Thursday, January 13, 2005

Remember to Smile

In our meditation reading last night Thich Nhat Hanh talked about the importance of smiling. It was an important add-on to last week’s message: Every day you have 24 new hours. Now he suggested a smile upon awakening. He talked about putting something visible in your bedroom that would elicit a smile every day as you opened your eyes.

It is true that it is difficult to hold onto negative thoughts when you have a smile on your face. As your face relaxes into a comfortable smile and the corners of your mouth turn up, they just slip away.

We talked about how smiles get onto our faces. Can forcing a smile make us feel it? Does a smile originate in our heads or our hearts? Or some combination of these?

One person mentioned the infectious power of a smile. She talked about how just that day she had diffused a potentially combative situation by changing the emotional charge and smiling in sympathy with a frustrated mail clerk.

It turns out that a smile is perhaps our most powerful weapon. It doesn’t cost anything and we have it with us (or at least accessible) all the time.

The reading ended with the following poem:

I have lost my smile.
But don’t worry.
The dandelion has it.

I don’t think I can possibly ever look at a dandelion again without smiling.

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