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Meditation

Walking Meditation for Kids: Doing It the Right Way

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“But mum, I’m bored. Can’t I just play on the X-box instead?” Yes, that’s what Jason, my son, always said before we’d go for our daily dose of a walking meditation. Until I realized that I was doing it all wrong. So, how do you introduce walking meditation for kids?

Meditation is a way of achieving mental clarity and emotional calmness through focusing the mind on a particular thought or activity. It dates back to India, as early as 1500BCE among the Buddhists. This tradition has now gained momentum among most cultures as the benefits have proven to be way too many.

Other Common Types of Meditation

Body scan or progressive relaxation

Guided Visualization

Mindfulness meditation

Breath awareness meditation

Kundalini yoga

Zen meditation

Metta meditation

Transcendental meditation

I prefer the walking meditation since it is easy to learn and apply with the little ones. Because the current generation has grown up hooked to gadgets and the Internet which have had adverse effects on them, we need to correct that. The ‘Television Nanny’ for instance has robbed kids of their innocence at such a young age. There is no better way to heal and correct this situation than introducing them to meditation.

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First and foremost, walking meditation for kids is one of the easiest forms that children can start with. Since walking is the main technique of achieving focus here, it should be easier for kids as young as 2 years to master. My little Jason picked it up after just two weeks of practice.

How to Perform Walking Meditation for Kids

This is best practiced in a quiet place free from any distractions to enhance mental calmness and emotional awareness. We do it in the park when traffic is minimal. It is easier for the kids to achieve calmness and harmony within a short span if well guided. And they also enjoy the cool breeze, vegetation, and everything else that nature has to offer. Encourage them to take off your footwear for optimum experience. Remember that the goal is to achieve calmness and total awareness.

Now take slow relaxed breaths together and help your young one do so. Our usual routine starts by momentarily closing our eyes and enjoying the air as we breathe. I then ask my boy how or what he is feeling at that moment.

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At the back of your mind try to answer the following question during this meditation period: “Is the child now aware of their immediate surrounding? Do they notice any calming effect?” And you can also ask them directly if they are old enough to understand.

Guide your loved one in making slow informed steps. Do not rush it. Step by step walk with them and teach them to feel the pressure on their feet. Does the child feel it? That is how you can tell for sure if you are in this together.

Moreover, children will live for the simple interesting things. Make the process fun. Jason and I sing Sponge Bob Squarepants’songs while at it. And he loves it. Kids are more likely attracted to fun activities. And if you could integrate a little fun into meditation then you sure will win over your little one.

A Gentle Reminder

With kids, you need to constantly check that the little one is alert and present in the moment. Take a ‘royal stroll’ with more slow steps and feel the inner you. What is the child feeling? Ask them. Can he/she feel as they lift their leg off the earth?

mother and daughter walk

Their attention naturally might wander off at times. But hey, do not scorn them. They are just kids. Monitor them and help them back to the present moment whether they have been away for ten minutes or just a second. Just like training a puppy. Well, except this puppy is your adorable sweet little angel. Do this for thirty to forty minutes. But after some time you can integrate this meditation into simple activities such as errands or your usual walk to the mall. If you make it fun the kid should find it easy doing it on their own.

Simple Meditation Techniques for Kids

So how then do you get your child to take onto meditation? It is not an easy task at first but once they pick it up then it should be a ride in the park. The following strategies did the trick for me:

  1. Keep it Simple. Philosophy is not a field any kid will venture into. At their age, they do not need to understand the complexities and modus operandi of meditation. I noticed that relating the walk with the simple surrounding improved focus.
  2. Curiosity. Kids are by far the most curious creatures. Frequently asking my son how he feels strengthens our bond and he is less bored.
  3. Do not compel them into it. Yes, let them be. My son was not into meditation initially but I realized that forcing him was not the best option but rather working together as a team. I stepped down to his level, just a little bit, and that worked for me.
  4. Make it a norm. We have made it a habit to meditate every Friday and Saturday evening. I was surprised that he still meditates even when I’m not around.
  5. Nature Watch. This is the beauty of it all. Ask them what they see. Visualize the experience. Not a minute passes without my boy asking me to name a certain bird or just random objects. “Mom look, that parrot is pecking at us.”
  6. Chant and sing. Recite mantras and sing their favorite play songs. This takes the monotony out of the whole walking meditation for kids.

