Smiling is incredibly helpful in developing an uplifted and light mind. There is scientific evidence that smiling changes our brain chemistry. It’s like the brain thinks: Oh, the mouth is smiling. I must be happy then! You ‘fake’ it until you make it!
Seriously, we are developing Right Effort – What is that?
- Recognizing there is an unwholesome feeling
- Letting go of that feeling
- Bringing up a wholesome state (Smiling is one way)
- Keep it going
This is the Buddha’s Right Effort, a part of the Noble Eightfold Path. We just transformed it into an easy to remember shorthand, calling it
the 6 R’s:
You 6R whenever your mind strays from your meditation object, so whenever a hindrance arises.
Smile all the time. Smile with your lips, your eyes, and particularly with your heart and mind.
Are you washing the dishes? You can do that with a smile. Practicing walking or sitting meditation? Smile the entire session!
And smile at strangers. Though this might seem a bit scary at first, it turns out that most people love it and will smile back!
Instructions for Metta Meditation and the 6Rs by Bhante Vimalaramsi