Why does Thay say that smiling is the most basic kind of peace work? A smile not only helps to relax ourselves, releasing our own tension and anxiety so that we can touch more peace. The smile on our face will bring more pleasant feelings to others.
Thay sees smiling as integral to mindfulness practice:
We often jump to conclusions—at work, at home, with our family and friends, or even with people we walk by on the street or encounter at the supermarket. We all have our own sensitivities and shadows that we’ve accumulated over the years. And these sensitivities and shadows can lead our minds to leap to a conjecture that is just plain wrong. Some examples:
A. When we look at a human being, we look deeply enough to see that an individual is made of many elements: society, education, parents, ancestors, culture and so on. If we don’t see all these elements, we don’t fully see the person. If he has the tendency to behave in a negative manner, it doesn’t mean that he liked to behave that way, but that he may be a victim of transmission. The negative seeds in him may have been transmitted to him by his society, his parents, his ancestors, or his culture.