was a B Corp event, people were talking in terms of really wanting to do good and help the world and help each other. And I had that moment of, oh my God, there is another way that I could do business, which is deeply, deeply personal and heartfelt.

 

Chamundai  17:47  
That's it's. Heartfelt. And when I first was on the phones at Lifeline, I had another epiphany, which was I didn't have to do anything. I didn't have to have all the answers. Because the beautiful way that we were trained was to be reflective and listen to the clients in that person centred, Rogers sort of way, like, so, one, they didn't know who I was, because it was, we were anonymous and secondly, I listened to them. And at the end of an hour of listening, they had come up with solutions. And they would tell me how amazing they felt. And I would be sitting there thinking, I haven't done anything. But of course, what I've done is I've held the space for them to work through their issue. And that gave me a whole different dimension then on what I wanted to do, which then led me into mediation. So I trained in mediation, because of course that allows a container for people then to resolve their own problems without going to court. So that was starting to suit my personality in my heart a lot more. And restorative justice. I worked in restorative justice, and I work for Indigenous organisations. And you know, I went into places that were holistic, I worked for community legal centres. 

 

Geraldine  19:08  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  19:08  
And yeah, so that was where I started to feel more like I could pull together my legal training. And I could develop the counselling side and be able to listen to people and not have to have the solutions until a solution is what is, sometimes legal solutions are what is needed. But mostly people have their own solutions. Yeah. 

 

Geraldine  19:36  
So they all came together. I guess they're still coming together because it's such a beautiful poetry, right? When you bring the strands of your life together to integrate, they're all dynamic so they're constantly moving around and actually, because at least they're all there, it is a beautiful dance. So you get to play with them and mould them together. Is that what you're finding? So it's very, you could have gone, okay, I've got all the pieces now and then, in a very human way, try and put them all in their place. But you are used to playing with them. And how is that happening?

 

Chamundai  20:18  
I think that's true. And of course, the other major strain that came in was the laughter. You know, so that came in as a massive, a very funny story. I was driving home because after all this, I went to work at the Workers Compensation Commission in New South Wales as an arbitrator. So you couldn't have anything more legal and fixed. But along the way, I had developed the spirituality and I developed people skills, and I then fell into the laughter yoga because I was driving home from a case one day, and I was again getting fed up with the legal system, and frustrated with it all and clients not being happy again, inside the system, injured workers. And so I literally said this prayer in the car, please God, what do you want me to do? I'm so sick of being a lawyer. And instantly into my head came this idea. Start a laughter club.

 

Geraldine  21:17  
Did you laugh?

 

Chamundai  21:20  
And then it was silence. It was like, what the heck is that? I had never heard of laughter clubs. I didn't know such a thing existed. And I knew it wasn't about comedy, like something in me knew it wasn't about go watch a comedy show. It was so specific. Start a laughter club. So I thought there must be such, a thing must exist, a laughter club must exist, which of course, I discovered that it did. It was laughter yoga, started by an Indian medical doctor in India. After starting in 1995. from five people in a park, it's spread all over the world to hundreds and thousands of clubs. And it seems laughter yoga is practised in hospitals and schools and corporations and you know, prisons and everywhere everywhere you can think of this laughter yoga groups, aged care facilities, and their groups come together to practice laughter.

 

Geraldine  22:14  
I think I've seen videos of this, people standing around in a park in a circle, and just laughing, just, they start laughing. 

 

Chamundai  22:24  
And it looks so crazy. If you watch it, these people are mad. And that's what I thought when I went. The first one I went to, I just thought, oh my gosh, but I was in Melbourne, funnily enough in Williamstown. And so I was living up the north coast of New South Wales in Port Macquarie, so couldn't go home. I was stuck in Melbourne with these mad laughing people. But again, by the time I'd done a couple of hours of this laughter workshop, what how did the founder Dr. Kataria, how did he get me from feeling like a serious lawyer to be rolling on the floor and laughing so hard that I was crying with people I'd never met before. I thought, how did he produce that transition? And that transformation in me that I actually let myself do that. Because if someone is, even when he spoke at the beginning, he said, you're going to be like rolling on the floor and I just thought, don't be silly. I won't be rolling on the floor. I'm like, this serious lawyer. Like, I don't roll on the floor. And then I realised that not only was the laughter yoga the funniest thing I've ever done, but I also realised that spirituality is the funniest thing you'll ever do. And it's the most fun you'll ever have in your life. And so the strands then came together of spirituality is not the serious thing that you have to go and be silent, like a monk forever. It's every day, every moment when you choose the high road you know, you choose to be compassionate, you choose to let go the insult that somebody unless you feel the need to speak up, and then you speak up with compassion. And you speak your truth. But they just like these, just becomes this fun, hilarious, adventure. 