Benefits of Walking Meditation for Kids

  1. Meditation helps reduce anxiety and hyperactivity among children. They are better equipped at dealing with stress and handling other situations in life. Studies have shown that children exposed to meditation at a prime age grow into healthier adults.
  2. Brain development. Meditation helps kids mature mentally and even their concentration span is increased. My son’s performance in class has steadily shot up and I have meditation to thank.
  3. Self-control. Meditation has an effect of turning kids into fully grown rational individuals. Chances of them making asinine decisions or actions for that matter are almost impossible.
  4. Self-esteem. Children attach a greater sense of self-worth and even associate more openly with their parents. We relate more closely with my son than we did before.
  5. Reduced panic disorder. Children who meditate are better equipped at handling whatever difficult situations they may face in life.
  6. Children who meditate handle pain better and also mentally strong thus decision making is no tall order for them.

In Conclusion

I started meditation with my boy when he was 6years and seeing the many perks I only wish I’d have started earlier. However, kids will not always respond positively to meditation at first but be sure to take them at a friendly pace and soon enough they will pick up. Walking meditation for kids is one of the simplest forms of meditation and if done properly the outcome won’t disappoint you.


Rachel is a mom of two boys, a wife, and a part-time chef. By trying and testing new parenting trends she takes her motherhood to the next level! She finds that she processes things better when she writes about them, which has unleashed her passion for sharing her thoughts on life and parenting through her articles for SOLANCHA Magazine.

Meditation

Deep Meditation: 5 Easy Steps To Transcendental Experience

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No other practice can do more to bring us personal freedom in our daily life than deep meditation. It brings us to eternal and unshakable inner silence and expands our experience of life to be unending happiness, joy, and bliss.

In this article, I will share with you what deep meditation is and how you can start this transcendental practice.

The Essence Of Deep Meditation

To dive deeper into the essence of deep meditation, I will answer the most common questions the beginners usually ask.

What Is Deep Meditation?

Deep meditation is a mental practice that transfers your mind from surface awareness to subtle awareness, and ultimately to no awareness. During this practice, your mind travels through the various degrees of awareness and your body becomes calm and relaxed.

What Is The Difference Between Deep Meditation And Regular Meditation?

Regular meditation is characterized by focused attention and relatively short periods of mental silence. Whereas deep meditation focuses and directs the energy of a person in a special way – it goes beyond the physical consciousness and allows you to achieve complete silence in your thoughts.

The main distinguishing feature of deep meditation compared to regular meditation is that the final state of deep meditation excludes the presence of an object.

What Meditation Practices Are Considered Deep Meditations?

A good example of deep meditation is Shikantaza. This is a sitting meditation in the Buddhist tradition. It is designed to train pure perception. Shikantaza doesn’t involve concentrating on an object, such as your breath or a mantra. It is an “objectless meditation,” where you focus on everything you experience – thoughts, sounds, feelings – without attaching to any of them.

Another great example is the Nadabrahma. This is a so-called “humming meditation”. Through humming and hand movements, conflicting parts of you start falling in tune, and you bring harmony to your whole being. Then, with body and mind totally together, you “slip out of their hold” and become a witness to both. This observation from the outside is what brings peace, silence, and bliss.

What Are The Benefits Of Deep Meditation?

The practice of deep meditation can help you to:

  1. Raise your vibrations;
  2. Gain a sense of oneness with the whole world;
  3. Recognize and feel the energetic nature of the world;
  4. Develop empathy, compassion, and love;
  5. Go beyond time;
  6. Hear the voice of your intuition;
  7. Gain access to the field of unlimited Universal potential;
  8. Learn to communicate with spirit guides;
  9. Go beyond your own body;
  10. Reconnect with your Higher Self;
  11. Recharge your energy body;
  12. Cleanse your aura;
  13. Become more loving, joyful, calm, and grateful;
  14. Renew the lost interest in life;
  15. Heal the body and calm the mind;
  16. Rejuvenate the cells;
  17. Get rid of anxiety and fears;
  18. Calm down and become more balanced and peaceful;
  19. Increase your concentration abilities;
  20. Discover your purpose in life and open up your inner poterntial.

5 Steps To Deepen Your Meditation

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#1: Define Your Intention

Deep meditation requires setting your intention for the practice. Your motivation is the fuel for your daily efforts. Formulate your intention before you begin your journey into the mysterious world of deep meditation.

