Heart Smile

As the core practice of Heart-Smile Training, the main meditation practice gives us
a fuller experience of wholeness in the here and the now by filling the body and mind
with a feeling of warmth produced from a gentle and warm smile.

It is the practice of smiling with the corners of our mouths curled up, thereby filling our
body with feelings of warmth and kindness. It is important that the smile be genuine
and aroused from the natural state of life, not an artificial smile where one simply raises
the corners of the mouth.

To be able to do this, imagine smiling brightly with the eyes and mouth forming a round
shape like the sun. First, we feel the abundance of gentleness and clarity starting with our
forehead; then feel that warmth and kindness permeate deep into our eyes, cheeks, lips, chin, and neck.

In particular, we focus on the center of the chest and concentrate on the feelings of warmth and kindness for a set time. These feelings of warmth and kindness, roused from a loving smile act, as priming water in a pump; they activate our inherent loving-kindness so it may be boundlessly revealed.

This overflowing feeling of love and kindness is first transmitted to those we care about, and then, as we expand our consciousness, to those we feel neutral toward. Lastly, we transmit this feeling to those we feel uncomfortable with or even hate.

Then we recognize our current mental state with mindfulness. We repeat this process until we can share our kindness and gentleness with all beings equally.

This page excerpted in toto from Heart Smile Training Institute


While the practice of lovingkindness is timeless, and the practice of Metta is over 2500 years old, the Heart Smile Practice itself is taught by Misan Sunim, a Buddhist monk in the Soen Tradition of Korean Buddhism and founder of the Heart Smile Institute.