By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
How can smiling meditation techniques help you? Which comes first, the happiness or the smile? Most people will respond that happiness comes first, and that it is the catalyst for the smile, which sometimes follows.
When was the last time you mindfully smiled? Many people have never done this on purpose before, but this is a powerful meditation that can be performed anywhere, with no equipment needed. One may feel free to continue going through their day normally, while doing this meditation – making it a great option during a workday.
How to Practice Smiling Meditation Techniques
The meditation is simple to perform. Wherever you happen to be, start smiling. This smile doesn’t need to be overly large, toothy or wide – though it certainly can be, if you like. Feel the corners of the mouth turn gently upward and feel the muscles of the face stretch. If one is very unused to smiling this way, the stretching will feel more pronounced for the first couple of times. Hold that smile and take a few deep, conscious breaths. Now at this point, look around and mentally note that everything that is – is. By smiling, you are accepting everything around you; no questions asked. Everything that is within this smiling moment is loved and accepted; and in this state; there is no resistance or irritation – there is only peace.
The smiling meditation is so powerful because it non-verbally projects acceptance into the external world. In addition, a smile is a constant nod to the ego, that false unhappy self. The smile says that nothing which happens in this moment really has an impact on what truly matters. The smile is warm and compassionate. It smiles at the antics of the ego and fully accepts it as one of the many things that exist here in this moment. The smile serves as a reminder that the ego is a separate entity from the true self, which is the one observing the ego and kindly accepting it. This is self love – that is not selfish or self-centered.
Smiling Meditation Summary
Many people feel uncomfortable with the concept of caring for one’s self, mistakenly thinking that this is an ego driven concept. In my teaching experience it is not at all. Many people default to poor self-esteem as a natural part of daily life. These natural negative thinking patterns have to be reprogrammed in order for people to enjoy their lives. Only the true self is capable of extending grace and compassion, with no thought of gaining anything in return. In order to honestly extend compassion and love towards others, we must first extend it to ourselves.
So today, make it your meditation to mindfully smile. Smile, and see how long it takes for the practice to impact the world around you.
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