On Intuition


One reliable source of intuition is formulating good
questions and having an intention behind the questions:
“What is it that I
need to learn today?”, “What is it that I need to learn to live my life better?”, “What is it that I need next to write my book?”

My sense is that intuition often reveals what you need to do next, although not necessarily the big picture. And if we’re content with not pressuring intuition to always give us a mountaintop perspective, but rather just to answer for us, “What happens next? What do I need to do next?”, I think that’s a better relationship with intuition.

Four more things I’ll mention about intuition: Working with dreams is fraught with the possibility of descending into chaos, but with practice and the development of skills, it can become a crucial source of intuition. I really value my ability to do one of the primary Jungian practices, which is shadow work — dealing with those aspects of me that are unripe and dumb. Dreams have been crucial in helping me unlock the magic of dealing with my shadow and transforming my shadow.

Another good practice for intuition is to ask the question, “What does my death say?” On one’s deathbed, what does one want to look back at and say, “That was important. That was important. That was important. No, that wasn’t so important.” So one’s death can be a tonic informant that helps intuition really focus and come into maximum usefulness.

The other thing is that intuition is aided immeasurably by moving, by walking. I don’t know if that’s true for everybody. Walks and nature are important for me being able to tune into intuition that turns out to be useful and enduring. So often I’ll take a notebook with me, or a recorder with me, to capture those intuitions that come to me while I’m walking.

There’s one other thing. The practice of intuition takes place best when you have gone as far as you can with your intellect. In other words, I can’t skip the stage of the process of research, of thinking hard, of using my logic, of being reasonable. That’s crucial for generating intuition that’s accurate and useful.

And once I’ve done the research, once I’ve tried to think my way to being as objective as possible — and that involves using the scientific method — then I hand it over to intuition and say, “Well, what more can you tell me, given that I’ve come this far with all this analysis? What can you add to it?”

– – Robert Breszny





Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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