Ask yourself, why do you want to meditate? Is your goal to just relax and calm your mind or you want to go farther and achieve spiritual transformation? Find an honest answer and stick with this intention. Remember that success in meditation practice depends on your commitment and consistency!

#2: Determine the Time

It is very important to determine what time suits best for your meditation practices. Some people like to meditate during Brahma Muhurta time, others are getting the maximum benefit from the evening practices. There is no “right” time for meditation since it’s very individual. Choose a period of time when no one can distract you. Disconnect from the outside world to hear the inner silence.

#3: Create a Calm Atmosphere

Be sure to prepare for practice – it’s like a warm-up before a workout in the gym. Ventilate the room, close the curtains, or dim the electric lighting. It is good to light candles, they will help create a meditative atmosphere.

#4: Use Incense And Essential Oils

Incense has been used for centuries in spiritual practices of different cultures. The essential oil of incense helps to clear and calm the mind, connect with your inner self.

Experiment with different scents and choose the one that responds to you. Here are some good options to start with:

Grapefruit aroma calms thoughts, eliminates emotional and energetical blocks, fills the mind with inspiration, and provokes creative impulses.

Lavender calms and balances the work of all energy centers (chakras) and subtle bodies, clarifies the mind, and promotes enlightenment. It is most often used for meditation practices.

Sandalwood grounds, immerses you in the “here and now” moment, sets up a deeply spiritual work.

Any of these essential oils can be used for burning in an essential oil burner or mixed with a base oil and applied to the temples, wrists, elbows, or feet.

#5: Take A Comfortable Body Position

Pay special attention to the position of the body during the practice. At first, it is not necessary to sit strictly in the Lotus position if you are uncomfortable, but if you sit on the sofa or lie in bed, you will not achieve good results in your meditation practice.

You can sit on a chair or a special meditation chair. Sit down so that your hips are parallel to the floor and your feet are firmly on the floor. It is important to feel the contact with the “ground”. Therefore, make sure that your feet are touching a solid surface.

Straighten your back. Pull the top of your head towards the sky, and lower your chin slightly. Place your tongue on the upper palate behind your front teeth. This is how you harmonize the circulation of energy along the energy meridians.

When you sit straight with your legs crossed, and your hands on your knees, energy can flow freely through the energy centers and meridians of your body. This position is perfect for deep meditation.

3 Keys To Deep Meditation

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Now that you know the essence and steps to deep meditation, let me share with you 3 important keys that will help you to achieve a deep state.

Key #1: Calm your body and mind

Before you start your meditation practice, sit down, give yourself a minute to remember the intention of your practice, and take several deep breaths. As you breathe, immerse yourself in the present moment. On the inhale, visualize how white light is filling up your body. On the exhale, feel how any pressures or worries are leaving your body and mind.

Key #2: Find a place of contentment and joy within yourself

Our brain is designed to seek pleasure and reject pain. Therefore, before you start practicing deep meditation, try finding a place of contentment and joy within yourself. Once your brain has received the message that you are safe and all is well, restlessness and anxiety naturally decrease.

To help your brain feel safe, you can repeat a positive affirmation, such as “Right here, right now, I feel happy and content.” Also, you can remind yourself of all the things you are grateful for.

Key #3: Focus And Concentration

For a successful deep meditation practice, it is essential to rediscover your focus. Rather than remaining attached to the past or worrying about the future, by focusing on the breath and going deeper and deeper into mindful awareness, we enjoy every gift and experience that’s available for us right now. As we are deepening our meditation, we are also training our minds to fully appreciate what is happening in the NOW moment. As we progress, the mind will be able to focus better, and with less effort.

Joy (piti) and happiness (sukha) are two of the five factors of meditative absorption (jhanna). The more you learn to open up and enjoy your meditation practice, the fewer reasons there are for the mind to get restless thinking of other things.

Finishing The Practice

Get out of your meditation gently, not hurriedly. Gently move your fingers and neck, and then open your eyes. Gentle transition helps you bring your meditative experience into your daily life.

Also, it is very beneficial for your practice to write a meditation journal. Each time after finishing your meditation, take some notes about how your practice went. Journaling develops a greater understanding of meditation experiences, feelings, and visions you may have during the practice.

The Bottom Line

Doing deep meditation is an excellent tool for immersing yourself in the present moment, relaxing our bodies, and clearing our minds. Deep meditation helps us to reconnect with our Higher Selves, unify with the Universal consciousness, and feel our Divine nature.

