“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Sounds simple, right? Recognizing a smile manifesting when feeling joyful. It feels pleasant and natural. But putting a smile on our face when we are not feeling so well seems contrary, somehow. It has often worked for me, though. Such is the experiential nature of Zen. Intentionally smiling when not feeling joyful, feeling the muscles of the face relaxing; then the shoulders, neck, upper body. A calmness comforting the ache, transforming it into ease and joy. Smiling to the world and it smiles back; much of the time. In both our inner and outer world.
My camera captured beautiful smiles during the Finding Our True Home retreat at Deer Park Meditation Center with Thich Nhat Hanh and a thousand retreatants. Perhaps it’s my public health background nudging me to share this joyful compilation.
While compiling these images I felt healing in myself for times in the past when I could have benefitted from just one smiling face looking in my direction. Hundreds of Smiles is now on-line on my YouTube channel:
This piece manifests as an extra strength medicine; capable of transforming frowns, lightening a heavy heart. May these smiles help support yours. I hope you enjoy the clip and are smiling afterward.