Hundreds of Smiles

This Is It
This Is It ~ d nelson

“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.

41 Replies to “Hundreds of Smiles”

  1. You have all your negatives and positives in the right places. When you cater to the positives more you are crediting the positive and your honesty with it all will always move to the approperate negative in debts. Unlike an accountant that as to manually debit/ credit right, self honesty will do it for you if you cater to all your positives more first. They, negatives, take more credits from the positives when we face all the negatives in life. So the solution is more strength to the postives and the negatives lighten up with self honesty the account doing it for you. .

  2. Boy if you could put those smiles in the cars so kids could drive with concentration being a positve look rather then a negative. I even had to have that talk with my daughter. All the negatives that come out of adults while consentration. That would be a mircle. It gets so basd someitmes for me I have to remind tre person “I am the only one that can gear you!” We act like we have never cut anybody off when we can not hear them when we do.

    1. Yes, teaching kids and adults, alike that the true way of a fearless warrior is to smile with gratitude for this precious gift of life, which is over in the blink of an eye. In this brief time we all want happiness. Smiling is the not so secret, secret.

  3. Reblogged this on Letting Go and commented:
    I am reblogging this post from a fellow blogger who attended Thich Nhat hanh’s retreat at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California. I would love to go to one of the Californian retreats with Thay. I felt so happy watching this video, you will find yourself smiling along.

    1. Thay has been coming to N. America every two years. I’ve been to Plum Village many times and recommend it as a beautiful place to visit and be with Thay and the sangha sooner.

  4. I’m really savoring all these smiles and the wonderfilled people. The computer I’m at getting our car service doesn’t have audio, so I’ll come back again to enjoy the audio as well. Although the smiles by themselves are indeed inefectious. Thanks David for sharing this experience.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to view without the guitar sounds and still offer me kind words, Bruce. I’ll watch it again myself, this time without the sound and experience the sound of smiles.

  5. A long time ago I wrote “12 discoveries” the first sentence being “Smile often, preferably when you are sad or feel anger: at first faint and shy your smile has more effect on your mood than you might think possible.”
    I have experienced more often then not that smile is not only a consequence of happiness, it is also its cause.

    1. I’ve experienced that same insight my friend. Which inspired me to collect smiling images during this retreat and offer the collection as a therapeutic dose in “hundreds of smiles” clip. Keep smiling!

      1. I often forget what I wrote … thank you for reminding me, I think that I will reblog my old post to remind myself more often … 😉

  6. Thank you dear brother for this beautiful Smile Cam video. I was delighted to see your smile among the many happy faces.

  7. If you’re not using your smile, youre like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook.

    – by Giblin, Les.

  8. What a beautiful video! It reminded me of my time at Blue Cliff with Thay four years ago – peoples’ beautiful smiles were indeed the highlight. Thank you for sharing!

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