This is an excellent exercise for healing physical problems. It is also very good preventative medicine. As you become more familiar with it you’ll find that you can do it in the midst of daily activities. It’s easy and pleasurable. The most difficult thing is remembering to do it when you need it.
Smile a genuine warm, happy smile. Do it right now as you are reading this. Feel the sensations around your eyes. You don’t only smile with your mouth. You smile with your eyes. Recognise the feeling around your eyes. They may seem light, twinkly, quick-moving, warm, humorous, spacious, crystal-like. People describe the feeling in different ways.
Once you have contacted the sense of the smiling, bring that feeling into your cheeks and jaw. Imagine you are smiling down through your face. Feel the muscles relaxing. Then smile down into your throat. Spend a few moments there, smiling and relaxing and then move down to your heart. At each point rest for a few breaths and smile a warm friendly feeling into the area. It may help you to imagine a smile in the area itself beaming back at you. It’s not so important to relax an area as to come to a warm loving acceptance of whatever is taking place there. Don’t linger too long if a tension doesn’t want to let go. Just move on to the next point.
Smile into the heart and the circulating blood. Imagine thousands of little smiles travelling all through the body. Smile into the lungs. Feel the smile moving with the breathing. Then smile into the other major organs; the liver, the pancreas and spleen, the kidneys and the adrenal, then the bladder and lastly the genital area. This sequence is called smiling down the front line.
If at any point you lose the feeling of lightness or goodness, then return to your eyes. Physically smile a real smile. Recontact the feeling and continue where you left off.
When you have finished the front line then return to the eyes and smile your way down the middle line. Make friends with your digestive system. Begin with the eyes. Then smile into your mouth, tongue, and throat. You may experience saliva forming. Take a big swallow and imagine the saliva as a present of bubbly smile-essence being sent down to the stomach. Smile warmly into the stomach; a great big belly smile. Spend a little time here before moving on. Now smile down through the intestines, into the rectum and finish with the anus. This last bit will improve the ability to absorb nutriment and will help heal any problems connected with elimination.
Return to the eyes and recontact the feeling of the smile. Now smile warmly down the back line. Direct the smile to the right or lef side of the brain. Smile in there for a while and then go to the other side. Then smile into the middle of the head to warm the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus gland areas. Then slowly smile your way down the spine, if possible, one vertebra at a time until you come to the base of the spine.
Lastly, return to the eyes and smile your way down all three lines simultaneously
At the beginning, don’t worry if you can’t complete the whole process in one siting. If you find an area particularly interesting then stay there as long as you like. If it is not so interesting, then move on after a few breaths. Eventually you will find that you can smile through the whole body quite quickly with noticeable effect. The whole point of this work is to develop a warm smiling acceptance of whatever is going on in the body. This acceptance often leads to the dissolution of tensions.
This meditation was inspired by the work of Mantak Chia, and is excerpted from Meditative First Aid by Tarchin Hearn, you can download or read online the whole booklet here: https://www.wangapeka.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/EbookMeditativeFirstAid.pdf
Banner image by Alex Grey, to see the whole image and his other art please visit his highly recommended website by clicking here: http://alexgrey.com/art/paintings/soul/sunyata/