Main picture credit: https://www.instagram.com/limitlessmindgames


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Japa Meditation: Mysterious Journey Of Overcoming Inner Darkness

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Japa meditation is a powerful technique for focusing the mind and harnessing the subtle energies in completing the yogic path of self-transformation. According to the Kularnava Tantra: “Japa is so-called because it removes the sin accumulated in thousands of lives and because it reveals the Supreme Deity.” By the greatest “sin,” it means ignorance of our own true nature.

Japa meditation helps to produce positive mental tracks, helping us to gradually overcome spiritual darkness and reach enlightenment.

In this article, we will share with you what Japa meditation is, what its benefits are, and how to properly and effectively practice it.

What Is Japa Meditation?

Japa is a Sanskrit word which means the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. This practice found in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Shintoism.

The goal of Japa may vary depending on the mantra involved and the spiritual philosophy of the practitioner. In both, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, mantras are given to aspirants by their gurus, after some form of initiation. The stated goal could be moksha, nirvana, bhakti, or simple personal communion with divine power.

The repetitions of the mantra are counted using a string of beads known as a Japa mala. Many different types of materials can be used for Japa. The number of beads in the Japa mala is generally 108. Some people wear Japa beads around their neck, although some practitioners prefer to carry them in a bead-bag in order to keep them clean.

After long use of a mantra that is intended to achieve self-realization or connection with divine power, an individual may reach a state of ajapajapam when the mantra “repeats itself” in the mind.

Japa meditation is one of the most popular and basic techniques of meditation which is suitable for all beginners. However, it is recommended to start chanting mantras in the presence of a spiritual mentor.

Degrees Of Loudness In Japa Practice

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Japa may be performed in different degrees of loudness:

  • Vaikhari Japa is spoken loud enough so that, although this is not why it is so loud, nearby people can hear it recited. It may be useful when there are other sounds nearby or when concentration is difficult.
  • Upamshu Japa is said quietly, at a whisper. During such practice, the practitioner’s lips should barely move so it is difficult for an observer to see that anything is being said.
  • Manasika Japa is recited in the mind. Such practice is difficult to practice for those who are not already grounded in Vaikhari Japa practice.

As you can see, Japa can be practiced aloud, by whispering, or mentally. Mental recitation is considered to be the most powerful. Most beginners are taught to start with Vaikhari or alternate between loud and whispered recitation. Hearing the mantric sound gives the brain helpful feedback for staying mindful and focused. Mindfulness is the key to successful Japa meditation. Mindless recitation is unproductive and considered to be a waste of time.

The Essence Of Japa

All the systems of our organs are closely connected to each other, just as our soul is connected at one end to the brain and the material body, and at the other end to cosmic consciousness.

Certain words cause vibrations in matter and space that coincide with our own vibrations, so a person after meditation finds peace and harmony. Harmony is the main goal of meditation.

The term “harmony” came from music where multiple voices singing at the same time, create secondary vibrations – harmony. The same thing happens during meditation – the spirit excites vibrations that are close in frequency to those in its body and soul and forms a symphonic aura around itself – streams of energy.

Here is the simplest example of how vibrations can change our state. The sound of a bell or music box is soft and warm, and you can fall asleep to it, gradually dissolving into your thoughts. The sound of a car horn is sharp and disturbing because it’s based on dissonance – two incongruous sounds.

Every day we face the dissonance around us.

When a person in high spirits runs into an energy vampire or a negative person, a negative vibration that a negative person radiates does not hurt him, since his warm positive vibrations do not resonate with cold negativity. This is the dissonance that the Japa meditation practice helps to smooth out.

Stages Of Japa Journey

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According to practitioners and mentors, Japa practice is a fascinating journey, like a colored dream. Let’s examine this mysterious process in stages.

Stage 1

The first part of the journey is like a dream. Your consciousness gradually leaves the body, while the muscles still hold the pose.

Stage 2

The second stage occurs when the mind draws images. You can see silhouettes, colored clouds, and the shapes of animals or birds that often appear to newcomers after diving into practice.

Stage 3

The third stage is a deep dive. An adept of Japa clearly sees the difference between the material world and the spirit world. Contact with higher forces is established. There is no barrier between the mind and the astral world. You can travel through space, communicate with spirits, friends, or be in a deep trance, completely ignoring everything around you.

