Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America with observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.
This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself...
My first experiences with meditation were in Jr. High School at about the age of 12.
I didn't know I was meditating. I would come home from school and go to my room. I would light some incense, and lie down on my bed, arms and legs outstretched. And then I would let my mind go blank. If I found it wandering, which happened often, I would simply start over. I would repeat this process until dinner time.
I called it practicing 'Total Rest', not even thinking. I believed that it helped me to release the tensions of the day and make a fresh start. I think it worked. Life is not ideal for any 12 year old, but I think I made the best of it.
I practiced 'Total Rest' for many years before finally taking up meditation as a serious matter.