The Inner Smile – Letting Love In

September 19, 2008

Image credit: ©Phil Russell

This is the first post by the mostly silent partner of this blog, Edward.

Recently I was discussing spirituality with some friends. One of them recently became a Christian. She had a profound experience when she was baptized that transformed her life. She stayed with the church, not because she believes everything they teach, but because it was there that she had that transformative experience. Our discussion was about how people of all faiths can have that experience of transformation. My friend described her experience in this way, “it felt like it was the first time in my life that I let love in.” It was interesting that she said, “…I let love in…” rather than stating that she found love. I believe love is always present and it is a matter of us recognizing it and more importantly, letting it in. For so many of us, that is the difficult part. We don’t allow ourselves to be loved, either by those who are closest to us, or by that mysterious divine force.

The Inner Smile meditation is often taught as a stress management technique or for physical healing. However, with modification, it can also be a valuable method of getting in touch with the love that surrounds us all the time. As with all meditation techniques, it is important to keep practicing. In the beginning it may be a challenging meditation for those who have difficulty with letting love in.

The Inner Smile Meditation

Close your eyes and imagine that someone you love is sitting in front of you, smiling at you. It should be a person whose love, or at least genuine affection, you can easily feel. As they are sitting there, smiling at you, think of another person, and imagine them sitting there, smiling at you. Continue adding people until everyone you know, whose friendship or love you can feel, is sitting in front of you, smiling with genuine warmth. Feel their warmth, friendship, and love. If you are a religious person, you can also add spiritual figures, whose love you feel or believe in. If you believe in God, of course include God. If it feels right, you can even add hosts of angels or bodhisattvas or any celestial beings that have meaning for you.

Now, just bask in the warmth of all of those smiles. Really feel all of that love pouring toward you, and begin to reflect it back. Feel yourself smiling with all of that friendliness and love. Then just allow your awareness to flow through your body, smiling at every part of your body. Keep smiling until you can feel the cells in your body dancing alive. Any time you lose the feeling, bring back all of those faces, smiling at you, and feel their warmth. Then you can continue to smile into your own being. When you feel complete, let the image fade and notice how you are feeling for a short while. Then slowly open your eyes and move gently into your daily activities.


1 Pamir | Reiki Help Blog 09.19.08 at 4:40 pm

If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

–Thich Nhat Hanh

I appreciated reading this today. Letting love in is the best healing. This is such a wonderful, acknowledging meditation. I can see it creating a real sense of gratitude in one’s life too.

I reflect on a friend and client who discovered some things about his colon this week post surgery, that’s making it difficult for him to smile. I wish him all the smiles he can let in from loved ones, and hope he can smile at his healthy and unhealthy cells.

How often we frown or worse at our body, actions or thoughts. Whereas a simple meditation like this can presence the unconditional love that is so available to us.

Thank you…

2 Ed 09.22.08 at 2:08 pm

Thank you for your kind comment Pamir, I agree that letting love in is the best healing. I send blessings to your friend for an easeful healing journey. Smiling at what is when illness strikes is a challenge, and that is when you really walk the talk of your spirituality.

3 Lynn 09.24.11 at 4:07 pm

When I’m practicing metta, I can let love in because I’m giving love out. It’s a give and take.

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