Review of “The Spirit of Smiling” by Christina J Barea

Rock Garden

Gary Giamboi has cleverly pulled up a meditation cushion and invited us to join him on a very intimate and personal talk on the path to enlightenment. Hidden in plain sight amongst the simplicity of uncomplicated words and examples from everyday experiences lies the gift of someone who has spent years dedicated to the search for Truth. Pour yourself a cup of tea, settle into yourself and enjoy a one-on-one session with your personal guru.

The Spirit of Smiling reveals how years of discipline in martial arts can be the key to mastering the biggest enemy any person will ever have- themselves. There is no need to read hundreds of pages to understand what is so plainly stated in this book. Shifu Gary chooses a simple language that anyone can understand and avoids the flowery words or smoke & mirrors that ego-centered writers often choose to boost their appearance.

This is a practical book, a “get to the point” opportunity for someone who is committed to self-improvement.

Of special interest to seekers and teachers, is Chapter 2 which expertly defines the responsibility of both student and teacher. It calls forth the subject of accountability within the student that is so often overlooked by newcomers on the journey. It is an essential first step to clarify the dynamic at play in the process of enlightenment. That it is not something that can be bestowed upon a seeker, but a conscious process of personal integration.

The Spirit of Smiling continues to describe point by point the typical places we stumble on in the process of purification while at the same time reassuring us that it is normal, expected and nothing to be afraid of. Shifu Gary takes philosophical ideas like wuwei (the term for non-action in Daoism) and, without ever mentioning the words, effortlessly guides us into understanding its essence.

Step by step he describes the process of liberation ultimately guiding us into a state of pure bliss where the most natural thing occurs, a smile.


Christina J Barea, DP, MMQ

Daoist Priest, Qigong Therapist & Instructor

Author of “Qigong Illustrated”

About The Dharma Warrior

Gary Giamboi, The Dharma Warrior, has been studying Eastern arts since 1969. He has been teaching them for over 25 years. For more details about Gary Giamboi, see the "About Gary Giamboi" page by clicking the link below or the navigation tab above. About Gary Giamboi
Posted in Review by a Daoist, Review by a Meditation Teacher, Review by a Spiritual Teacher