There are three important guidelines to follow when establishing a sitting practice.
First, it is important to find a quiet place where you will not be undisturbed for a predetermined period time that works for you.
Secondly, look to establish a set daily period for your sitting meditation, whether it be in the morning, evening or any other time during the day that works for you.
Thirdly, it is imperative to remain still throughout the entire sitting practice, since the stillness of the body contributes to calming the mind.
Most importantly, it is imperative to set our intention for our sitting time so that it will be carried into our daily activities. Our intention is to let go of all things, put our attention in the heart; allowing us to see life with the eyes of our heart; and, bless life with love and gratitude in our smile.
The Sitting Practice of Smiling On Life
Select a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for a period of time and find a comfortable chair, bench or cushion.
Sit in a straight upright posture and place your hands comfortably on your knees or lap.
Slightly tip the chin downward to a 45-degree angle so that the back and top of the head feel like it is being slightly extended upward.
With a relaxed jaw position place the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth.
Begin by slowly taking slow deep breaths through your nose.
Comfortably hold the breath at the top of the inhalation for a few seconds.
Slowly exhale and comfortably hold the breath for a few seconds.
Repeat as least three more times.
To help in settling in your body and mind gently and mindfully repeating this mantra:
“I breathe in love” ……….on the inhalation phase
“I smile on with love” ………….on the exhalation phase
(or simply repeat. “Breathing in. Smiling On”)
After taking the deep breaths settle into a comfortable rhythm of slowly breathing in and breathing out.
With your eyes still open and gazing on the floor in front of you begin to soften the eyes and place a slight smile on your face.
Place your attention in the heart space at the center of your chest
Close your eyes and continue your breathing and repeating the mantra if you need to.
When you feel that your body is settling in, take a few moments to smile on your body with love and gratitude.
As the mind begins to calm its activity, loving gaze into the silence between and behind your thoughts and rest in love.
Rest in just being in love.
When the time is right, slowly open your eyes and continue to smile on all that is in front of you.
Slowly move your head looking around the room and continue to hold this loving gaze and smile.
Slowly rise and go about your daily routine looking with awareness to bring a ‘smile on’ life as it is contained in the present moment.
As you were during your sitting, throughout your day’s activities, look to pause and take a long loving look on life while engaging your body, mind, and heart in a smile with love and gratitude. You will be bringing a loving Presence to the world around you and engaging with the Presence that sustains, holds and permeates all of life.
The sitting practice helps to set our intention of seeing life with the eyes of the heart, express our love and gratitude to life and assists in carrying this intention into your daily life. As we incorporate a regular sitting practice into our daily lives our awareness of the goodness and beauty of life grows. Along the way we find ourselves trusting life and allowing ourselves to fall into love which is where our joy, peace and happiness lies.