As we engage in remembering and attempting to understand our collective world history in the modern era, we can indeed touch the merits of science and rationalism. We may be personally grateful for advances in medicine, climate science, technology that impact our daily lives. But we may also pause: As we take it all in, we also remember how forms of “science” and “rationalism” legitimated cruelty and evil ideologies and technologies in some of the most sophisticated circles and societies. As we journey forth in our quest to create a kinder, more gentle world, relying upon multiple forms of knowledge and sitting in humility with history, may support receptivity, discernment and wisdom about what is imparted, what is left out, and considerations for both.
In our personal lives, this is even more important. For the purpose of this post, I want to invite “intuition” into the conversation and suggest how a felt-sense of “knowing,” can be accentuated, practiced and provide direction for our lives. Intuition is an accurate insight generally experienced as an instinct, a “gut feeling,” which is beyond rational deliberation and/or our five senses. I imagine most people have experiences where trusting their gut was wise and led them to something positive and/or was a warning of sorts for something unhelpful, maybe even dangerous. We strengthen our intuition when we encounter it, recognize it as such, and further cultivate it through practice. I’d like to propose a few practices that may be helpful to you in this aim:
- Meditation: Meditation assists us in getting the rational mind out of our way. It helps us let go of the measuring, categorizing, and old stories; it makes room for intuition. In meditation, we encounter the inner core/spirit/seer ("still voice") and observe the thoughts, images, bodily sensations, feelings (the seen). As we meditate, we become more intimate with the seer. We feel her peace, her security, her strength, her love. She is always there, even if/when the seen is uncomfortable to us. We learn to trust the seer more than the seen.
- Intentionality: We can take a challenge of ours and ask for direction to “show up” for us. This can be in the form of a person, place, opportunity, book, comment, something that comes our way somehow “coincidentally.” We can trust it is beyond mere coincidence. We can learn to discern patterns in the cumulative “coincidences” and find answers.
- Attunement: As we become more intimate with the seer and our body, we listen to her. Where is there a lightness, an ease of being, with a person, place, idea, life decision. Follow the light. What feels heavy, likely is.
- Notice: Notice where and when your intuition was correct. How is it experienced for you? Is it more reliable in certain areas of your life (work, family, love, sport)? Is it less reliable in one or more? Is there a pattern? Keep a journal, visual or audio recording. See what shows up for you.