Intuition as Intentional Practice

No one can teach Intuition: it arises gracefully in each of us. Yet we can create an opening conducive to intuition's grace. Intuition is the mysterious work of Sophia, divine Mother Wisdom, in us.


Every religious tradition honors and names Intuition: Prajna (Buddhism), Ritam-Bara-Pragyam (Yoga), Hochma (Jewish mystics), Spiritual Discernment (Christian scripture), The Inward Teacher (Quakerism), Sense of the Heart (Colonial Puritans)

1) Intuition is PRESENT.
Let your breath center you in the present moment. Intuition seldom works when intellect is in the past or future.

2) Intuition is NOTICING.
Intuition is inductive, not deductive. It arises when we pay attention to concrete details in the moment. Intuition speaks through the language of little things, using them as symbols. Intuition seldom deduces from philosophical belief systems or abstract concepts. So set aside your beliefs and just pay attention. Find an enriching place, perhaps a spot in the woods or near water. Notice little things: sounds, colors, bugs, pebbles, twigs.

3) Intuition is RECEPTIVE.

The analytic mind is yang, aggressive, penetrating an object to take it apart and look at its pieces. The intellect is one arrow in our quiver: one useful tool. But intuition is another tool. It is yin. To use it, we lay aside the intellectual tool. Let awareness rest in itself, yet remaining alert and open to the environment. Allow little things to come to you: don't grasp or analyze them. Let creation reveal itself, in its own quiet voice.

4) Intuition is NON-VERBAL.

Analysis arises in the verbal sections of the brain. Intuition arises in the non-verbal. Then it may move into the verbal cortex to become poetry or prophetic speech. But it begins in the non-verbal layers of the cortex. Intuition expresses through symbols, melodies, physical objects. Intuition loves silence. A natural way to enter this silence is just to listen. Listen to the most faint or distant sound. Listen to the silence after the faintest sound. Listen to the silence between sounds. When your mind is listening, it is not thinking in words.

5) Intuition comes from the HEART.

Listening to the silence of Now, receptive to little things, let attention sink from the head to the heart. Sink into heart-space through your breath. When you are ready, visualize whatever the question is that you are posing. Don't verbalize, but visualize, seeing yourself in that situation.

Which job should I take? Which college should I attend? Should I marry this person or remain single? Should I stay here or move to that part of the country? These are very practical and specific questions. We can use intuition as one tool for gaining a clearer answer.

Intentionally enter the intuitive space, as described above. Then visualize yourself in each of the two choices. Remember that this is not a moral decision about good and bad. It is a choice between what is best for YOUR personal growth and creativity.

The path that is not right for you produces a sensation of  CONTRACTION, INERTIA and HEAVINESS in your heart-space. The right path signals your heart with a sensation of EXPANSION, ENERGY and LIGHTNESS. Your heart feels a sigh of relief.

Intuition just means consulting your body-soul. It is your body-soul's natural meditation.