Revel in the power of real life smiles discussed virtually (for 15 minutes or longer perhaps). I invite participants to share smiles and experiences as I relate a somewhat brief formal practice of smiling on near daily walks a couple of years ago.
My original notes are more or less as follows:
- disclaimer: some of this is not for all
- Andrea Fella dharma talk years ago
- if winter now file away
- different now
- use for future reference and/or reflection on the past
- visited places where masks seldom worn to consistent and persistent
- places around here where no one wears, recommended and required and these change from time to time
- public spaces where masks aren’t required
- lots of joy and wellbeing at that point in practice
- pushing limits
- my practice of brute force amping up of smiling at everybody, or saying hi to everybody. Sometime not in alignment with mood, circumstances, environment
- intense. deliberately drawing attention to one’s self to solicit a response — difficult for introvert and avoidant types
- responses: friendly, smiles back, stop and chat, rejections, subtle hostility, indifference, etc.
- opposite and same sex — attractions and nodding
- then using discernment of who to smilie to
(Lack of) authenticity when smiling
- authentic sending and receiving — at least observed in others or with pets/animals, children
- perceptions of fake and forced vs authentic from me and others. doubt
- on fence about “fake it until you make it”
- miss America using vaseline on teeth
- genuine niceness — which might be at various levels — and kindness
- from the head or heart?
I don’t know karate, but I know craaaazyFrom “The Payback” by James Brown
Ideas for practice
- how much real danger vs negativity bias around certain things that happened around unknowns
- imagine this practice and compare to reality
- Tara Brach — inner smile, heart, hips, etc.
- strangers — on walks, public transport, restaurants, grocery stores, zoom, all and select
- receiving practice: who would and wouldn’t you want to simile at you? How would you take it? What about getting unexpected smiles?
- emotions, thoughts, state of mind and felt bodily experience in self and others before, during, after and for how long — their durations o
- warmth, joy, rejection, suspicion, judgement, what do they want, how’s there life, why can’t I smile back, human kindness, suffering and compassion
- notice ups and downs of responses and their durations before next smile
- discerning who to smile too: confidence, conviction, invite allowance, make resolve for smiling to occur naturally more often
- feeling smile related parts of body
Audio: (Authentic) Smiling (Practice)
Extras not on audio:
“Watching all these near death experience interviews has started to affect me. So many of these people talk about loving light from a source that seems to keep encouraging them to love themselves and others (everybody has their own version of that). The qualities and characteristics of what I use to do my job in helping people have all become more magnified since I’ve been trying to see where it is in my own life. So I’ve been looking at random people and asking myself how I could love that person. Or smiling at people I normally wouldn’t has been interesting. I’m trying to get to a point where I can feel the same way about random people as I do about animals. That’s been really interesting dissecting why that is and finding some interesting connections between honesty and forgiveness. And how all this leads to self-assuredness, groundedness and not taking things personally. Thought I would share my shift in perspective. It’s sort of what we’ve always known but just maybe experiencing/feeling it more profoundly or in a different way? Seems sort of hokey but it’s happening. The real challenge are people that are actively aggressive and/or arrogant/abusive…”text from a friend
Smiling in Abhidhamma:
26. Hasituppada is a citta peculiar to Arahats. Smiling is caused by a pleasurable feeling. There are thirteen classes of consciousness by which one may smile according to the type of the person. An ordinary worldling (puthujjana) may laugh with either one of the four types of cittas rooted in attachment, accompanied by pleasure, or one of the four kusala cittas, accompanied by pleasure.
Sotapannas, Sakadagamis, and Anagamis may smile with one of the two akusala cittas, disconnected with false view, accompanied by pleasure, or with one of the four kusala cittas.
Arahats and Pacceka Buddhas may smile with one of the four sobhana kiriya cittas or hasituppada.
Samma Sambuddhas smile with one of the two sobhana kiriya cittas, accompanied by wisdom and pleasure.
There is nothing but mere mirth in the hasituppada consciousness.
The Compendium of Philosophy states: “There are six classes of laughter recognized in Buddhist works: (1) sita: – a smile manifesting itself in expression and countenance; (2) hasita: – a smile consisting in the slight movements of the lips just enough to reveal the tips of the teeth; (3) vihasita: – laughter giving out a light sound; (4) upahasita: – laughter accompanied by the movement of the head, shoulders, and arms; (5) apahasita: – laughter accompanied by the shedding of tears; and (6) atihasita: – an outburst of laughter accompanied by the forward and backward movements of the entire body from head to foot. Laughter is thus a form of bodily expression (kaya-viññatti), which may or may not be accompanied by vocal expression (vaci-viññatti). Of these, the first two classes are indulged in by cultured persons, the next two by the average man, and the last two by the lower classes of being.Note 26 referencing “(18) Smile-producing consciousness, accompanied by pleasure” from 18 Types Of Rootless Consciousness (Functional Consciousness without Roots) in CHAPTER I — DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Citta-sangaha-vibhago) of “A Manual of Abhidhamma” by Narada Maha Thera https://www.budsas.org/ebud/abhisgho/abhis01.htm
Smiling consciousness cannot arise without a body. Buddhas and Pacceka Buddhas who experience such classes of consciousness are not born outside the human plane.Note 103 in
CHAPTER III – MISCELLANEOUS SECTION of A Manual of Abhidhamma” by Narada Maha Thera https://www.budsas.org/ebud/abhisgho/abhis03.htm