In today’s meeting, we read the first story of the book Something You Forgot along the Way titled Making the World Happier, A Smiling Face and a Word of Kindness. It’s such a heart-warming story.
In Buddhism, we are encouraged to smile no matter how we feel inside. “Think of it as an ascetic practice or training,” say the masters of Buddhism.
Usually we think, “I’m not feeling good today. My back hurts.” or “What a gloomy day. It’s cloudy again.” And so we stop smiling or in no time, without even knowing, we have a frown on our face. This might cause people around us to feel uncomfortable and so even our human relationships might go sour. Sometimes people feel, “I have too much on my mind. I have so many deadlines to meet.” And so they are not mindful of smiling. But as their whole focus is on their worries and troubles, things often don’t go smoothly and they fall even more deeply into despair or a cycle of hopelessness.
This is why Buddhism encourages us to make it out habit to smile. If you stand in front of a mirror every morning and train your facial muscles to smile over and over again, you might find that it’s much easier to smile now. Like any other activity, we can train ourselves to smile more.
In Buddhism, there is a saying that “If you plant seeds of compassion, you will be shielded from your agonizing concerns and worries.”
So next time you find yourself in a vicious cycle of despair or hopelessness, try to practice smiling. You will see that you’ll find a way out of your troubles and a path will open up for you. Get the book https://www.amazon.com/Something-You-Forgot-Along-Way/dp/0979047110 and remind yourself of how powerful it is to smile.