The Laughing Buddha. What a wonderful symbol. Arising out of 8th Century China, Budai is the very image of contentment. He carries his material possessions in a simple cloth sack, and he is always depicted smiling or laughing. He is a jovial, yet profound reminder that spirituality is not meant to be a dour, somber affair. Quite to the contrary, any genuine exploration into our spiritual nature — and thereby into the nature of the universal Creative Spirit — will be a journey toward increased compassion, peace, vitality and happiness in our lives.