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The Inner Smile is about activating a level of inner self that is deeper than either our outer positive ego or outer negative ego. The Inner Smile begins by systematically having us unconditionally accept everything inside our self. We begin with the surface layers of our solid body, and work our way down into our deep layers of psyche and soul. We smile to the negative, we smile to the positive, and in the space between them we smile into the neutral. The neutral is the key space in the alchemy of self-transformation.

The most important "thing" inside us that we need to accept is the chi field itself. It is a super-intelligent energy field inside us that is connecting the superficial and deep layers of our self. It supplies the energy that we shape into our biological, psychological, and soul structure. The chi field is the energy field of all possibility. If you are scientific you can call it "bio-energy", and think of it as part of the quantum field. If you are religious you can call it the Holy Spirit and believe it is the divine field of God.

The Daoists simply call it the Original Breath of Nature. The label is not important. What matters is grasping that this chi field is alive, it is intelligent, and it is breathing. This breath is detectable in the pulsation of your atoms, your cells, your heartbeat, whatever you notice as "aliveness". Its subtle breath becomes the tangible breath of our lungs.

That means our physical breath, our heart beat, our blood flow, our every sensation of pleasure and pain, all our positive and negative feelings and thoughts, our every moment of soul-suffering as well as soul-bliss - all these arise from a unified field of intelligent, basically neutral energy at the core of our being.

All the events in our life, including internal feeling and external actions, arise as pulsations from this core neutral space. The deep structures underlying our emotions and thoughts are changing from moment to moment because of pulsations and cycles in the chi field. These fluctuations make it hard to grasp the true essence of our core identity patterns.

One minute we're an infant, next we are a child, then a teenager, then an adult - each with a different identity. The biological patterns are the most stable during these cycles of transition, and so the Inner Smile begins by connecting our biological self to the chi field inside us. This is known in modern Daoist terminology as linking the physical body with the Energy Body.

The Inner Smile is a method of progressive self-acceptance, It should not be confused with a method sometimes advocated by spiritual teachers of accepting everything outside you, everything that happens to you. That approach is focused on the outer world. The difference is crucial.

If you go around thinking you are accepting everything outside of yourself as an act of unconditional love, but haven't yet accepted unconditionally everything happening inside yourself, then your outer acceptance of things is not truly unconditional. It is an outward projection, an illusion of some still conditioned layer of your personality that aspires to be unconditional. The ego believes it can find its unconditional nature in the outer world, which it cannot.

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