 

Geraldine  24:18  
Yeah, yeah, that aspect of just not taking it so seriously is one thing that lawyers are so trained not to do, you know, we we have to take things seriously because this is in the client's interests. We have a duty and trying to find the balance to tell lawyers, it's not about dereliction of duty, it's just about adding a levity to it. It's actually going to make you a better lawyer. One of the things I remember is my sister telling me that I was taking it all too seriously. And when I was working with a large law firm, and I thought it was all very grand and I was carrying it as a burden and she said, you know, it's just a law firm, you're taking it too seriously. And that's one of those moments. She doesn't even remember saying it. But it's one of those moments where I went it is just, it is just, it's just a job, it's just a law firm, it's just, just, just. And then the flip side of that is, so I can, the burden lifts, and I can see it as what it is. And you add the laughter element, you can actually laugh at it. Yeah. And it's not disrespectful.

 

Chamundai  25:33  
Yeah. And it reminds me of, to digress into childhood into Mary Poppins. There's that wonderful scene where they, they start laughing, and they go up to the ceiling. 

 

Geraldine  25:43  
Yes. 

 

Chamundai  25:43  
And they're all floating around the ceiling. And it's only when they stopped laughing that they fall to the ground. But that's a beautiful metaphor for the fact that laughter is one of the things that lifts our energy, so that we actually can see from a higher perspective. So it's literally like you said that you walk, it's like walking up stairs above your problem. And looking down on it and saying, ah, and not only do you look at the problem differently, but you see the resources that you can't see when you're in that blinkered seriousness and David Hawkins in his beautiful book Power versus Force talks about the vibrational stages and the emotional stages that we evolve through. And laughter is just the single easiest and fastest way I have found to shift my mood, to bring focus, to let go of stress to stop feeling anxious, to become more creative. When I started the laughter yoga, I would have creative ideas that I'd never had before. And basically, it does so many things for our physical health, it stops you having heart attacks, you know it, it clears the blood vessels, it lowers your blood pressure. 

 

Geraldine  27:07  
Different hormones would be released. Endorphins and so on.

 

Chamundai  27:10  
It lowers your blood sugar, like it has been effective in diabetes, in heart attacks, in depression. Like, anything you name that the physical body or the mental system does, it fixes emotional conflict, because when you learn to laugh for yourself, I'm not talking about laughing at the person. 

 

Geraldine  27:30  
Yeah, which is why you brought in that thing about it's not comedy, because comedy often has the element are laughing at somebody.

 

Chamundai  27:39  
Exactly. And that's one of the reasons Dr. Kataria stopped using jokes, because when he first started laughter clubs, he did use jokes to generate the laughter because that was the only way he knew how. But what happened was the people started getting offended by the jokes. And in India, in the 1990s, especially the women were very traditional, and they didn't like rude jokes or racist jokes or, and they said, we don't like the jokes, stop the laughter club. And he said, we can't stop the laughing, let's just stop the jokes. And so he then developed physical exercises, and he found by faking the laughter, they laughed more than with the jokes, because if you tell a joke, and then you tell it again and again and again, not funny. So where do you get your laughter from? So if I said, let's cough (cough), let's sneeze (a-choo), let's laugh (haha).

Geraldine  28:33  
You're making me laugh too.

 

Chamundai  28:34  
It's natural. It's a natural activity. It's just like breathing with sound. 

 

Geraldine  28:42  
Yeah. How do you bring it into your work? Tell me about The Laughter Lawyer.

 

Chamundai  28:47  
Yeah. So what I do is, I have a really beautiful system of helping people to move from that stressed place. And that feeling like they just don't know what to do and they feel like they're being called for something higher and something more, like I was. I have steps and a pathway to take them through to find that joy, to find a deeper understanding of their own emotional selves, to find mental clarity, to be able to step through their knowledge of their own energy field and how they can really what's the word, it's like, how to manage or change the energy. 

 

Geraldine  29:39  
Alchemise or transform. 

 

Chamundai  29:41  
Yeah, alchemise or transform it . 

 

Geraldine  29:44  
Transmute perhaps. 

 

Chamundai  29:45  
Yes, so that it's serving them. So let's just say I'm going to do something that I, and I start to get a bit of fear. And then I might go okay, what are my tools? Maybe I'm not very grounded at the moment because I'm feeling anxious, so my energy's gone to my head. But I know that I'm more stable if my energy is in my feet, and in the lower part of my belly. And I've learned some tools and mudras to help me, and some mantras, sacred mantras to help me be grounded and so in two minutes, I can transform myself from feeling anxious to feeling grounded, centred, my nervous system aligns. And I've got all of my brain working, you know, I'm not in fight and flight. And so we have these beautiful steps that I take people through. So in the end, they become the master, they don't need me anymore. They become the master of their own energy and their own destiny, which is where we all want to get to, right. Like, we are autonomous, we're all connected to spirit and the soul, we just sometimes forget, and we need each other. So it builds community. Because I think integrative law, spiritual lawyers, you know, we need each other. Because the predominant kind of way that the legal system operates, I guess, in the world is still not necessarily meditating every day, it's definitely getting more that people are realising they need those tools.

