I thought I would let you in on something I've been doing for myself for the past couple of weeks since I discovered this ancient Taoist practice that gives you an easy way to achieve a healthy state of mind, body and soul.  It’s a self help system for curing illness and stress and for enhancing all aspects of life.  The most famous practitioner of “The Inner Smile” is Grand Master Mantak Chia.  A google search will tell you more about him. 

For the best results Grand Master Chia recommends you practice the meditation both in the morning and at night before bed.  Your mood and sleep should improve, but only with practice, as with anything new. 

Sit comfortably on the edge of a chair with your palms on your knees.  Straighten your spine, lifting it up from the top of your head.  Then relax the muscles in your neck and throat.  Close your eyes.  If you believe you are tense, gently move your neck from side to side and take a couple of deep, deep breaths.  

Next, smile outwardly, using a positive memory to bring you a feeling of happiness.  And once you’ve a smile on your face, it’s time to smile inwardly. 

Picture a smiley face in your mind.  Bring that smile to the space between your eyebrows – your third eye or “yin tang” in Chinese medicine – allowing it to rest there for a few breaths. 

Now, take the smile and gently move it in turn to each part of your body.  Imagine your body as hollow and the smile as a glowing ball of light filling every dark corner.  If your smile gets stuck or fades at a tense of painful spot, breathe gently into that part of your body, imagining inhaled breath moving into that area.

If you’ve not meditated before, be aware that this is going to take some practice.  But it’s so worth it for the difference it will make to yourself and your life.

Reconnecting with your inner smile during the day – these are known as "half smiles".

1.  Put something in your bedroom that you see right away when you wake up.  Use this time before you get out of bed to take your first half smile of the day.   Do your morning full meditation before you leave for work or get started on your day.

 2.  Any free moments that you can find throughout the day… look at a child, a painting on the wall, a tree or just a cloud formation… anything that is relatively still.  Smile.  Inhale and exhale quietly three times.  Maintain the smile for as long as you can.

 3.  Angry?  Do your inner smile straight away.  Inhale and exhale quietly.  The anger should go away.

Having trouble imagining that “smiley face?”   Perhaps you’d enjoy the one I use.  I found it easier to concentrate on a smiley face that I'd actually seen.  I use a smiling sun, so that I can feel the warmth as well as enjoy the smile.  Click here to get your copy.  Print it out and put it in various places where you’re likely to practice your Inner Smile.  Enjoy.

 Christine R 

 

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