Chapter Three Smile Softly to Overcome the Hard

The teeth are hard and fall out; the tongue is soft and remains.

- Chinese proverb

Will The Inner Teeth Fall

An infant's natural inner smile is one reminder to adults of what they have lost and are spiritually seeking to restore.

Photo: Sonja Bosic celebrates her 1st birthday with an ecstatic Inner Smile. Her mother Emilee says "Sonja's spirit first came to me in vision at a group Daoist meditation a few days before I conceived. I did Inner Smile with her all through pregnancy. Since she was born, I feel her Inner Smile beaming back to me in each moment!"

The Inner Smile is considered primarily a water or yin method of Daoist inner alchemy. It is a soft method, and Daoism has always emphasized that softness overcomes hardness, that water can erode the hardest stone. Because the original chi field of the Tao/Dao flows like a great subtle ocean of energy, from which everything is born, Daoism itself is often called the watercourse way.

The Daoist cosmology is thus considered overall to be much more feminine than the western religions with their emphasis on a patriarchical Father god with a long white beard. Daoism employs numerous watery images and cosmologically focuses on the maternal function of Nature in birthing "the ten thousand things". It has many methods that focus on the yin principle of being receptive to Nature's chi flow. Since water is the physical world's most abundant dissolving agent,

But one should not confuse or elevate this use of yin principle or "soft" methods such as the Inner Smile as an argument that yin methods are superior to yang or fire methods. Both water and fire methods are equally honored in the Daoist tradition of inner alchemy. The Dao is ultimately about how to restore balance and harmony between water and fire, so that neither force dominates the other.

This is especially clear in One Cloud's Seven Alchemy Formulas for Immortality, which has three kan & li (Water & Fire) formulas for the intermediate stages known as Lesser, Greater, and Greatest Enlightenment. The Water is listed first, but the Fire has to balance it. In the final three formulas the adept moves beyond this polarity.

As a training sequence, Daoists will usually cultivate the yin or water side of the body first, to act as a grounding for the yang or fire that is next introduced into the body/watery ground. This is the case with the Inner Smile as well, and why it is taught in the first formula. But ultimately both yin chi and yang chi are cultivated back into their original form as yuan chi. This is the Daoist approach to all high level chi kung and meditation.

The Inner Smile is a definite method for activating a particular frequency of shen (spirit, or intelligence) within your internal chi field. This spirit is so profound that it is easy at first to miss its subtle power, to skip over it for something more tangible and more superficial. It took me over a decade of exploring One Cloud's Seven Alchemy Formulas for Immortality to realize the Inner Smile was the key practice linking all the formulas.

Continue reading here: Smile links Inner Heart to Original Spirit

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