 

Geraldine  31:22  
I see it as building a separate consciousness. 

 

Chamundai  31:25  
Yeah. And we're talking...

 

Geraldine  31:26  
Because as we come together, we solidify a separate consciousness or different paradigm, an alternative to doing things.

 

Chamundai  31:35  
That's right. And then people can choose, they may stay as the traditional lawyer doing the exact same job, but they're doing it, like they've laughed their way to the ceiling, like the Mary Poppins thing. It's like they're sitting up there, even though they're sitting with their clients. And they've got all of these resources and inner resources and inner knowledge and inner wisdom that will just come through them. And you know, things being changed for clients in really different ways.

 

Geraldine  32:06  
Are you seeing a change in the people who are coming to you? Are you seeing more lawyers?

 

Chamundai  32:13  
More? Yes, definitely. There are more lawyers. I mean, think of the, you know, we're both part of the integrative law movement. 

 

Geraldine  32:19  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  32:20  
And when we look at, you know, thank you, Kim Wright, for her amazing work. And in her books, Lawyers as Peacemakers, in particular, there's stories about all the lawyers doing things differently. And, yeah, if I ever forget, and think I'm the only one, then you know, I look around at our community. And I realised, no, there's lots of us. And so I do think, and of course, I took a lovely group of lawyers to India before we were not allowed to travel. And so they met my teacher in India and met Amma, there's been a few of us who've been over there. So they're all of course out doing their thing. And you know, we stay in touch, but they have found a way to kind of follow the dreams of their hearts. And whatever that might be. Sometimes it's in the law, sometimes it's out of the law, but those people are definitely still in the legal world.

 

Geraldine  33:12  
I agree with you that it is just about giving, giving tools to people and then allowing them to choose with their own free will, whether they want to make the change out of traditional law practice, or they want to stay in it but with a different perspective. What do you think is our, is the future? I'm not looking forward very far. I'm just saying the next two to five years for the integrative law movement and for spiritual lawyers.

 

Chamundai  33:42  
I would hope that it's going to grow in numbers, and that more and more lawyers will realise that all that happens when you open to your spiritual self is that you become much better at whatever it is you want to do. You become kinder, you become smarter, you become more focused, more successful, your priorities change. And so you might go down some unexpected avenues. But if you do, you'll find that it brings so much joy and fulfilment. And so one of my business coaches says, you know, it's when we're off track to our, what are our values and what we love to do when we get off track, the universe gives us a lot of feedback, and a lot of hard stuff happens, you know, because it's trying to realign us to where we were always in our hearts wanting to go. 

 

Geraldine  34:42  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  34:42  
So you know, you might talk to a lawyer and find they just are so passionate about art, that they hardly have time to do their artwork. But when they're doing their artwork, time stops and they just love it. Well, what if they're not separate things, you know, what if that self that loves the art and the self that is a good lawyer come together. So that's for me, it's, and I feel like we need community to, to support ourselves through that journey, because it's not a journey alone. No one gets to it even to be a really good lawyer, you need mentors and teachers, and everyone who's great will have had someone else who taught them. It's kind of how life is.

 

Geraldine  35:27  
Yeah. And it's not necessarily a role model. To show you what you want to be. This is one of the issues I have with role models and people who look for role models, you don't necessarily want to be what that person is, that person's just showing you another path. other possibilities. You might take some of that on, but it's up to you to make it your own, because your life is, your life path is unique. And I think that you're doing that really well through The Laughter Lawyers and through your own journey.

 

Chamundai  35:59  
And I agree Geraldine I think every great teacher will want you to be who you are, not who they are. Yes, every great teacher, even my teacher in India, Sakti Narayani Amma, I once asked, am I you know, should Chamundai come and stay? Should I come and stay here and live here? And the first thing he said to me is, what does Chamundai want to do? It was so beautiful. It was like there was no, this is what you must do. And it's like, what is your heart calling you to do? 

 

Geraldine  36:31  
Yeah. 

 

Chamundai  36:32  
And every time I've ever asked a question, it's always been either everything's been taken care of or what do you want? 

 

Geraldine  36:41  
Yeah, We're all our own leaders.

 

Chamundai  36:44  
I think the greatest question we can ask ourselves is what do I really want? What is my heart really calling me to do?

 

Geraldine  36:52  
Chamundai, thank you so much. I think that that's just a beautiful note to finish up on.  I wish you all the best with your laughter lawyers, and I'm going to incorporate more laughter into my life after speaking with you. Thank you for that. 

Chamundai  37:07  
It's a pleasure.

 

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