How to thrive with intuitive decisions

The word intuition has been used increasingly in the last decade. Intuition had become a popular topic in business. As things are changing with increasing speed we don’t have time to figure out the right thing to do cognitively, with linear left-brain thinking. Instead we have to make good split-second decisions based on partial information and past experience. Malcolm Gladwell addressed this to some extent in his book Blink.

I’ve heard spiritual teachers describe intuition as tuning into the will of God, which I interpret as getting in harmony with the Tao. The essence of the wisdom of Lao Tsu in the Tao Te Ching is that suffering ends when we are in harmony with the Tao. But often, no practical method is given for being in tune with the Tao, apart from meditating. Over time, certain types of meditation will increase your harmony with the Tao, but there are times that we really need to fine-tune our intuition quickly.

I have written about removing energy blockages and how this leads to a free flow of life energy. The life energy you feel in your body, as emotions and as other subtler sensations, is the Tao. The Tao ultimately manifests in everything you perceive, but your feeling of it in your body is the most direct perception you can have of it, without merging with it completely. You can literally feel the Tao right now in your body. Say hello.

Intuition is usually considered important when you have a decision to make. At these times, if you feel any kind of unpleasant sensation or negative emotion related to the problem, it means that you have energy blockages in your body. No matter how rational we think we are, all of us make decisions based on our feelings, and then later rationalize. When there is an unpleasant sensation, we typically make decisions that we anticipate will make the sensation go away, usually temporarily. So, this is the time to focus on clearing the energy blockages, which are the real problem.

When you have a free flow of energy in your body, there is an overall feeling of being able to choose, and decisions seem obvious. This is pure intuition. This is what it means to be in harmony with the Tao, to be clear on the “will of God,” or to feel the “Holy Spirit” flowing through you.

So next time you need to make a decision, don’t do it if there are any unpleasant sensations in your body. First stop and clear the energy blockages. Then take action when there are only pleasant sensations in your body. This is how you will have good intuition and make adaptive choices using your intuition.

Buddha kept it simple

Buddha was not a Buddhist. He was someone who realized how much he, and the rest of humanity, suffered; and he decided to figure out a solution. Buddha discovered, or perhaps rediscovered, insight meditation, and used it to free himself permanently from suffering. Insight meditation, also called Vipassanā, meaning insight into reality, is a very simple form of meditation in which you pay attention to the sensations on and inside your body, from moment to moment and with equanimity. Equanimity is when you don’t push something away or crave more of it; you just let it be as it is.

Everything that you perceive through your senses causes some kind of sensation to occur in your body. Some perceptions result in pleasant sensations and other perceptions result in unpleasant sensations. At the deepest level of your unconscious mind, you are continually paying attention to the sensations, grasping at the pleasant ones, and their associated experiences, and resisting the unpleasant ones, and their associated experiences. This is suffering: unconsciously reacting with craving and aversion to stimulii. When you start practicing Vipassanā, you start to realize the extent and depth of this suffering. It is continual and all-pervading.

By consciously scanning your body for subtler and subtler sensations, and consciously being equanimous with them, you can retrain your unconscious mind at the deepest level to not react with craving or aversion, to stop suffering. When equanimity is fully habitual, there is no more reactivity, and no more suffering.

The sensations that arise in reaction to perceptions are energetic echoes from the past, from when a past situation was reacted to; they are impurities in the mind that cloud perception of reality. When these sensations are allowed to arise, and are not reacted to, they can pass away naturally. When you unconsciously react, you maintain these impurities, and lay down more of them.

With regular practice of Vipassanā, not only do you get increasingly skilled at being equanimous and non-reactive, which becomes unconscious and automatic, but you also purify your mind so there is less to react to. External situations still arise, but the perception of them results in increasingly less intense internal sensations. You become less disturbed by life, less reactive, and your suffering begins to end.

While there are now so many complex forms of Buddhism, with intricate rituals and practices, Buddha wanted to keep it simple, to teach this simple technique to end suffering. It’s best to learn Vipassanā in an intensive retreat, where you can really see the benefits and establish your practice. I highly recommend the ten-day meditation retreats taught around the world by S. N. Goenka, where food and lodging is free to you, paid for by past students. These retreats are one of the best ways you could use your time, and will significantly change your life for the better.