Stage 4

The fourth stage is the truth. Many beginners confuse it with spiritual awakening. All the impressions, emotions, and experiences of a person are imprinted inside him at one moment. This feeling fills him and gives him strength and calm. After receiving the Truth, you can either leave the spirit world or stay in it. The truth only visits a person once in a single session.

During the Japa meditation, a person with closed eyes reciting mantras. His focus is so strong that he cannot hear any extraneous sounds.

Scientists are puzzling over the answer to the question: who comes to people during Japa meditation? Why do rosaries work this way? Why do different types of wood provide different effects? But not everything lends itself to science and cold analysis. But Japa can only be understood by practicing it, fully believing in it, and being purified.

Who Can Practice Japa Meditation?

Japa meditation is suitable for both men and women, people at any age, regardless of whether they have any health problems and the kind of lifestyle they lead.

For some, it will be an unusual feeling, for some – salvation from the daily hustle and bustle. If you follow all the recommendations of the mentor, it will definitely not cause harm.

Japa Meditation Benefits

There are many benefits of Japa meditation you’ll discover once you start practicing it. Here are 6 of them:

  1. Improves concentration and focus – it utilizes multiple points of focus, such as the breath, the mantra, and the touch, and movement of the mala beads;
  2. Reduces stress and calms the mind by activating the slower brainwave states of Alpha (focus and learning), Theta (creativity and intuition), and Delta (healing and calming);
  3. Reduces blood pressure, slows down the heart rate, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke;
  4. Cultivates positive emotions, such as kindness, compassion, and empathy by activating the areas of the brain associated with these emotions;
  5. Reduces negative thoughts and improves mood – by reciting sacred Sanskrit syllables you replace negative thinking with new positive patterns in your mind;
  6. Increases shakti, inner power, and inner strength – by reciting mantras you establish a deep spiritual connection with your higher self and activate shakti energy.

Japa Practice

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When practicing Japa you need to be fully concentrated on the essence of the chosen mantra.

For your practice, you will need Japa Mala beads, preferably made of Tulasi or Neem trees (Shaivites use Mala beads made of Rudraksha). Hindus believed that these trees have a special energy and supernatural power.

The most common mantras used for Japa practice are:

OM (AUM)

This is a sacred sound that signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, consciousness, or Atman. The OM Mantra chanting produces the vibration that reduces stress and relaxes your body, normalizes your blood pressure, and slows down the heart rhythm. It purifies the environment around you and creates positive vibrations.

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

This is a very powerful mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva mantra brings changes in all spheres of human life, activating the energy of the Universe. Its practice has a beneficial effect on health, it purifies the aura and space around the person, and attracts positive energy.

The very process of chanting “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” calms the mind, stops thoughts, leads to Samadhi, and gives liberation. Unlike other mantras, giving temporary wealth, prosperity, siddhi, love, etc., Shiva Mantra bestows eternal good – Satchitananda (being/truth, knowledge/consciousness, bliss) and liberation.

OM MANI PADME HUM

This is the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

It is usually translated to mean “The Jewel Is In The Lotus”. The “jewel” is a pure state of mind, or enlightenment, while the “lotus” is a symbol for wisdom. This mantra reminds us that wisdom leads to enlightenment.

According to Buddhist traditions, reciting this mantra can help aid you on the path to enlightenment. The Dalai Lama consistently praises its power to purify the mind and cultivate inner wisdom.

HARE KRISHNA

The main benefit of this sacred mantra is that its regular listening and chanting clears the heart from negative emotions and from bad habits and lust.

Other important benefits of the Hare Krishna Mantra are:

  • it takes away all worries;
  • gives joy, happiness, harmony, and positive energy;
  • destroys evil and ignorance;
  • opens up new knowledge and wisdom;
  • takes away sorrow, sadness, and misfortune;
  • awakens love for all beings;
  • illuminates with light;
  • helps in the treatment of heart disease;
  • has a rejuvenating effect;
  • relieves addictions to intoxicating and narcotic substances.

The Text Of The Hare Krishna Mantra:

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE

Group Meditations

If there are people who are close to you in spirit, they can practice Japa meditation with you.

For a successful group meditation, all participants need to prepare properly. If even one person in 10 will be unprepared that will reduce the overall effectiveness of the session.

It is not necessary to be in the same room while practicing Japa group meditation, since physical contact is not a fundamental factor in this practice.

When practicing Japa group meditation, it is better to do it all together. However, if your group meditation includes experienced and beginners – you can try to chant in turn.

Do not be afraid – if your intentions are pure and your mind is open – the spirit and higher powers will certainly notice this and eventually will respond.

Contraindications

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Despite the fact that Japa meditation is absolutely safe, there could be negative spiritual and karmic consequences if you use this practice for:

  • selfish and egoistic interests or profit;
  • causing other people harm/evil.

If you have any difficulties in setting your intention for the practice or choosing the correct mantra, consult with a mentor, perhaps he will reduce the complexity of your mantras or advise easier practice.

How To Perform Japa Meditation

Do not listen to music, read books or magazines, or have serious conversations a few hours before a Japa meditation session. There is nothing wrong with the information itself, but the impressions it leaves can interfere with the process of clearing the mind or establishing contact with the higher consciousness.

To prepare for Japa meditation you need:

  • to relax;
  • turn off the light in the room;
  • take a comfortable pose;
  • fully focus your attention on the lightest moment in your life – in this state, the soul is maximally open and prepared for contact.

You can start reciting mantras by turning the Mala beads in your hands.

After completing the rite, do not break the connection abruptly. You need to say goodbye to the spirits and smoothly return to the material world. If you accidentally ended the session, it is better to go back and end it according to the rules.

Return to the next meditation only when the impressions of the previous one have faded, so as not to disturb the spirits too often. They also need rest.

If you’re chanting mantras out loud, make sure the sound of your voice will not be mistaken for aggression by the spirits. Your voice should express sincere joy and pure intentions.

Before practicing Japa meditation, consult with your mentor for compatibility of Japa with your astral body or with diseases that you have;

Do not rush and do not chase results. Keep your focus on practice and your feelings.

Mantra Chanting Rules:

  • do not touch the Mala beads with your left hand during mantra practice;
  • make sure your right hand is clean;
  • your index finger should not touch the Mala beads;
  • before performing the mantra chanting, you should take off your headdress;
  • you should not be distracted when chanting the mantra;
  • you can’t recite the mantra naked.

The Bottom Line

Just like for any spiritual practice you should commit to a few weeks of regular Japa meditation practice so you can experience the full results. Japa meditation can greatly build-up your life force with the help of the mantras but it also requires regular practice for the results to last. It is advisable to stay with one mantra, rather than jump from one to another, which would only dissipate the mantric energy. Keep your focus on your pure intention and remember that self-transformation is a journey rather than a final goal. Focus on the joy it brings and don’t chase the results!


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Inner Smile Meditation: Taoist Technique For Raising Your Vibration

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Regular practice of the Inner Smile meditation leads to calming the mind, developing concentration, getting rid of all types of depression, and creates a powerful healing and rejuvenating potential. This meditation is a powerful tool that helps transform negative emotional energies into positive virtues, higher vibration, improved health, and a more balanced person.

Tao and Smile

Tao practitioners have noted that the energy of a smile has a high and positive level of vibration. When we smile, joy and wellbeing radiate from our eyes and our energy feels soft and welcoming. Smiling is a universal language that extends compassion to others, without the need or use of words. An open smile offers positive energy and speaks directly to the hearts of others. When we radiate a genuine smile, it opens our Anahata chakra and stimulates warmth deep within us.

Taoists believe that when done consciously, smiling can be literally a healing practice. They have discovered that there is a connection between emotional energies and organ systems. They developed methods to transform negative emotions to positive from their practical and intuitive understanding of the human body. Many of the Taoist teachings are supported by observations and evidence from modern psychology and medicine.

Taoists believe in the power of healing energy generated from a smile. When we smile, our eyes transmit this energetic force outward to others. Similarly, when turned inward, a smile can help us heal ourselves.

The Inner Smile meditation is a Taoist technique that focuses on five organs or organ systems: the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver/gall bladder, and the stomach/spleen. This meditation also helps to remove the consequences of stress and psychological trauma. Early Taoist texts suggest that maintaining a constant inner smile ensured health, happiness, and long life.

Inner Smile Meditation as a Self-Love Tool

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The Inner Smile meditation is a wonderful self-love and self-care tool which helps us to become more connected with ourselves and feel more loved.

When you smile to yourself, you become your own best friend. Befriending your inner self helps you feel more grounded, settled, and stable no matter what else goes on around you. It helps you to find inner harmony that cultivates contentment.

