The inner smile

I was deeply fascinated by Taoism in my teens and read all I could find, did tai chi and chigong, and also used many of the practices described by Mantak Chia in his books.

One of these, and perhaps my favorite, was the inner smile.

I am now drawn to it again, and am reminded of how much I enjoy it and how transformative it can be.

Here is the brief description, as I remember it:

Smile in your mind to each of the organs and systems in your body. Smile to the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, brain, brain stem, nervous system, lungs, heart, kidneys, and so on. Take time with each one. Do this is the morning, and later in the day if you are drawn to it.

This is a heart-centered practice that helps shift how we relate to our body, and I notice how it shifts how I relate to myself and life in general. Knowing that mind and body are aspects of the same seamless system, it most likely also supports our health.

Inner smile

The inner smile is a very simple exercise from Taoist yoga. (See the link for more details.)

When I do it, I notice a shift into holding my body in kindness and well-wishing, and this then naturally flows into the whole of my human self, any situation I am in, and others.

My personality may not like characteristics of my body or human self, or particular situations or people, but it doesn’t touch the kindness and well-wishing there for them.

The inner smile invites in an open heart, open for whatever is happening.

From a rigid view, ambivalent heart, reactive emotions, and general contraction, tension and identification with stories, there is a shift into a more fluid view, open heart, nurturing fullness, relaxation and a softening of identification with stories.

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