The Smiling Buddha Meditation is one of the best meditations for joy; one of the most positive emotions we humans can experience.

To Buddha, joy was one of the most important emotions of all.

As Buddha famously said:

“You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.”

Joy is one of the 16 types of happiness [READ: Happiness Techniques].

It is different to sheer happiness because it is a more light-hearted, good-humoured emotion. While we could say, for instance, that we are happy and mean that deep down, we feel content, joy means we are specifically feeling that childlike glee and ebullience.

To the Buddhist, joy is a shared emotion.

Buddha taught that we must learn to share the joy of others, in an empathetic or compassionate way (Access To Insight has an excellent article on this).

We are naturally born with this ability to share joy.

Healthy kids are always laughing with one another and sharing one another’s emotions. But as we grow old, our empathy reduces, and we are less likely to laugh with others and to share their joy.

Shared-joy is significant because a big part of becoming happy is the ability to share the positivity and joy of other people empathically.

“Shared joy is a double joy. Shared sorrow is half the sorrow—Buddha ”

What is Smiling Buddha Meditation?

Smiling Buddha Technique is an excellent meditation for joy and definitely worth adding to you Buddhist meditation plan.

Many people have heard of Loving Kindness, which is the most commonly used meditation for general happiness and good feelings, but there is a better meditation for joy, and that is the Smiling Buddha method.

Have you ever noticed how in Buddha statues, Buddha is usually smiling?

Buddha found the keys to happiness. And one of those keys is a special meditation technique which just so happens to be called (you guessed it), The Smiling Buddha Technique, which is used to cultivate joy and to increase self-confidence.

Confidence is, of course, one of the most important traits that anyone can have.

We all know what it feels like to walk into an interview full of confidence or to approach someone you’re interested in and feel genuinely confident about asking them out. That confidence plays a pivotal role. With confidence, you will more than likely be successful. Without it? It’s game over. Thankfully,  if you don’t happen to wake up full of positivity and with confidence glistening in your very pores, then there is something you can do. You can use Smiling Buddha technique.

The Smiling Buddha technique was taught to the Buddha by a rishi ( a Vedic term that denotes an inspired poet of hymns from the Vedas).

The Risihi taught Buddha the technique to help him to create joy and to overcome negative emotions. The method the rishi taught Buddha—The Smiling Buddha technique—is straightforward, but it is also very useful. And despite being first taught over 2500 years ago, it is still very relevant even in this modern age.

The Smiling Buddha technique is a kriya that involves mantra, mudra and chi, along with focus, eye positions, and a spot of Kundalini Yoga. But don’t worry. It’s a lot easier than it sounds

If you have been suffering from depression, anxiety or low self-esteem, the Smiling Buddha technique will be of tremendous help.

Before getting to the technique itself, let’s look at some of the benefits of the Smiling Buddha Meditation technique.


How to do Smiling Buddha Meditation For Joy

smiling buddha kriya

  1. Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and your spine in proper alignment. You may sit in a chair if you prefer. You may find it beneficial to use one of the sitting positions used in Zen meditation technique.
  2. Put your hands in the Maha Gyan Mudra by moving the tip of your ring finger under the thumb while extending the other fingers straight up (see the picture above)
  3. Move your hands so they are at shoulder height and about 10 inches from your shoulders. Your elbows will be bent, and your 2nd and 3rd finger should be pointing straight up.
  4. Close your eyes and move them so you are looking at your third eye chakra (middle of the forehead). Be sure not to strain your eyes.
  5. Smile
  6. Chant the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma. This mantra means “Infinity, Life, Death, Rebirth.” Meditate on this mantra.
  7. To finish, warm your hands by rubbing the palms together, and place your hands over your eyes.
  8. Open your eyes.

Save this page for tomorrow so you can practice again.

I would love to know how you get on with this meditation for joy. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, or if there is anything that you would like me to add to this guide to help you out.

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Written by Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.