November 8, 2006 at 1:44 am #19126
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1.Essay on why the Inner Smile is such a superb foundation practice for all
qigong and inner alchemy meditation, and how it clarifies expression of any
A free Inner Smile session on Friday Nov. 10, from 7-9pm in Asheville
(Lighten Up Yoga,60 Biltmore Ave 2nd fl). Its an optional supplement to the
Qigong Fundamentals workshop that weekend, but is open to the public.
2. New York Open Center Nov. 17 Fri. 7-10 pm Internal Chi Breathing
Nov.18 Sat. 10-5:30 pm is Qigong Fundamentals #1: Inner Smile, Five Animals Play
the Six Healing Sounds. Contact: 212-219-2527.
3. Dec. 9-10 in Asheville: Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4 Internal Chi Breathing and
Bone Breathing and Rooting. The best breathing and grounding practices I’ve
found in the qigong universe. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Livia Kohn is one of the top Taoist (Daoist) scholars in the world. I
recently reviewed her latest book, Daoist Body Cultivation (available on
website). I’ve decided to sell other titles she publishes, as they offer a
scholarly perspective on Healing Tao practices and topics: Health & Longevity is
the best survey text on Chinese medicine and Taoist cultivation. Women in Daoism
(with C.Despeux), Daoism and Chinese Culture, and Divine Traces of the Daoist
Sisterhood (S.Cahill) all offer hard to find information. I have these volumes
in stock, but you must call 888-999-0555 (or email email@example.com) to order
them, they are not yet posted to site.
Livia is offering two unique 10-day Daoism Intensive retreats in the mountains
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May 13 and May 24 June 3, 2007. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Dear Smiling Hearts,
I am sometimes asked: why is the simple Inner Smile a foundation practice
for qigong (chi kung) and higher levels of Taoist inner alchemy? Strictly
speaking, the Inner Smile is not qigong, but rather a “neigong” practice.
Neigong means “inner skill in cultivating the self”. The Inner Smile cultivates
the core inner heart, which is distinctly different from the outer physical
heart that pumps blood and vitality, or the wild fluctuations of the emotional
heart that charge us up with enthusiasm and all kinds of feelings, from good to
bad to indifferent. The inner heart operates at the soul level, deeper than
The reason the Inner Smile is so foundational is because it cultivates a
very profound sense of unconditional acceptance, first in oneself, and
secondly of everything that is “other”. I have found that without
cultivating this deep self-acceptance in one’s inner heart, all other qigong
and meditation practices eventually feel limited or imbalanced.
Its my experience, that without self-acceptance, even the intention to express
love or compassion can become unconsciously distorted by our need to be
accepted by others. We are most effective in transmitting our natural virtues
of love and kindness when it comes from a heart that is well grounded in our
inner self. Smiling grows our ability to first be present in a safe way,
beyond conflicts that are happening on the surface as arguments or even
violence. It takes practice, but inner smiling allows us to offer empathy to
someone else without encountering any resistance. The feeling of warm,smiling
acceptance silently transmitted to someone creates a rapor at the soul level
that opens the way to communication and conflict resolution at the personality
I’ve noticed that people may only do a moving qigong practice that
emphasizes harmony of breath, posture, and mind. They may skip over the
inner smile because it seems too simple or too subtle to produce the
dramatic energetic results they are seeking.
And for a while these qigong practitioners will get very fast progress in
improving their physical and emotional health. But if they practice deeper,
beyond filling up the “chi deficit” in their stressed out body-mind, that is
where the limitation can arise.
As soon as you begin using qigong to generate a surplus of energy, the
question arises: where does that extra chi flow? If you haven’t opened up
the smiling, self-accepting core consciousness, it begins to flow in
patterns within your Energy Body that may amplify unconscious struggles
still going on within deeper levels of yourself.
That means, in Taoist terminology, there is the possibility of it flowing
into “false yin” or “false yang” energy patterns. These may be in the form of
dysfunctional sexual or emotional or mental patterns that get dumped
internally (false yin) or projected outwardly onto others (false yang).
The Inner Smile cultivates a special type of chi called “yuan”, or Original
Chi or Original Breath. It is essentially neutral energy that stabilizes the
flow of all the yin and yang chi flow in the body. This kind of neutral energy
has no judgment, no blame, no guilt. The heart center, or middle dantian, is the
balance point between the belly (Earth) and head (Heaven) centers. Ultimately
our heart is the center where we cultivate our deepest sense of Humanity, as the
mediating point between physical and spiritual processes.
Inner Smiling is a simple and practical way to connect these polar forces
inside our body. You could cultivate a powerful energy in either the belly or
the head centers, without becoming a better human being. You can get more power
in the belly, or more awareness in the head, without actually changing negative
patterns in those centers, and without changing one’s behavior or personality
for the better. What defines a “better” human?
For me, “better” defines someone who is more accepting, more loving, and more
spontaneous in expressing their soul pattern. It is someone who exercises their
divinely given free will to create greater balance and harmony within themselves
and within their community. All of these qualities involve cultivating the heart
center at a deep, silent, soul level.
Are you smiling from your inner heart every day? If not, your soul may not be
getting the connection it needs.
Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes change is a Sage.
Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
Life is very simple, but everyone seeks difficulty.”
— Taoist Sage, 200 B.C
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fabulous photos of the worlds most spiritual smiles, go to homepage and
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delist.November 8, 2006 at 5:15 am #19127
the letter to the smiling hearts came at a really good time for me
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