freest tramp

Inner smile practice: Problem of authenticity

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Dear all,

Most of you heard of the "inner smile" practice, popularized in the West by Mantak Chia. I've been through a few thousands of English books on Taoism, esp. books on practice, but somehow never seen the Chinese term for this practice. I also don't remember seeing this practice in any book other than Chia's books.

 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying that this practice is inauthentic. Just wondering why I can't find the original CHINESE TERM for this practice.

 

I can read Chinese, so if you know the term and can write the Chin. chars, I'll appreciate it.

 

 

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In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with the inner smile concept even if there are no traditional sources to give credence to it.

 

If you use gentle means in order to gain modest satisfaction and equanimity, then it's an innocent affair.

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AFAIC the inner smile practice is very similar to one of the fundamental practices from vipassana or other similar systems. In daoism there are countless practices similar to the inner smile. Any teacher can make up their own names for the practices so for me the names don't really matter. What matters is what they do to the body.

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Afaik, the inner smile is not a practice, but something that arises in you naturally when you do correct practice.
Mantak got it all wrong as usual.

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10 hours ago, XianGong said:

Afaik, the inner smile is not a practice, but something that arises in you naturally when you do correct practice.
Mantak got it all wrong as usual.


That’s right.

 

It‚Äôs a ‚Äėsimplified for westerners‚Äô version of the classical principle of Sung.

 

I can’t remember the specific poem - but there’s a classical text that likens the effect of Sung to an inner smile.

 

So Mantak ‚Äėhacked‚Äô Sung with the ‚Äėfake it until you make it‚Äô mentality‚Ķ you imagine¬†the effect in the mistaken belief that it will generate the cause.

 

(eg. Imagining having a million dollars in an effort to generate a million dollars)

 

Of course hacking something fundamental like Sung basically makes it useless beyond a very shallow level. Sung has many layers and depths. Sung is the application of non-contrived action - Wei Wu Wei.

 

Inner smile is Wei - contrived action. It will feel nice and make you feel relaxed to a certain level. 
 

(Just as imagining having a million dollars might release some of the stress and fear of being broke.)

 

However as a tool for authentic cultivation - it will lead to a dead end very quickly.

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Inner smile was one of the first practices I began doing. I learned the Chia version but would combine it with the healing sounds. So inner smile and the matching color/attributes breathing in, and healing sound breathing out. I was surprised because it began to release all sorts of stuck emotions in the organs which I was not expecting nor prepared for. 

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To my knowledge, the inner organ smile practice is a small part of the Small Heavenly Cycle that was broken off by Chia and given a silly name. 

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El Tortugo said "inner organ smile practice is a small part of the Small Heavenly Cycle"

Dear El Tortugo, have you seen this in any book? A part of a book describing the Small Heavenly Cycle practice which also contain the inner smile practice as a part of it. I'll be very happy if you can give me a reference. Just the name of the book is enough, if you don't remember the details like chapter, page, and so on.

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Lots of people like to rip on Master Chia, perhaps with good reason.¬† But I¬īve always regarded his "inner smile" practice as one of the best, least-likely-to-do-harm practices in his system.¬† Is it, as Freeform says, simplified for westerners?¬† Is it a backasswards perversion of a traditional method?¬† Oh probably.¬† But if, like me, you¬īd like to include a backasswards simplified-for-westerners practice or two in your spiritual arsenal, the inner smile is, in my opinion,¬†a good choice.

Edited by liminal_luke
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53 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

But if, like me, you¬īd like to include a backasswards simplified-for-westerners practice or two in your spiritual arsenal, the inner smile is, in my opinion,¬†a good choice.


By far the best thing to come out of Healing Tao :) 

 

Wouldn’t underestimate the benefits of relaxing, smiling and paying some attention to one’s body - much more beneficial than the majority of the guided meditation type stuff you get on YouTube for instance.

 

It not being ‚Äėreal cultivation‚Äô is unimportant to the vast majority of people.¬†

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6 minutes ago, freeform said:


By far the best thing to come out of Healing Tao :) 

 

Wouldn’t underestimate the benefits of relaxing, smiling and paying some attention to one’s body - much more beneficial than the majority of the guided meditation type stuff you get on YouTube for instance.

