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THE JOY OF INNER SMILE MEDITATION - feel the love generated by a smile

There are many ways to meditate. Some can appear daunting which may mean you never get started. I have tried many forms of meditation though one of my favourite techniques is ‘Inner Smile Meditation’. It's easy and you will feel the benefits quickly. If you have had difficulties meditating in the past, try this one out.

What is Inner Smile Meditation? Based on an ancient Taoist technique, the Inner Smile Meditation can have a significantly positive affect on your mind and body. In essence, it involves “smiling down” into the body, keeping you connected to the present moment.

How does it work?

There have been many studies which suggest that smiling reduces stress hormones. In addition, it activates hormones that reduce pain, accelerate healing, improve breathing and relaxes muscles. Inner Smile Meditation takes advantage of the positive effects of our body's natural reaction to smiling and strengthens it. You can expect to have an increase flow of blood, a revitalisation of the internal organs and an increase in Qi.

How to meditate using the Inner Smile Meditation Technique Time required: 5-15 mins Find a quiet spot and make sure you keep warm throughout the meditation. Sit comfortably at the edge of a chair, feet flat on the ground with your back straight.

1 Relax your eyes, forehead and the brow area which tends to wrinkle when annoyed.

2 Bring attention to the breath for a few moments to stabilise your breathing.

3 Smile gently lifting your mouth slightly. This will relax your whole face. You many want to think of a person/pet/place that you love.

4 Imagine the smile moving upwards like sunshine into your head. Stay there for several moments and feel the warmth of your smile.

5 Now imagine the sunlight of your smile flow down the spinal cord and radiate outwards throughout the entire body. Take your time and visualize each organ being soothed by this smiling, warm energy. Allow the smile to drift to any place you feel discomfort. Continue feeling the flow of your smile for as long as you find it comfortable.

6 When you are ready to bring the meditation to a close, gently bring your awareness back to your breath and body and continue smiling.

Preferably practise Inner Smile Meditation every day or when you need to. For example, when you find yourself sliding into a negative mindset or when you feel discomfort. Just smile and imagine the warm energy of your smile moving through your body.

Once you have mastered this easy meditation, you can do it on a bus, in the office or in bed to help you sleep.

If you would like to find out more about Inner Smile Meditation, you might want to read, 'The Inner Smile: Increasing Chi through the Cultivation of Joy' by Mantak Chia.


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