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Are you smiling or frowning to yourself? Smiling is the secret to health and serenity according to several spiritual traditions. The Inner Smile practice propounds that when we smile like a Buddha, the world beams back. Smiling to others and ourselves is a gift of love. The universal language of a smile speaks straight to the heart, bypassing the intellect and ego.
To nurture loving relationships Ayurveda advises one greet others with a pleasant face, Buddhism encourages friendliness to all maitri and Taoism teaches that giving ourselves a grin is the best medicine.
A deep inner smile spreads like a relaxing elixir making us receptive to transform negative energy into positive. Conversely, a scowl suppresses our immune system by increasing stress, contracting channels and blocking energy. Research by French physiologist Dr Israel Waynbaum indicates that facial muscles used to express emotion trigger specific brain neurotransmitters.
Smiling signals happy healing hormones such as ecstatic endorphins and immune boosting killer T-cells whereas frowning triggers the secretion of stress hormones.
Smile therapy actually lowers the stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin and noradrenaline and produces hormones which stabilise blood pressure, relax muscles, improve respiration, reduce pain, accelerate healing and stabilise mood1.
Can we fake it till we make it? Though a heart-felt smile has a deeper effect, even a surface smile tricks the brain into releasing happy hormones according to facial biofeedback research2. And the more we smile, the more we want to smile concluded a study where people allowed to smile found cartoons funnier than those suppressed from smiling by holding pencils in their lips3.
This is because each time we smile we reinforce happy neural pathways that fire more spontaneously with each subsequent use. Self- love smiling circuits then release healing nectar and self-hate messages release poisons that breed disease according to Taoism. How often do you smile? Try a smile trial for a minute.
Now frown and sense the emotional and energetic shift. Feel the difference? Considering it takes only 26 muscles to smile and 62 muscles to frown, why wear the strain of a scowl?
Smiles seem to have a cultural element. Britain has sorry smile statistics also as recent research revealed that if you smile at people, 70 people will smile back in Bristol, 68 in Glasgow, 18 in London and only 4 in Edinburgh4. Smiling faces are always beautiful and the most endearing accessory.
Whereas if people wear an ugly expression meticulous attention to grooming and clothes are overshadowed. But smiles do more than increase your face value; British researchers found that receiving a smile could give more pleasure than sex or eating chocolate. And receiving a smile generated much higher levels of stimulation to the brain and the heart than being given money or having a cigarette.
A genuine smile glows from our deepest layer of self-love, radiating like sunlight through clouds and embracing everything as an extension of oneself.
Starting as an inner hug it spreads to soften the whole body, melting malevolent energy to emerge from benevolent eyes and lips. Just as others respond to our loving smile, our cells soak up smiling rays, creating new cells from the inner love affair. Taoist Master Mantak Chia has taught the inner smile for the past 40 years. 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. He has an aura of contentment and kindness that put me at ease immediately. Mantak Chia also explained that as sickness starts from negative emotions settling in the organs, the inner smile breaks this cycle.
The subtle inner smile is different from a superficial smile set on a fake face with hidden motives and meaning. Nor is it a spiritually superior or condescending smile but accepts everything as it is. Though laughing has significant benefits, as evidenced by the word-wide laughter clubs, excessive or loud laughing can cause excess surplus chi and increase blood pressure according to Chinese medicine.
A mild smile is a more sustainable and inward expression. The soft smile dissolves hardened patterns without struggle or force, gently coaxing a shift in stuck energy. Attacking problems with aversion and aggression only increases resistance and abusing our frailties makes us weaker.
Alternatively, sending ourselves loving smiling energy empowers us towards strength and restoration. The inner smile arises from a loving intention, surfaces on the face then suffuses our internal and external reality.
Though a smile may feel fake initially our psychophysiology responds with happiness anyway. As respected Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains,. Eventually our being is saturated in smiling benevolence and it becomes a constant, effortless expression of our inner bliss. Negative thoughts become entrenched in our energy and imprint themselves on our fa?
