Saturday, May 30, 2015


Thay's message in the following video is very interesting. 
(from 11:40)

And we introduce the smile into the practice. Though smiling can be very relaxing, there are hundreds of your muscles on you face. And when you are tense, when you are angry, you can see the tension. When you look at the mirror, you can see all the tension on your face. The face of someone who is angry, who is worried, but if that person can bring himself or herself to smile, and then there will be a relaxation of all muscles. And the face is completely transformed. It's much more pleasant to look at. 

So, smiling has an effect of releasing all the muscles. And there are those who protest that kind of a smile, smiling. They may say , "If you don't have joy, why do you have to force yourself to smile?" But smiling here is a practice. It's a yoga practice, the yoga of the mouth. Because you have to respect your body. Our body is very important. We don't discriminate against our body. Our body should be respected as our mind. We respect our mind that we have to respect our body. Sometimes the mind takes the initiative. Sometimes the body should take the initiative. When you have a joy, you smile. That is the mind taking the initiative. When you just smile, then the joy will come later. Why do you have to discriminate against your body? Your body can initiate. --- So, we have to respect and see the value of the body. And we should allow our body to take initiatives from time to time. It's very important. Your love, your happiness depends on your body a lot. And your body can do a lot of things in order to bring about peace and happiness and respect and reverence.  

And we can go very far. Breathing in, I'm aware of a half smile of my lips. Breathing out, I smile to that smile. And then, you have a double smile. So, breathing in, I'm aware of my body. Breathing out, I smile to my body. It is very kind of you to smile to your body. You have been neglecting it. You have neglected your body for a long time. You have treated your body not with a lot of respect or gentleness. It's time to go home to the body and recognize it as something very precious and reconcile to it, smile to it. And that is what the Buddha suggested us to do. Aware of our body and allow our body to relax. So, to remove all the tension in the body, this is the very basic condition for healing. And we can see the universal value of the teaching and the practice. And not only the patient has to practice but the doctor has to practice also.

Everyone can be a victim of a burnout. And the practicing according to the Sutra on Mindful Breathing can prevent burnouts, can allow open the door of the healing. The Sutra on Mindful Breathing should be studied together with the Sutra of  Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Sutra on the Contemplation of the Body (The Kayagatasati Sutta).


Thich Nhat Hanh

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