The Inner Smile

28th September 2012

spirit dove shutterstock_131024072The Inner Smile

The Inner Smile is a practice that I discovered through some study of Taoism. Taoism is a fascinating body of knowledge to investigate and has several important elements of practice. I will provide a summary here of the Inner Smile meditation – I have made some small adjustments to the classic practice to make it a little more straight-forward. If you want to find out more, then I recommend Mantak Chia’s excellent work “Healing Light of the Tao: Foundational Practices to Awaken Chi Energy”.


The Inner Smile is a meditation on different organs and elements of the body. It takes our awareness inside and asks us to connect with parts of the body to sense and feel what is going on internally. Once we have made this connection and, perhaps, sensed some tension or lower emotional state (such as worry), we then focus our inner smile on this part of the body. This creates an internal shift in the energy that we are holding in that part of the body. I use this practice every morning to help me wake up my body and get the energy moving.

The Practice

You can do this practice standing up or sitting down, whichever is most comfortable. Either way, make sure both feet are on the ground! It helps to close your eyes and to be in a quiet space so that you can concentrate. Throughout focus on your breathing as that keeps your mind on the body and what is going on inside it, rather than floating off towards what you are doing later in the day. As you move through each part of the body, identify it in your mind with the thought “I now move my awareness to the (eg) heart and sense and feel the energy that I am holding in that space.”  It can help to place your hands on the part of the body you are focusing on.

Once you have made that connection allow the sensation  or impression to form within your awareness – it may come as a physical vibration, an emotion, or as an image or thought. Then focus your inner smile on this part of your body – it can help to physically smile, as well as to visualise this happening. Then just be aware of how your energy shifts and see, sense or know that this part of your body is filling with radiant shining energy.

If you are unsure where any of these parts of the body are, then this site can help you out.

Thymus Gland: located behind the upper part of your sternum

Heart: connect to the feeling of love that you hold here

Lungs: sometimes we hold worry and anxiety in the lungs

Liver: located below the right lung within the lower rib cage; sometimes we hold anger and bitterness in the liver

Pancreas: located within the left lower rib cage

Spleen: located just next to the left kidney


Kidneys: sometimes we hold fear in the kidneys

Genitals & reproductive system: there is a lot of energy stored in the area of the reproductive system, so it is very beneficial to connect into this and ensure that the energy is moving freely.

Brain & glands: pineal; thalamus; pituitary – bring your awareness into your skull and the brain, and be aware of these major glands within the brain.

Spine from the brain stem to the coccyx: feel the energy moving up and down your spine

Skeleton: the skeleton is strongly linked to the base chakra, where we may hold feelings of insecurity and fear about our place in the world.

You can end by connecting to your entire body and allowing the energy you are working with to radiate throughout every cell and atom of your being.

Stay in each part of the body as long as you feel necessary. If you are very sensitive then you will sense and feel a lot of what is going on inside your body, ands your sensitivity will increase as you practice. If you are not at all sensitive, then this is an excellent way of strengthening your awareness and building your sensitivity.



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