Smile into the Body

This is a brief sitting practice that can take place in as little as 5-10 minutes per day.  You may find that your mornings are the most beneficial time and your day serves you best after meditation, or perhaps it is the end of the day when a gentle unwinding prepares you for slumber.  Take note of when your mind and body feel the most tense or anxious, and incorporate this practice into that part of your day.

1. Sit Quietly.    

Begin by finding a quiet space to sit.  Get comfortable in a dignified sitting posture- sitting up straight in a chair, seated on the floor half lotus, seated on a pillow.  Sit up straight, legs folded in half lotus or resting evenly on the floor below your chair.  

2. Join Hands

Place your hands on your lap and join them with thumbs touching and fingers of one hand resting on top the fingers on the other hand.  The bottom of your hands are touching your legs and your palms face up.

3. Focus on Breathing

Let each breath flow on its own.  Allow the body to breathe in its own rhythm without trying to control the length, speed, or depth.  Pay attention to the life of your breath and the power it brings as it comes and goes.

4. Gentle Smile

After a few minutes of breathing and enjoying your own unique rhythm, allow a gentle smile to grow arise on your face. Notice how your facial muscles soften and how breath by breath, this softness and relaxing of the muscles moves into every cell of your body.  

5. Simply Be

Sit with your smiling breath and feel your whole body shift into a soft, gentle smile.  Allow any thoughts to pass by you like a cloud in the sky.  Simply 'be' moment by moment until you feel a deep sense of calm and a refreshed sense of self.