1. Inner smile
The meditation of the Inner Smile is a main component of Taoist practice. There are more than three hundred muscles in our face. When we are angry or anxious, or brooding and worrying, these muscles tense up. This facial muscle tension causes tension throughout the body, our breathing becomes shallow and our nervous system is also very stressed.
When we smile, the tension in the muscles of the face and the whole body is instantly released. The breath becomes calm and even and we feel much better. Such a smile can spontaneously evoke a feeling of joy.
A consciously produced smile with the intention of giving ourselves affection and loving ourselves, this is where the meditation of the Inner Smile begins. Through practice we can consciously create a state of deep relaxation and inner harmony within ourselves. To do this, we direct the smiling energy from our eyes inwards, through the whole body, with the help of our attention. We smile into the glands, into the organs, into our brain and into our bones. In this way we come into deep, loving contact with our body in a benevolent way. Tensions are released, the immune system is strengthened, the positive emotions associated with the respective organ are increased; love and joy, for example, grow in our heart. The heart can lead the overflowing love into our entire body, into every single cell. When we smile inwardly like this, we bring fresh energy into our system and organs, it has a healing and rejuvenating effect.
The meditation of the inner smile is practised at the beginning of each meditation of the Universal Tao. It will be practised over time. With time of practice it becomes more and more an inner basic attitude: to meet ourselves and the world we live in with respect and love in every situation.
(Rainer Semlin / 2004)