Week 4 — You can smile like Buddha
I occasionally attend Linda Palmason’s meditation class. Today she shared this short excerpt from Tara Brach’s “True Refuge”.
“In many statues and pictures, the Buddha is depicted with a slight smile. Research now shows that even a small smile relaxes our reactivity and inclines us toward feelings of ease and well-being. This short reflection can be done during a formal meditation or at any time during the day.
Close your eyes, take a few full breaths, and with each exhale sense a letting go of tension, a softening and relaxing of the body. Imagine a smile spreading through your eyes, gently uplifting the corners and softening the flesh around them. Feel a real yet slight smile at the mouth and also sense the inside of the mouth smiling. Relaxing the jaw, notice the sensations that arise through the mouth and cheek area.
Imagine smiling into the heart. Sense the smile spreading through the heart and chest, creating space for whatever you might be feeling. Allow the sensations and feeling in the heart area to float in this tender space.
Imagine smiling into the navel area, letting the curve of a smile spread through the belly, softening any tension there. Notice awareness awakening deep inside the torso.
Now imagine the atmosphere of a smile enlarging to include your whole body. Take a few more full breaths, sensing the aliveness that fills your entire body held in the openness of a smile. Rest for as long as you like in that felt sense of aliveness and openness.”