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Monday, September 12, 2011

Inner Smile Meditation

This week's meditation is in honor to our inner bodies and the wonderful organs that reside there. It's origins are in Taoism an Ancient Chinese philosophy.

"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, Taoist Master

You can practice the inner smile meditation any time, anywhere, even when you are waiting in line at the grocery store. It can be particularly beneficial if you notice any disharmony in your body, and it is a good exercise to strengthen your connection to it.

  1. Promotes awareness of your internal body and organs
  2. Prevents illness
  3. Promotes healing
Remember in the movie Eat, Pray, Love when Ketut tells Julia Roberts, "To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile to your Liver."? That was such a powerful line to me. It made me realize that yes, even your organs can "smile" if they are happy and loved, and it's up to us to provide that happiness, health and love.

1. Preparation You may want to look over an anatomy book or website to remind yourself where particular organs are in your body and what functions they serve.

2. Sit Comfortably near the edge of a chair with feet flat on the floor

3. Imagine and visualize a source of smiling energy about three feet in front of you. (This can be an image of your own smiling face or of someone or something you love and respect. It could be a ball of radiant light or a plant.)

4. Let It Flow Allow the smiling energy to accumulate between your eyebrows and flow down through your face, neck. and into the space behind your sternum. Picture it glowing and full of vibrant health.

5. Expand Your Heart Center Feel the stream of smiling energy flow down into your heart. Feel your heart expand with love and happiness. Radiate the love from your heart to your lungs. Breathe in the smile, feel your lungs fill with life sustaining breath.

6. Share the Love Now smile into your other organs - the liver on the right side, just below the rib cage; your kidneys in your lower back; your stomach and pancreas.

7. Feel Gratitude Thank these organs for their hard work and effectiveness.

8. Visualize Continue sending this smiling energy to any other area in your body. Wherever you feel tightness, discomfort, pain or unease, use your smile to soften those areas. Even if some of these organs are suffering, envision them healthy and functioning smoothly.

9. Keep It End by storing the smiling energy in your navel area, about 3 cm inside your body. See if you can access this smiling energy throughout the day when you notice something making you tense (traffic, a rude person, a headstrong child). Know that this energy is always there for you to access.

We can't all be in Bali looking like Julia Roberts (and sitting this straight), but we can all smile . . . even to our livers.

This meditation was adapted from Madonna Gauding's book, The Meditation Bible.

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