 

It not being ‚Äėreal cultivation‚Äô is unimportant to the vast majority of people.¬†

 

I was blown away with the effects it had on me.

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1 minute ago, dmattwads said:

 

I was blown away with the effects it had on me.


You’re just an over achiever dmattwads :) 

 

I read about what you got from prayer too.
 

Some people naturally have a stronger connection between the different layers of mind - so you’ll respond strongly to practices because they’ll penetrate deeper quicker.

 

It‚Äôs just no ‚Äėaction‚Äô can take you beyond the mind. But in¬†HT they use the inner smile as the¬†fundamental action that supposedly takes you¬†all the way to the highest levels of immortality.

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7 minutes ago, freeform said:

Some people naturally have a stronger connection between the different layers of mind - so you’ll respond strongly to practices because they’ll penetrate deeper quicker.

 

This was actually an interesting statement that caused me to think. I will for example try a new mantra and feel all sorts of effects and be aware of what its doing to my mind and my energy and be totally blown away and then in my enthusiasm to see if these effects are replicated in others, I will get a friend or two to try the mantra. I'll give them a little time to try it and then when I ask them what they notice they usually say they didn't really notice anything one way or the other. Once this happens enough times I begin to wonder why my experience seems to be so different. So reading your take on it makes me just assume I am wired a bit differently lol. 

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4 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

This was actually an interesting statement that caused me to think. I will for example try a new mantra and feel all sorts of effects and be aware of what its doing to my mind and my energy and be totally blown away and then in my enthusiasm to see if these effects are replicated in others, I will get a friend or two to try the mantra. I'll give them a little time to try it and then when I ask them what they notice they usually say they didn't really notice anything one way or the other. Once this happens enough times I begin to wonder why my experience seems to be so different. So reading your take on it makes me just assume I am wired a bit differently lol. 

 

I resonate with what you said, I have practiced with the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra, and I have had different experiences from karmic cleansings, bad luck, good luck, when I was younger like 19 years, to receiving the same mantra yesterday in dreams and get into delicate states of serene joy and compassionate bliss after a pretty shitty period.
I don't think I can teach or try to get others to learn with the mantra, or another mantra or other technique would be very irresponsible for me.
Finally I see that there are no canned solutions or roads nor can a row of Arahants be produced as in a Ford car production.
What turns out to be rubbish for some, is akin to the wish-granting jewel.

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16 hours ago, dmattwads said:

I will for example try a new mantra and feel all sorts of effects and be aware of what its doing to my mind and my energy and be totally blown away


The good thing is that you respond strongly to practices.
 

The confusing thing is that what may seem like a beneficial effect isn‚Äôt necessarily so from a ‚Äėbig picture‚Äô perspective.

 

Get yourself a good teacher would be my suggestion :) 

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On 24/9/2021 at 7:25 PM, freest tramp said:

 

I can read Chinese, so if you know the term and can write the Chin. chars, I'll appreciate it.

 

I can't answer, but I have the strong impression that this particular meditation techniques might come directly from a buddhist hermitage somewhere in Thailand...

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On 9/30/2021 at 11:13 AM, freest tramp said:

El Tortugo said "inner organ smile practice is a small part of the Small Heavenly Cycle"

Dear El Tortugo, have you seen this in any book? A part of a book describing the Small Heavenly Cycle practice which also contain the inner smile practice as a part of it. I'll be very happy if you can give me a reference. Just the name of the book is enough, if you don't remember the details like chapter, page, and so on.

 

I'm sorry, no book. My understanding comes from learning a few different versions. The smiling to organs is a smaller part of meditations leading to the cycle or circuit.

 

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Read about it in 'Internal Alchemy' by Livia Kohn.

 

It is too long to type here but the end result is the following

 

Quote

It ultimately dissolves any boundary between lesser self and other, greater Self. The entire cosmos is embraced within the adept's deep field of Self-acceptance.

 

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