The Inner Smile meditation will help you to become more conscious of what your organs do for you and establish a loving relationship with them. You will become more grateful to these faithful servants who keep us alive and healthy. That will make you stop taking your organs for granted and start appreciating them more.

Each of us should always keep in mind how amazing your body is, how intelligent and kind it is to you, what an incredible job it does to keep you alive! Without this attitude, you will eventually become sick and emotionally imbalanced.

Organs affected by emotions

According to Mantak Chia’s teachings, the health of our organs can be affected by negative emotions we feel. Based on this connection between negative emotions and the health of the organs, let us share with you the five major organ systems and their associated emotions and properties.

#1: The heart

The health of our heart can be affected by such negative emotions as arrogance and hate, and such positive virtues as kindness and love. Recent scientific research shows that feelings of love and appreciation strongly affect the heart’s rhythm and its relationship to the body’s physiological systems.

#2: The lungs

The health of our lungs can be affected by such negative emotions as sadness and depression, and such positive virtues as courage and righteousness.

#3: The kidneys

The health of the kidneys can be affected by fear and such positive emotions as gentleness and kindness.

#4: The liver

The health of the liver can be affected by anger and such positive emotions as generosity and forgiveness.

#5: The stomach/spleen

The health of the stomach/spleen can be affected by such negative emotions as worry, mistrust, and anxiety, and such positive emotions as fairness, trust, and openness.

The Inner Smile meditation directs our attention to the body’s organs and associated qualities. When practicing this meditation, we visualize each organ, cleansing it, and transforming negative emotional energies into positive virtues.

The Inner Smile Meditation

According to the Taoist tradition, each person assumes responsibility for the emotions that arise within, regardless of the external events that trigger the emotions. The Inner Smile meditation takes us into our bodies and transforms emotions by transforming the associated physiological systems. It helps us balance and integrate our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, promoting health, resilience, and vitality.

Below is a variation of the traditional Inner Smile meditation which helps you direct the energy of a smile into any part of your body.

Instructions:

  1. Sit comfortably near the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back straight, but not stiff. Stay relaxed, and clasp your palms together in your lap. Press your tongue against the upper palate of your mouth.
  2. Close your eyes and become aware of the soles of your feet. Feel their connection to the Earth.
  3. Create a source of smiling energy up to three feet in front of you. You can just visualize an image of your own smiling face or any memory of a time in which you felt deeply at peace. It can be anything – feeling of sunshine, being by the ocean, or walking in a forest.
  4. Focus on the midpoint between your eyebrows. Draw that abundant smiling energy to that area. Let your forehead relax. Feel how the smiling energy accumulates at the mid-eyebrow until it eventually overflows into your body.
  5. Visualize this smiling, warm energy moving throughout your entire body. It comforts and heals your muscles, joints, and internal organs. Take your time. Visualize each organ being soothed by this smiling, warm energy.
  6. After you have spent time connecting with and smiling into your organs and muscles, focus on the sensations in your body. Perhaps you feel energized, content, or warm. Allow the smile to drift where it wants. Or you can also direct it to any place you’re feeling discomfort.
  7. Continue visualizing the warm and golden essence of that smile within your body. Bring your awareness back to any place you may have missed, or any place you’d like to heal, and let it flow over and through your organs and soft tissue. Imagine this warm, smiling energy spreading throughout your entire body.
  8. When you’re ready to bring the meditation to a close, focus on the feeling of peace and contentment in your body by placing your hands over your heart. Take several deep breaths and simply relax. Now it’s time to release any visualizations, images, or thoughts, and simply be, without thinking or doing.

The Bottom Line

Try to practice this meditation every morning as soon as you wake up. This will charge you with positive energy for the whole day. Love for your body will help you love yourself and other people more, and feel full of vital energy.

When you feel pain or/and discomfort in any part of your body, in any of your organs — smile at these parts of the body, talk to them, tell them how grateful you are for such a wonderful job they’re doing, get a response from them.

Also, practice the Inner Smile meditation during times of stress, irritation, fear, or depression. Smile at the parts of your body that are experiencing tension and pressure, and you will gradually feel the negative energy being converted into the positive force of vital energy.

The energy of a smile can turn the energy of negative emotions into vital energy that will heal and rejuvenate all organs and tissues. Therefore smile as often as possible!


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