Have you ever noticed that every time you see an image of Buddha he is always smiling? Check it all of the images below; the man always has a big grin on his face.
Sometimes his eyes are open, but in most cases his eyes are closed as he is deep in meditation – deep in that place where the mind quiets, the worry about the past is gone, the anticipation about the future has been quelled. It’s that blissful state of peace that comes when one is truly present in the moment. I love that sweet little smile. It’s just a little bigger than the famous Mona Lisa smirk, but it speaks volumes of the joy that can be ours if we let go of suffering, and it is one I seek to emulate.
This past week with the presence of abundant energy from the Scorpio full moon, when I went to meditate I knew I would need to do something to clear the chatter in my mind. My preferred method of pre-meditation mind de-clutter is a robust round of bhramari breathing. After I finish bhramari I always bring my hands down to my knees, keep my eyes closed, and just let the yummy vibrations of the breath soak in. A very cool thing happened this week after I finished my practice: I noticed that this sweet little smile came across my lips, and I had the realization that I was experiencing none other than that sweet Buddha smile. Woo Hoo!
I couldn’t keep the Buddha smile all to myself, so this week in my yoga classes I taught bhramari breathing, and it was delightful to see the smiles sweep across the faces of my students as they sat in silence feeling the effects of the breath and enjoying the space in their quieted minds. If you would like to try it out for yourself and seek your inner Buddha smile, I have the directions posted here on the Daily Downward Dog.
Monday, May 4 was Wesak Day, a huge spiritual celebration that recognizes the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Guatama Buddha. So in honor of that, I infused many of my favorite Buddha quotes into the classes I taught. It is said the Buddha was the first human to attain enlightenment. He was full of wisdom, compassion, and teaching that can help us sentient beings to let go of our suffering.
Want to open your mind to the timeless truths Buddha had to offer? Here are a few quotes that for me, sum up his teachings, which tie very nicely to the practices of yoga.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.”
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
“In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”
“Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.”
“Attachment leads to suffering.”
“Nothing is forever except change.”
“Three things cannot hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.”
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live,
and that is the present moment”
“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.”
Buddha is definitely my go-to guy when I need some inspiration to find my inner smile. Take some time this week, yogis, to sit down, clear your mind, meditate, let go of attachment, seek compassion in your heart, and find that sweet little Buddha smile. When you find it, don’t forget to share it with all you meet.
I’ll go out with one more Buddhalicious quote that I wish for everyone….
Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds!”
Shine.” – Guatama Buddha
Summer Beach Yoga starts May 23.