An Enlightened Smile Is The Key To Relaxation And Joy

Enlightened Relaxation


People are generally clued in that we hold tension in our neck and shoulders. Zen meditators often suggest being thankful for the zen stick struck lightly over their shoulders to relieve tightness and stay alert. The lesser known region for the accumulation of stress is in the face and the powerful method of using an enlightened smile during meditation can relieve mental tension and evoke equilibrium and joy.
The enlightened smile is the one you see on serene statues and pictures of Buddha meditating, not the laughing one, the meditating one. The relaxation and euphoria released from the simple act of relaxing the face and subtly smirking is remarkable and a secret to a ‘good’ meditation. It is important to relax the body as well as the mind during meditation.
Whilst we can use the zen stick for our shoulders it would be a bit more difficult to relax facial muscles that way, except for the really hardcore. So we can use an enlightened smile to relax our face, settle our minds and activate joy and love. Using the meditation smile melts through egoic tension etched into faces by the constant maintenance of a persona. In other words, by relaxing our face muscles we can drop all masks and allow the face to finally be itself.
The enlightened smile facilitates an even state of mind, a calm equipoise. When we add a tiny smile to this relaxed face we both express and reflect the joy of meditation, the natural bliss that comes from relaxing and letting go.
Meditation should be a joy. Meditation can be a time of peace and tranquillity, a refuge of deep serenity. Alone with ones’ sense of being, without having to fabricate anything or get anywhere and can be incredibly relaxing and enjoyable; allowing the simplicity of being in the moment without effort or striving. This type of meditation deserves to be adorned with an imperceptible smile.
The smile is the sign that everything is okay, everything is all good, even the bad stuff. That’s the power of the enlightened smirk: right in the middle of life and all its complexities you can sit down, relax and smile at it all. In that moment we can touch a peace in ourselves which is always available, despite the situation.
Now, I’m not claiming that all you need to do is smile to solve all your problems. I’m just sharing meditative secrets to help people find peace and happiness. Our body and mind work together intimately, so if you can relax the body and face you will be able to relax the mind and quieten thoughts easier.
First, it may be a case of ‘faking it until you make it’, but eventually when you really do relax and you actually can drop thoughts and find some space in your awareness, you can radiate a warmth and friendliness that comes from an open and relaxed mind. Then your smile will be genuine and it will radiate with the heart and soul you are connecting with during mediation.

source & credit: thewayofmeditation

Positive Thinking Meditation Journey

Dramatically increase your confidence, courage and levels of success to take full control of your thoughts and your life.
  • Do you sometimes feel that nothing ever goes right for you?
  • Have you lost your zest for the things you do in life?
  • Do you sometimes feel too scared to try new things in your life?
  • Is your focus and concentration levels at a low point?
  • Would you like to gain the courage, self belief and confidence to finally take control of your thoughts and your life?
We can all feel that the world is against us sometimes and we may lose our way a little, but when you have been feeling like this for a long time it can start to affect all areas of your life such as work, relationships, stress levels and and your energy.
Ultimately it's our thoughts that create these feelings within us and if they go unchecked it can lead to major problems.

How your thoughts affect your life

Learning the skill of positive thinking can change your life beyond measure, however it's not just about sitting down and telling yourself your life is great. Positive thinking works on many levels and the first is changing your self talk in order to produce thoughts that lead you to take positive action, which will in turn lead to more confidence, courage and self belief.
Let's look at how your thoughts can affect your whole life.
Imagine for a few seconds this simple scenario; You would like to find a new job and you have seen one advertised in the local newspaper. There is the negative you and the positive you.
The negative you: 'Should I really apply for that, I'll probably never get it, I've not got quite enough experience and I'm a little too old, and they're also offering a higher salary than I'm used to which means they wouldn't offer it to me anyway.
The positive you: 'I should apply for that, it's worth trying it even though I've not got quite enough experience, I can go to college to get some more experience, I'm the perfect age for the company, and they're offering a higher salary which means they'll be expecting more but I'm up for the challenge.
You see how the two scenarios completely change your energy when you read them. That's how it is with your thoughts. When you actively begin to think more positively it changes your energy, which then changes your actions, thoughts, and beliefs about what is possible and it's this positive energy that will help you change your life. So, it's not the positive thoughts that changes everything, it's the positive energy that come from those positive thoughts.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

The science behind positive thinking

Positive thinking really does change your brain. Not in some magical, woo woo kind of way, but in a real physical way.
The science is called neuroplasticity. It means that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains. The idea was first introduced by William James in 1890, but it was soundly rejected by scientists who uniformly believed the brain is rigidly mapped out, with certain parts of the brain controlling certain functions. If that part is dead or damaged, the function is altered or lost. Well, it appears they were wrong.
Neuroplasticity now enjoys wide acceptance as scientists are proving the brain is endlessly adaptable and dynamic.
It has the power to change its own structure, even for those with the severe neurological afflictions. People with problems like strokes, cerebral palsy, and mental illness can train other areas of their brains through repetitive mental and physical activities. It is completely life-altering. So what does this have to do with positive thinking and with you?
It means that repetitive positive thought and positive activity can rewire your brain and strengthen brain areas that stimulate positive feelings.

Source & Credit: