“Learn to start each day by smiling inwardly to your vital organs and thanking them for sustaining your life.” ― Mantak Chia
The taoist approach to meditation is different to other meditations which use different methods to still the mind such as silent sitting or using mantras. One does not aim to still the mind but instead uses body awareness techniques to circulate the vital energy or chi along specific pathways in the body. This circulation of chi is necessary in order to maintain excellent health.
Inner smile and healing sounds
A basic practice we learn before learning other practices in the Universal Healing Tao System is the inner smile and six healing sounds practice. The inner smile is a technique which allows us to generate healing energy in our bodies. As we imagine a person or place, or memory that brings us a feeling of love and appreciation and allow ourselves to smile inwardly, this generates an energetic field which radiates out from our hearts and sends energy throughout the body. HeartMath Institute have done scientific research on this phenomena which they can measure and call heart coherence. From a physics perspective, when we are in a coherent state virtually no energy is wasted as our systems are performing optimally there is synchronization between physiological processes. We feel increased composure, more energy, clear thinking, enhanced immune system function and hormonal balance.
Taoist masters have always been aware of the positive and negative emotions which are associated with the internal organs. In order to maintain a balanced health it is imortant to get in touch with the emotional energies which reside in the organs. As we encounter trauma and stress in our lives negative emotions predominate in our being and effect our intrernal organs and glands, draining our lifeforce and reducing our health.
Negative emotions and associated organs
Anger and frustration are associated with the liver. The liver is important for storing and rapidly releasing glucose into the blood which is required for the energy of anger. Too much anger can cause increased cholesterol production, imbalanced bile production or impaired digestion. We can transform our anger into positive emotions of kindness and generosity.
Hate, cruelty and arrogance are associated with the heart. These emotions can cause high blood pressure, chest pain and heart palpitations. Scientific research from HeartMath Institute shows that when we generate a feeling of love and appreciation this can create a strong electromagnetic field which has a positively influences the body's physiological processes.
Fear is associated with our kidneys as it is closely related to the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys. Fear can cause a fight or flight response in the body which stimulates the secretion of adrenalin and noradrenalin. When chronically activated we lose our life force and experience burnout and fatigue. When we transform our fear we experience positive emotions of gentleness.
Sadness and Depression is associated with the lungs. Emotional depression is often associated with a physical depression and collapse of the chest and lungs. We can transform our depression and sadness into positive emotions of courage and righteousness.
Worry and anxiety is associated with the stomach and spleen. We often feel butterflies in the stomach when we feel worried. This sensation comes from the enteric nervous system, a network of neurons and neurotransmitters in the sheaths of tissue lining the digestive system. We can transform worry and anxiety into trust and openness.
As we bring our awareness to these emotions and their effects on our bodies and use specific exercises to transform the negative emotions into positive life force we become more emotionally intelligent. The taoists developed the inner smile and six healing sounds to do this transformation after many centuries of experiential study and practical and intuitive understanding of the human body. Many of the taoist insights are supported by modern psychology and medicine. The inner smile and six healing sound exercises bring our awareness to the different organs and their associated qualities. As we visualize each organ we cleanse it and transform its negative emotional energy into positive virtues. In this way we become responsible for our emotional health regardless of the external events which can trigger us. The practices also help balance and integrate our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, promoting emotional resilience.