A guide to the foundational practice of “smiling to the organs” to promote deep relaxation and internal health
• Presents exercises that dissolve the physical and mental tensions that can cause energy blockages and unhealthy chi flow
• Shows how to recognize illness at its inception on the organ level and how to balance the emotions to heal it
The Inner Smile is a practice that focuses gratitude and joy on the internal organs to resolve the physical and mental tensions that can lead to illness. In Taoism negative emotions--anger, sadness, depression, fear, and worry--are seen as low-grade energy that causes chronic disease and steals our major life force by creating energy blockages. Master Mantak Chia shows that the internal awareness produced by the simple yet powerful Inner Smile meditation practice flushes the organs of poisonous negative energy that may be blocking chi energy flow in order to nourish the entire body.
Just as a genuine outer smile transmits positive energy and has the power to warm and heal, an inner smile produces a high grade of energy that promotes powerful internal healing, deep relaxation, happiness, and longevity. Smiling to the organs and thanking them for the work they do helps to reawaken the intelligence of the body, which, once activated, can dissipate emotional imbalances and inner disharmony before serious illness manifests.
In Taoism we regard the negative emotions as low-grade energy. Many people operate their lives in anger, sadness, depression, fear, worry, and other kinds of negative energy. These types of energy are bound to cause chronic disease and to steal our major life force. The Inner Smile is the true smile for all parts of the body, including all the organs, glands, and muscles, as well as the nervous system. It wiIl produce a high grade of energy that can heal and eventually be transformed into an even higher grade of energy. A genuine smile transmits loving energy, which has the power to warm and heal. Just recall a time when you were upset or physically ill and someone, perhaps a stranger, gave you a big smile--and suddenly you felt better. In ancient China, the Taoist masters recognized the power of smiling energy. They practiced an Inner Smile to themselves, which moved chi energy and produced a high grade of chi, and achieved health, happiness, and longevity. Smiling to oneself is like basking in love, and love can repair and rejuvenate. The Inner Smile directs smiling energy into our organs and glands, which are so vital to life. Ironically, although we often pay a great deal of attention to our outer appearance, very few of us are aware of our inner organs and glands: what they look like, where they’re located, or what their functions are. Worse yet, we are insensitive to the subtle warnings they send us when we mistreat them with poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles. If we’re acquainted with our organs and glands, appreciate what they do, and learn to hear their messages, they will reward us with relaxation and vitality.
The Inner Smile Practice Smiling Down to the Organs--the Front Line
1. Relax your forehead. You can imagine meeting someone you love or seeing a beautiful sight. Allow the bliss of that love and beauty to enter your forehead and expand into a pleasurable glow, soothing away the tension and strain you may be holding around your eyes. Feel that smiling energy in your eyes.
2. Allow that smiling energy to flow to the midpoint between your eyebrows. Let it flow into the nose, then the cheeks. Feel it relaxing the facial skin, then going deep inside the face muscles; feel it warming your whole face. Let it flow into the mouth and slightly lift up the corners of the mouth. Let it flow into the tongue. Float the tip of the tongue. Then put your tongue up to the roof of the mouth and leave it there for the rest of the practice; this connects the two major channels of energy, the Governor and the Functional. Bring the smiling energy to the jaw. Feel the jaw releasing the tension that you commonly hold there.
3. Smile into your neck and throat, also common areas of tension. Although the neck is narrow, it is a major thoroughfare for most of the systems of the body. Air, food, blood, hormones, and signals from the nervous system all travel up and down the neck . When we are stressed, the systems are overworked; the neck is jammed with activity, and we get a stiff neck. Be like the Taoist masters and think of your neck as a turtle’s neck--let it sink down into its shell and let it rest from the burden of holding up your heavy head. Smile into your neck and feel the energy opening your throat and melting away the tension.
4. Smile into the front part of your neck, the throat, where the thyroid and parathyroid glands are. This is the seat of your power to speak, and when it is stuck, the chi cannot flow. When it is tense and held back, you cannot express yourself. You will be cowardly in your interactions and frightened in front of a crowd, and your communications will break down. Smile down to the thyroid gland and feel the throat open, like a flower blossom.
5. Let the energy of the smile flow down to the thymus gland, the seat of fire, the seat of chi, and the seat of healing energy. Smile down into it, feel it start to soften and moisten. Feel it grow bigger, like a flower bulb, and gradually blossom. Feel the fragrance of warm energy and healing chi flow out and down to the heart.
6. Let the smiling energy flow into your heart, which is the size of a fist and is located a little to the left of the center of the chest. The heart is the seat of love, the seat of compassion, the seat of honest respect, and the seat of joy. Feel the heart, like a bulb, gradually blossom and send the fragrant warmth of chi love, joy, and compassion radiating throughout all the organs from the pumping of the heart. Let the smile energy fill your heart with joy. Thank your heart for its constant and essential work in pumping blood at the right pressure to circulate throughout your body. Feel it open and relax as it works more easily.
A student of several Taoist masters, Mantak Chia founded the Healing Tao System in North America in 1979 and developed it worldwide as European Tao Yoga and Universal Healing Tao. He has taught and certified tens of thousands of students and instructors from all over the world and tours the United States annually, giving workshops and lectures. He is the director of the Tao Garden Health Spa and the Universal Healing Tao training center in northern Thailand and is the author of 50 books, including Taoist Foreplay, Inner Smile, Cosmic Fusion, Sexual Reflexology, and the bestselling The Multi-Orgasmic Man.
" . . . a positive force that can be used to redirect the inner strife, or dis-ease, within one's body. . . . The Inner Smile is a slim book that covers a lot of ground and should be recognized as a laudable effort to take concepts which are vast and significant and make them accessible to all."
– Barbara Bamberger Scott, Curled Up with a Good Book, Oct 2008