During last night’s zhan zhuang session I just couldn’t seem to settle. I was feeling tension in my calves and thighs. My mind was wandering around jumping from thought to thought. I stood with eyes open and eyes closed. Nothing seemed to work for me until I remembered a technique one of my taiji/meditation buddy told me about. It’s called the Inner Smile.
What is the Inner Smile?
“In ancient China, the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile, a smile to oneself, insured health, happiness and longevity. Why? 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
— Source: The Inner Smile Meditation Technique
So I gave it a shot. I changed my gaze to be directed just slightly over the tip of my nose. In doing so, I felt the muscles around my eyes relaxed. Then I closed my eyes for a couple of breaths. Slowly, I raised the corners of my mouth until I felt a slight “Inner Smile”.
It was amazing! The minute I did this, I felt like a rush of energy starting at the corners of my mouth spread through the back of my head then down my whole body. It was like everything was connected. I was able to feel the energy expand to my toes and my fingertips. In this state, I was able to sense how much tension I carried around in my ankles and wrists. As I held the Inner Smile, I melted away the tension.