The Well

Smile Awhile

by Andrew Shaw on Sep.08, 2010, under Recent Posts

“In ancient China, the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile, a smile to oneself, insured health, happiness and longevity. Why? Smiling to yourself is like basking in love: you become your own best friend. Living with an inner smile is to live in harmony with yourself.” -Mantak Chia

If you’ve read Eat, Pray, Love, or seen the movie, you may recall the part about smiling meditation.  A sage medicine man provides a profound lesson about simply sitting and smiling.  Practice smiling with your whole body, he says, “even smile in your liver.”  It seems like such a basic instruction, to smile to ourselves.  But offering this loving attention in this way can be very powerful and healing.  Smiling in/to your liver, and any other part of your body for that matter, helps you to feel relaxed, peaceful, happier and healthier.

Try It Yourself

Bring your attention to your lips, to the corners of your mouth. Notice the feeling of the corners of your mouth as they are in their neutral, relaxed state. Now, ever so slightly, raise the corners of the mouth until you feel the “inner smile”. Perhaps imperceptible by an outside observer, you are lifting the corners of your mouth, ever so mindfully, until you feel a distinct shift in energy, a warm sense of well-being.   Allow the corners of your mouth to remain in this uplifting position and turn your attention to the inside of your eyes. First, notice them as they are in their neutral, relaxed state. Then, ever so slightly, raise the corners of the eyes until you feel the “inner smile” feeling here also. The corners of the eyes and mouth should now feel like one unit radiating a distinct, warm sense of well-being. This feeling is “The Inner Smile”.

As an informal practice, whenever it occurs to you, periodically come back and witness your face throughout the day. Bring your attention back to feeling the inner corners of your mouth and eyes as they are in any given moment. Then choose to practice The Inner Smile.   As a formal practice, the energy of The Inner Smile can be consciously directed downward into the heart, the belly, the liver, the stomach, the legs… to the whole of the body … in directed flows through particular parts of the body or as a radiating whole. For more formal directions, read ”The Inner Smile” chapter in Mantak Chia’s book “Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao”.

Be Well

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