The inner smile requires us to look inside ourselves, accept ourselves and extend that loving energy to everything. Ironically we smile least when we need it most. Depression, pain and stress often rob us of the healing humour that can transform our state. Though smiling may be the last thing we feel like doing, it will do us the world of good. When we smile at our pain, worry, troubles and perceived inadequacies we dissolve compounding tension.
But this no-cost remedy is a necessary first half-step if you are to start on the road to recovery. A challenge many experience in practicing the inner smile is the tendency towards negativity. We can catch an inner frown from others negative outlook or our own. When you get tense simply remind yourself to smile again and any inner wrinkles will soon smooth over, uplifting others energy. Strengthen your inner smile by practicing it in difficult situations such as during exercise, traffic jams, long queues and when annoyed.
Smile as often as you remember to, knowing it will override negative reactivity and reawaken your core unity of self-acceptance. Before practicing the inner smile install smiling energy into your cellular memory by creating a smile file. Scan your past for moments of joy and laughter. Then recall your capacity for happiness by reliving that emotion. One can also visualise a peaceful natural scene to imbibe serenity and dissolve stress.
Seeing a smiling baby or your own smiling face is another useful image. Start the day with a smile by writing smile on your ceiling and invite more smiles into your life by playing with kids, giving to others and finding the humour in all situations.
Our organs store emotional garbage so to clear up inner clutter Mantak Chia recommends first smiling to major organs to detoxify negative emotions.
Our organs work hard to maintain our homoeostasis so we can thank them with an inner smile. The specific order for the inner smile follows the organs cycle of creation. The inner smile can be practiced at any time and for any duration. Familiarise yourself with the location of all the major organs before the practice to establish a strong mental connection with them.
You may feel more in touch with your organs if you place your hands over them as you send your smile as well as visualising them. Feel the grateful response from your organs as they release blockages and receive loving energy. Open your eyes if you choose to make the healing sounds then close them to resume. To clear your negative emotions follow these simple Inner Smile Steps-. Once we are filled with an inner smile it naturally overflows to others. The smile resonates with outside vibrations and reverberates back to us as a collective smiling wave.
This creates an endless exchange of loving energy, invigorating and uplifting us on all levels. To keep this smiling circuit flowing remember to smile as often as possible. Smile to your past, present and future so you may continue on the spiritual path. Send an inner smile to those you love, hate, empathise with and are indifferent towards.
Extend it to your house, family, work, community, teachers, well-wishers, country, continent, earth and universe. Send a special smile to the natural world of plants, animals, water bodies, mountains, the sky and planets.
The inner smile is considered a complete, non-sectarian spiritual practice that will benefit everyone. When consistently practiced it can nurture the enlightened awareness that we are all part of the same smiling energy. After suffering from over-seriousness for many years her main ambition is to smile more.
Special thanks to Tao Garden, Thailand for their generous hospitality on her recent retreat there. To contact Caroline about Tao Gardens or Ayurveda courses or consultations phone 02 , www.
Skip to content. The Inner Smile. A Smile Trial How often do you smile? Smile Time The inner smile arises from a loving intention, surfaces on the face then suffuses our internal and external reality. A Smile File Before practicing the inner smile install smiling energy into your cellular memory by creating a smile file.
Emotional Detox Smile Our organs store emotional garbage so to clear up inner clutter Mantak Chia recommends first smiling to major organs to detoxify negative emotions.
To clear your negative emotions follow these simple Inner Smile Steps- Begin by closing your eyes and relaxing your whole body. Breath slowly and smoothly, letting go on the exhalation. Smooth facial muscles and focus attention on the third eye. Feel inner joy. Visualising a peaceful scene, a smiling baby or your smiling face may evoke this feeling. Gather this bliss behind your eyes and watch it internally as it travels down your body. Let the smiling energy flow like a sweet stream down your nose to wash over your lips.
Inner Smile Meditation: How To Clear Negative Emotions
Are you smiling or frowning to yourself? Smiling is the secret to health and serenity according to several spiritual traditions. The Inner Smile practice propounds that when we smile like a Buddha, the world beams back. Smiling to others and ourselves is a gift of love.
The Inner Smile
The Inner Smile: Increasing Chi through the Cultivation of Joy
Inner Smile and Healing Sounds