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Apr 12, 2019

‘Your smile is precious’

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While following your breathing, you have been able to stay fully conscious for some time.


You have succeeded a bit, have not you? So why not smile? A tiny bud of a smile, just to prove you have succeeded. Seeing you smile, I know immediately that you are dwelling in awareness. Keep this smile always blooming, the half-smile of a Buddha.

This tiny budding smile, how many artists have labored to bring it to the lips of countless statues of the Buddha? Perhaps you have seen them on the faces at Angkor Wat in Kampuchea, or those from Gandhara in northwest India. I am sure the same smile must have been on the faces of the sculptors as they worked. Can you imagine an angry sculptor giving birth to such a smile? Surely not! I know the sculptor who created the “Parinirvana” statue on Tra Cu Mountain in Vietnam. During the six months it took him to create that statue, he remained vegetarian, practicing sitting meditation and studying sutras. Mona Lisa’s smile is light, just a hint of a smile. Yet even a smile like that is enough to relax all the muscles on your face, to banish all worries and fatigue. A tiny bud of a smile on your lips nourishes awareness and calms you miraculously. It returns you to the peace you had lost.

When you walk in the hills, or in a park, or along a river bank, you can follow your breath with a half-smile blooming on your lips. When you feel tired or irritated, you can lie down with your arms at your sides, allowing all of your muscles to relax, maintaining awareness of just your breath and your smile. Relaxing in this way is wonderful and quite refreshing. You will benefit a lot if you practice it several times a day. Your mindful breath and your smile will bring happiness to you and to those around you. Even if you spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in your family, nothing you could buy them can give as much true happiness as your gift of awareness, breathing,and smiling, and these precious gifts cost nothing. The Sun My Heart, Full Circle Publishing

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