(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion-2/santiago04.html)
Shaolin Wahnam Spain
17th March 2015
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa
Everything started when Sije mentioned in one of her classes: How many of you Smile from the Heart in the morning just before opening your eyes? I could not answer “yes” to that question. That made me realise a lot of things. If I always smile just at the very start of my practices and it is so beneficial, why not starting my day with a beautiful Smile from the Heart?
Smiling from the Heart is a simple but incredibly profound skill that brings me enormous and various benefits. I must confess that I sometimes forget this fact and it is not always easy for me to practice it at the very start of my day. When that happens I just take a couple of seconds and try gently for some more times. Then the miracle happens. I find it there, just in the heart, bring it out and share it with the world.
I never regretted commencing my day with a Smile from the Heart. It totally changes the entire day. This practice really boosts my energy, relaxes me, opens my heart and makes my life much more joyful.
As I was progressing in this practice and getting more and more benefits I decided to implement it to the rest of my day. For that, every time that I realised that I wasn’t Smiling from the Heart I was taking a deep breath, closing my eyes (when possible) and searching for an honest smile that came from the heart.
It is so beneficial that Smiling from the Heart is becoming very natural in my life. I am more aware than ever when I am not Smiling from the Heart. It is amazing how much the heart can close during the day. I totally understand now why I was feeling always so sad and depressed.
Whenever I am working and feel stressed I stop and Smile from the Heart. I realise then how much I was tensing as I feel that tension disappearing with the smile.
It is so simple, so profound and it has so many benefits that I cannot thank enough for this wonderful gift.
In fact, I think that it is impossible for me to worry or intellectualise when I am Smiling from the Heart. Smiling from the Heart connects me with God and refreshes my whole body, energy and spirit.
Adding to that, I have noticed that my practice has improved a lot since I Smile from the Heart more often as it instantly takes me to a Chi Kung State of Mind.
Many months have passed and many lessons have been learned by bringing alive this simple but profound practice.
Smiling from the Heart hasn’t always been easy. In fact, one day I was looking at my pictures over the past 10 years and I decided to destroy most of them as I looked incredible sad, upset and locked up. I didn’t want to keep such a terrible memory of myself. It was time for a fresh start, for a second opportunity.
It is inspiring to see how different my pictures look now. That shows me how profound these arts are and how much I have progressed since I practice them. Without realising, the change has been so enormous and meaningful that it is hard to believe.
I once heard that “a smile is the shortest distance between two people”. I have understood by direct experience that an honest smile coming from the heart opens the door to the wonders hosted in people’s hearts. A smile is the best way that I know to connect and bring the best out of me and people.
In fact, it was Sifu’s smile that opened my heart. It connected my heart with his and heart to heart transmission happened.
The more I walk this path the more respect I have for these beautiful arts. Having such meaningful lessons and teachings keep me really humble as I can see the limitless power of God reflected in every one of them.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread The Shaolin Journey posted on 17th March 2015 in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.