This preparatory meditation works as a cleanse of the organs and internal body. Using the human smile as a connection to inner healing for health, happiness and longevity. By focusing our smiling energy into the physical and emotional body we can learn how to enhance positive emotions, lessen excessive negative emotions and cleanse the organs to aid inner Qi flow.
Benefits of the Inner Smile Practice
- Dissolves blockages of Qi
- Transforms negative emotions into positive
- Learn to love and accept ourselves
- Learn to love and accept others
- Helps to reduce stress
- Kick starts the parasympathetic nervous system
- Enhances relaxation and mental calm
- Helps ease physical and mental tension
- Develops greater sensitivity to our bodies and heightened awareness
- Promotes self heal
- Helps melt negative thoughts and patterns rather than attacking and controlling them
- View this article on ‘Why smile to the organs‘
Guided Meditation Practice
This Taoist practice is available as a downloadable MP3 file and an accompanying handout.
The Inner Smile Practice
Levels of the Inner Smile
2) Smiling down the front line – organs and glands
3) Smiling down the mid line – digestive system
4) Smiling down the back line – brain and spinal cord
5) Storing Qi in the Dantian
How to Achieve the Inner Smile
Wear clothes so that you don’t become cold and avoid sitting in a draught. Complete the preparatory exercises to stimulate Qi flow as discussed at the beginning of this paper.
2) Sitting Position
Sit on edge of chair, feet flat, back straight, relaxed, hands together palms touching, right hand on top, left hand on bottom.
Close your eyes and mouth gently, breathe through the nose and place the tongue on the roof of the mouth as discussed at the beginning of this paper. Notice the connection between your feet and the ground, becoming aware of earth energy. Surround yourself with a coloured mist of warmth and love, taking your mind to your favourite place to create your own smiling energy.
Use abdominal breathing into the lower Dantian, the focus should not be on the breathe, rather the process of the meditation. Breathing can be natural.
5) The Front Line (Organs and Glands)
Focus your mind on the location between your eyebrows, known as the third eye. Relax your forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth, jaw. Smile into your third eye accumulating smiling energy to begin the meditation.
The Thymus Gland/Heart
Action: Smile down to your upper sternum. Imagine this area filled with warmth and light and blossoming like a flower.
The Heart (Opening the Heart Fire to burn out the negative and fuel positive vitality)
Action: Smile down like water cascading to your heart. Imagine this area filling with feelings of love, like a fire burning in your heart. Fill the heart with the colour red, breathing a red mist of love and light into the heart. Imagine the heart strengthening and being nourished. As you breathe out imagine that your heart is burning out all the negative emotions, exhaling a red mist and getting rid of the negative emotions. When you feel the heart has expanded with love and joy, it will blossom like a flower releasing a fragrance. When you feel the heart blossom, open the fingers outward like a flower. When the heart is relaxed and warm continue on.
Inner Smile Hand Position: raise hands, palms together facing the heart, thumbs resting softly on the body by the heart.
Positive characteristics: love, joy, happiness
Negative characteristics: impatience, cruelty, arrogance, hate
Taoist Associations: Fire element, colour red, number 9, south
Action: Smile down to the lungs. Filling the lungs with the colour white, inhaling a white mist into the lungs as they expand with courage and bravery. As with the heart fill the lungs with love and thank them.
Inner Smile Hand Position: Hold the palms over the rib cage on either side with the palms facing the body
Positive characteristics: courage, righteousness
Negative characteristics: fear, depression, sadness, loneliness, sorrow
Taoist Associations: Metal element, colour white, number 6 & 7, west and north west
Action: Smile down to the liver, filling it with kindness and the colour green. Thank you liver for all of the hard work it does for your body. Breathe in a green mist into the liver area and exhale anger and hate, letting the emotions be released as you breathe out.
Inner Smile Hand Position: Hold the palms over the right hand side of the body, below the ribs over the liver area
Positive characteristics: Kindness, generosity, patience
Negative characteristics: Anger, jealousy, frustration, envy
Taoist Associations: Wood element, colour green, number 3 & 4, east and south east
The Pancreas, Spleen & Stomach
Action: Smile down to the pancreas, spleen and stomach by the lower left of your ribcage, filling with love and the colour yellow. Imagine the function of the pancreas, spleen and stomach working easily and thank them for their hard work in maintaining a healthy digestion. Breathe in a golden yellow mist into these areas in your body and exhale
Inner Smile Hand Position: Hover your hands palms facing the body on lower left of your ribcage
Positive characteristics: Openness, justice, fairness, trust
Negative characteristics: Brooding, mistrust, worry, anxiety
Taoist Associations: Earth element, colour yellow, number 2, 5 & 8, centre, north east, south west
The Kidneys & Adrenals
Action: Smile down to both kidneys and your adrenal glands just below your ribcage on the lower back. Fill them with love and thank them for the work they do in your body. Imagine a blue light filling your kidneys and exhale a blue mist to dispel negative emotions.
Inner Smile Hand Position: With palms facing your body, cover your kidney area on each side with each hand
Positive Characteristics: Gentleness, generosity, calmness, silence
Negative Characteristics: Fear, isolation, insecurity
Taoist Associations: Water element, colour black and dark blue, number 1, north
6) Smile Down
Continue smiling warmth and love down into the; bladder, genitals, and perineum.
7) The Mid Line (Digestive System)
Bring the smile back up to your third eye and then into your mouth. Encourage saliva production by moving your tongue around. Put your tongue to the top of your palate, tense your neck and swallow with a gulp. As your salvia goes down use your mind to follow it down towards your navel. Smile into your intestines and rectum.
8) The Back Line (Brain & Spinal Cord)
Bring the smile back up to your third eye and then to just below the pituitary gland, the thalamus gland and the pineal gland. Move onto the left and right brain, moving the focus of your smile between the two. Then move your smile into the middle of the brain and into the spine. Mentally move the smile down through each vertebra until the base point of the spine (coccyx).
9) Store Qi in the Lower Dantian
The lower Dantian is located about 1.5 inches behind the navel and about 1 inch lower than the navel. This is where Qi is stored in the body, known as the energy centre or powerhouse. The practice of the Inner Smile cultivates positive Qi, at the end of the meditation session, you collect the Qi into the Dantian to help sustain your own life force. First of all smile down to the Dantian and using clasped hands move them in a circular motion outward 36 times around the navel area. Men go in a clockwise circle and women in an anticlockwise circle. The second part is to move them in the opposite direction 24 times. This part must not be forgotten, as Qi can cause ill effects if not stored in the lower Dantian correctly. Only to be done at the end of the meditation, if the inner smile is used as a preliminary mediation to the microcosmic orbit, this technique is used after the microcosmic orbit.
Instructor Nicola is a Taoist Healing Therapist, offering individual guidance and tuition to students globally. She will guide you through the foundation stages of these ancient Taoist meditation practices, working with you as an individual at your own pace. Choose a time and date that is convenient to your lifestyle, and take one hour out of your working week to give your mind and body a healing boost.
Using Zoom or Facebook video call, set yourself up in a space in the home where you will not be disturbed. Bring a chair into this space, wear loose fitting clothes and avoid sitting in a draught or near a window/door. Nicola will talk you through the concept of Taoist Meditation and lead you through each stage whilst you relax and go within the internal body. Leaving you feeling more grounded, relaxed, less stressed and more in touch with positive emotions.
Please note that the Taoist practices are not a replacement for conventional medical treatment. Please seek advice from your GP before commencing any movement or stillness practices.