Smiling Buddha Kriya (kundalini kriya)

- - Meditations + Kriyas

smiling buddha kriya kundalini yoga
A soft smile and the willingness to sit and invest in your own happiness are the only requirements for this practice. Smiling Buddha Kriya is sweet, simple, and powerful. Study after study has shown that just the act of smiling is enough to alter your state of consciousness and mood. This kriya will bring you closer to Self, to happiness, to bliss.


“The story goes that a brahman found Siddhartha nearly starved and in an unhappy way, unable to walk after a forty-day fast. The brahman nursed him back to health, and when Siddhartha finally began to smile again, the brahman taught him this kriya. Siddhartha went on to become Buddha, who found Enlightenment under the bodhi tree!” — Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

“Historically, this is an outstanding kriya. It was practiced by both Buddha and Christ. You have likely seen this mudra (symbolic hand gesture) in paintings and statues. It is a gesture and exercise of happiness and it opens the flow of energy to the heart center. You needn’t worry about learning this kriya to be a Buddha or a Jesus — just learn it to be yourself! Be a little selfish for your higher consciousness. Master the technique and experience the state it brings. Then share it by creating beauty and peace around you.” — Gururattan Kaur Khalsa

Benefits of Smiling Buddha Kriya:

  1. Makes you smile from the inside out
  2. Brings forth radiant positivity
  3. Confidence-giving
  4. Energetically balancing
  5. Bursts your Third Eye wide open for clear intuition
  6. Opens the heart
  7. Expands consciousness

smiling buddha kriya

How to Practice Smiling Buddha Kriya:

  1. Sit in Sukhasana (Easy Pose). Sukhasana has many variations, but what is most important is its meaning: to sit comfortably. So sit in the most comfortable position for you, so long as your are sitting straight. Feel free to sit up against a wall if you need the extra support to be able to remain seated for an extended period.
  2. Take Maha Gyan Mudra (see illustration above). Palms face forward. Curl your ring and pinky fingers in toward each palm and hold them down gently with your thumbs. Keep your pointer and middle fingers extended straight up and pressed together. (You are basically making a peace sign, but the two extended fingers are together, rather than in a V.)
  3. Hands are at the sides of the shoulders. Elbows are bent, creating a 30 degree angle between your upper arm and forearm.
  4. Roll the shoulder blades down the back, broaden your collarbones, relax your trapezius, and soften your front ribs.
  5. Close your eyes and direct your focus and energy to the Third Eye Point. Do this with powerful intention, but gently with the inner gaze, so as not to strain the eyes.
  6. Smile softly.
  7. Begin to chant this mantra mentally and continuously, “Sa Ta Na Ma.” (Sa = Infinity. Ta = Life. Na = Death. Ma = Rebirth. The whole mantra means “I am Truth.”) This is the most fundamental of the Kundalini mantras.
  8. Stay relaxed. Let your breathing be natural.
  9. Practice for 3 minutes. If you can, work your way up to 11 minutes. If not, 3 minutes is perfect and will be very powerful.
  10. When complete, inhale deeply, exhale deeply, then open and close your fists a few times, and relax.

Smiling Buddha Kriya as written above © Y is for Yogini, adapted from the original kriya created by Yogi Bhajan.

If you are a visual learner, watch this Smiling Buddha Kriya video. (Note: Be sure to read all notes above, as there are important points the video does not cover.)

Questions or thoughts along the way? Let me know! Enjoy the journey.

artwork credit: Ann Marie Maxwell with aesthetic modifications made by YIFY

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

12 Comments to Smiling Buddha Kriya (kundalini kriya)

  1. Finally got to do this today! After I got over the Richard Nixon feeling with the hands up in the air like that I was able to relax into a 5 minute session. What a difference it makes to smile during meditation! Feeling pretty blissful right now. How is the Kriya going for you? Do tell!

  2. On day 11 and there is a real difference. I don’t think my heart has been more honored and protected while still open and giving but within boundaries that respect ME. I am realizing the quality and truth of certain bonds without judging them – just acknowledging and accepting. It’s as if many veils are being drawn back and taken down. Thanks so much for this post, Yogini!