The Hidden Cost of Smiling

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The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:52 am

Would like to hear your comments on this, from a Buddhist point of view:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ins ... st-smiling
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby octathlon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:12 am

I disagree with the premise. But maybe he hangs out with a different crowd than I do.
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:17 am

The practice on retreat of averting one's eyes away from faces and looking at the ground, coupled with noble silence, is a wonderful thing.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby lojong1 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:47 am

Ben wrote:noble silence

Samyutta Nikaya 21.1
Kolita1 Sutta -- Mahamoggallana (on Noble Silence)

1. Thus have I heard: Once the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta's grove, Anathapindika's park.

2. There the venerable Mahamoggallana addressed the monks saying: "Monks, friends." And those monks replied: "Yes, friend."

3. Venerable Mahamoggallana said: "Friends, when I was in seclusion this thinking and pondering occurred to me, 'It is said noble silence. What is noble silence?'

4. "Friends, it occurred to me, here one pacifies thinking and pondering and with the mind internally settled and in one point, without thinking and pondering and with rapture and happiness born of concentration, one raises the mind to the second jhana. This is called noble silence.

5. "Friends, when I pacified thinking and pondering and internally settled the mind in one point and without thinking and pondering raised the mind to the second jhana and enjoyed the happiness born of concentration, my attention was disturbed by the perception of thoughts.

6. "Then the Blessed One approached me by psychic power and said: 'O! Brahmin, Moggallana, do not neglect noble silence. Establish the mind in noble silence. Collect the mind in one point and establish it in noble silence.'

7. "Friends, I then pacified thinking and pondering and with the mind internally settled and in one point, without thinking and pondering and with rapture and happiness born of concentration, I raised the mind to the second jhana. Friends, saying it correctly I am his disciple and son attained to deep knowledge with the compassionate help of the Teacher."
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:05 am

Perhaps I should have elaborate a little bit more in my opening post.

For those who have withdrawn from the world e.g. in a retreat, I would agree that the article has little or bearing.

But for the majority of us who have to work and interact with office colleagues, customers/clients, suppliers or who are still living within a samsaric society and have to interact with neighbours, friends, relatives etc., do you think that the article raises issues for the application of Buddhist ethics/precepts in our daily lives?
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:25 am

Sherab wrote:... for the majority of us who have to work and interact with office colleagues, customers/clients, suppliers or who are still living within a samsaric society and have to interact with neighbours, friends, relatives etc., do you think that the article raises issues for the application of Buddhist ethics/precepts in our daily lives?

Extending the definition of right speech to cover body language, and specifically facial expressions, seems reasonable to me.
But basically the writer has very little to say and exaggerates everything to make that little into something big enough to hold the reader's attention.
:juggling:

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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby 5heaps » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:56 am

Sherab wrote:Would like to hear your comments on this, from a Buddhist point of view

besides that humans dont have cores, how did they manage to make such a good topic so boring?

is it anything but good that people become numb to facades?
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Goedert » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:10 am

Sherab wrote:Would like to hear your comments on this, from a Buddhist point of view:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ins ... st-smiling


The Cost is the endless wandering.
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby legolas » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:34 pm

lojong1 wrote:
Ben wrote:noble silence

Samyutta Nikaya 21.1
Kolita1 Sutta -- Mahamoggallana (on Noble Silence)

1. Thus have I heard: Once the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta's grove, Anathapindika's park.

2. There the venerable Mahamoggallana addressed the monks saying: "Monks, friends." And those monks replied: "Yes, friend."

3. Venerable Mahamoggallana said: "Friends, when I was in seclusion this thinking and pondering occurred to me, 'It is said noble silence. What is noble silence?'

4. "Friends, it occurred to me, here one pacifies thinking and pondering and with the mind internally settled and in one point, without thinking and pondering and with rapture and happiness born of concentration, one raises the mind to the second jhana. This is called noble silence.

5. "Friends, when I pacified thinking and pondering and internally settled the mind in one point and without thinking and pondering raised the mind to the second jhana and enjoyed the happiness born of concentration, my attention was disturbed by the perception of thoughts.

6. "Then the Blessed One approached me by psychic power and said: 'O! Brahmin, Moggallana, do not neglect noble silence. Establish the mind in noble silence. Collect the mind in one point and establish it in noble silence.'

7. "Friends, I then pacified thinking and pondering and with the mind internally settled and in one point, without thinking and pondering and with rapture and happiness born of concentration, I raised the mind to the second jhana. Friends, saying it correctly I am his disciple and son attained to deep knowledge with the compassionate help of the Teacher."


That really is Noble Silence. I have often looked at the ground and avoided peoples faces and not said a word, I can be a right stroppy bugger. :evil:
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:40 pm

:lol:
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:34 pm

legolas wrote:That really is Noble Silence. I have often looked at the ground and avoided peoples faces and not said a word, I can be a right stroppy bugger. :evil:


Well I guess there is noble silence (of body speech and mind) and the Noble Silence that is a metaphor for the jhanas which do not permit someone to remain stroppy.
45162_421514152004_6708787004_5005046_831438_s.jpg
45162_421514152004_6708787004_5005046_831438_s.jpg (8.7 KiB) Viewed 369 times
What I was getting at, was an observation that the conditions of silent retreats provides a brilliant respite from the constant caustic bs of meaningless social interaction. As I said, it was really just an observation, not a solution.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:01 pm

It's got to be the result of our marketing-oriented culture -- smiling and eye contact are tried and true methods of overcoming customer resistance and building rapport. We learn this stuff even in first grade when they send the kids out to sell cookies or whatever for school fundraisers.

It will be interesting to see if other cultures develop the smiliness habit under the influence of advertising.

Having said that, have you noticed how smiley the mainstream Buddhist magazines such as Tricycle and Shambala Sun are? Pages and pages of grinning gurus -- can be a bit disconcerting.
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Fede » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:47 pm

I didn't like this bit, however humorous he was trying to be. It actually, paradoxically wiped the smile off my face!

If all you ever do is smile regardless of how you really feel, you end up either ignorant or dismissive of your feelings, or both (in which case you have become, of course, British).


I think the point he is making is that those who smile habitually, lose reason for their smile, and do so automatically, which renders their feature misleading and false.

(I watch 'Lie to me' too, you know.....) :tongue:

All I can say is that, honestly? I smile, a lot. And I promise you, my smile is genuine.
I smile, because I am 9 times out of 10, a happy person....

If I'm not smiling, you can betcha I have something heavy on my mind.

My philosophy is this one:
I get up in the morning and ask myself;
Do I have something to be really happy about?
Do I have something to be really miserable about?
if the answer is 'no' to both, then it's better to be happy for nothing, than miserable for nothing.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:35 pm

Hi Fede

I came to the conclusion some time ago that some people aren't happy unless they've got something to be miserable about.
Some people,I have observed, can be addicted or deeply attached to certain things that make them miserable. And in many cases those 'define' those people, it props up a sense of self.
kind regards

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby legolas » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:37 am

Ben wrote:
legolas wrote:That really is Noble Silence. I have often looked at the ground and avoided peoples faces and not said a word, I can be a right stroppy bugger. :evil:


Well I guess there is noble silence (of body speech and mind) and the Noble Silence that is a metaphor for the jhanas which do not permit a bastard to remain stroppy.
45162_421514152004_6708787004_5005046_831438_s.jpg
What I was getting at, was an observation that the conditions of silent retreats provides a brilliant respite from the constant caustic bs of meaningless social interaction. As I said, it was really just an observation, not a solution.


Noble silence is not restraining oneself from calling someone a bastard, that would come under Right Speech i.e. not using derogatory language by remaining silent would come under Right Speech.
Noble silence of body, speech & mind is jhana.
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:45 am

whateva
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby legolas » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:15 am

Ben wrote:whateva


A good cogent argument.
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:52 am

legolas wrote:
Ben wrote:whateva


A good cogent argument.


Thank you, now perhaps do you think you could return to topic?
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Fede » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:08 am

Whereas Noam Shpancer (what a name to conjure with....! I think I'd soon lose my smile if I had to keep telling people how to spell it! "No, like dancer, but drop the D, and put Shp....") is obviously writing from a personal objective, and merely propounding theoris which appear to be of his own making, much research suggests that even a forced smile on the face of one unwilling to smile naturally, can have a beneficial psychological and physical effects.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Smiling-Is-Good-For-Your-Health&id=438527


http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htm


http://bipolar.about.com/cs/humor/a/000802_smile.htm


Either Mr Noam 'bah humbug' Shpancer hasn't done his research, or he feels that bringing other folk down to a miserable level is preferable. Wallowing is so much easier when you're shallow.....!
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
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Re: The Hidden Cost of Smiling

Postby Annapurna » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:38 am

Sherab wrote:Would like to hear your comments on this, from a Buddhist point of view:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ins ... st-smiling




Sherab,

I found the article hihgly interesting, and this has to do with my nationality.
I'm from Bavaria, in South Germany.

After WW II Bavaria had military posts of the US Army basically everywhere.s

So one of these days I ran into a WEst Point officer and we evetually got engaged. When I was with him in the States to visit, I was overwhelmed by the friendliness I encountered everywhere.

Everybody was smiling at me, even strangers in supermarkets apologized and smiled when actually I had bumped into them.

I felt very welcome and it was easy to make a contact.

In good old Germany, it is different.

Even though I come from Bavaria which is much more easygoing and mellow than the North, (no wonder, we make the best beer in the world, he, :tongue: :toast: )people here will frown when they feel like it. They'll tell you their honest opinion, and not too softly. Their faces are mostly a total mirror of the inner mood. Honesty and authentizity trumps.

So when I came back to Germany, I noticed this for the first time:

"Wow, how grouchy people look. But most people just had indifferent faces, I just missed the smiles.

Here, when you smile, you're either with good friends, or you have "intentions".

To pick somebody up.

I was even once asked by an American to smile.

I told him: "Why? I don't feel like smiling. "

He saiod: Yes, but it doesn't have to show. People will think you are mad at them."

This brings us to the biological and evolutionary PURPOSE of smiling:

It is an appeasing gesture.

Dogs and cats will wag tails, purr and give their cheeks into your hand,

Human beings smile to show harmlessness and to appease.

Smiling is a huge inrstument we are using to signal to others that we are not looking for a fight, but friend-ly. Like friends.

Like in Germany friends smile at each other.

A bit less phoney smiles in the USA and a bit more friendliness to strangers in Germany would be my ideal.

Anna

PS: I have adopted a lot of the Americyan style, btw. It has the effect that people become very friendly and helpful....and that makes me happy and smile.

What a vicious circle. ;)
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