Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tolle on Intuition

Here is the additional information I had promised on intuition.... I love the way Eckhart Tolle describes intuition in the interview below.

Eckhart Tolle on Intuition

You could say that intuition is a kind of knowing, but you don’t know how you got there. You know something, but you don’t know by what path you’ve arrived at what you know. It’s a sudden arising of knowledge or knowing something, but one might say, “I don’t know how I know this”. What is at work here is non-conceptual intelligence, when intuition arises.

Intuition is not arrived at by thinking, not by logic. It’s arrived at in a way that we cannot explain. It is closely related to creativity and inspiration. Inspiration also comes from that place. It is given to you. It is given to all great artists, musicians, writers, and even great scientists who made deep discoveries that were revolutionary – like Einstein. Einstein had a ‘sense’ of his theory of relativity. Before he could fully prove it, he already knew it was true. It was intuition that came to him. Of course, he had done a lot of thinking before that happened.

Sometimes you have to do a lot of thinking, and then suddenly, thinking doesn’t get you anywhere anymore, and you stop thinking, and you go out and take a few deep breaths. Or you go out into nature and sit under a tree. And suddenly, intuition is there. Something you couldn’t have arrived at through thinking.

It’s vital for every human being to contact that place within, where intuition arises, because otherwise you are confined to the limitations of your conceptual mind.

Otherwise, your life is just repetitive, and no new ideas can come. If it’s a fresh and new idea, it comes from a place where all creativity arises - which ultimately, is the stillness within. That’s where intuition arises. If you can be still even for a moment, then there’s a possibility that some intuitive thing arises as a thought or as a spontaneous thing that you say, and you’ve surprised yourself. Maybe somebody needs your help or advice, and rather than thinking “I should be helping that person. What can I say next to help them?”, rather than that you just become still, listen, look. And suddenly you may find yourself saying something. It’s intuitive. Suddenly a deeper intelligence comes and uses your mind.

That’s what we call intuition. Realize that this is at the basis of all creative activities, all truly creative activities. Perception is something that comes from the outside, and intuition comes from the inner. It comes from you. It is essentially one with who you are, intelligence itself.

The easiest way to develop intuition is to develop the ability to be still. Rather than “trying” to develop intuition, go to the place where all intuition arises. You don’t need to worry about becoming more intuitive if you focus more on being still. Not necessarily for long periods of time, but have moments of stillness in your life, so that every day is interspersed with moments of stillness.

You could just close your eyes and take one or two deep breaths. Or you don’t even have to close your eyes, but while you’re listening or looking at somebody, feel yourself breathing. Feel the inner aliveness within your body.

If you are looking at your computer screen, look away for a moment, or close your eyes for a moment, and take one or two conscious breaths. It brings you to stillness.

Wherever you are, there are always opportunities for a moment of stillness. And that is vital, because otherwise your life is unbalanced. If you don’t find stillness, all you have is activity - one thing after another. And this covers up your potential intuitive faculty, continuously. Seek out moments of stillness. Even the busiest person can do it. If you’re driving home, or driving to work, every traffic light is an invitation to stillness. There are so many opportunities for stillness.

Stillness is where intuition arises.


For further reading, I recommend Eckhart Tolle's books The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment or A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Intuition and Your Own Guru


Quote of the month:
When you trust and act on your intuition,
you increase your self-esteem,
build trust in yourself and
experience a profound sense of security that no relationship or
amount of money will ever give you.
- Cheryl Richardson

Last month, on the post titled, Be Your Own Guru, there was a question that I thought might be useful to address on a post.

The question was:
What if you have two voices and both feel like intuition and they are opposing ideas, what do you do then???

My answer:
Thank you for your good question!

In my experience, if the two "voices" are in conflict, typically only one of them is truly coming from intuition. There are a lot of "voices" in there as I discussed in the Intuition post. There is also additional information on where they come from in the post titled The Voice (you can also find links to both of these in the top box on the right column.)

As a reminder, for me, intuition is never fearful or suggesting something that may cause harm. It also does not have an "excited" charge to it, though it may subsequently feel energizing as opposed to draining. The information itself, is matter of fact.

As always, I suggest practicing with simple things that do not really matter (like buying apples or oranges) in order to better recognize one's intuition in more challenging situations where one's ego and fear may be much louder voices.

Some suggestions for making a decision:
1 - "Sit with" or meditate on each of them. See which one "feels" right to you. Focus especially in a few areas of your body - your heart, your stomach and your throat.

2 - Visualize a path in front of you with a fork in the road, each representing one of the choices. Visualize yourself walking down each and see which one feels like the better option.

3 - Ask your intuition for clarification.

4 - Does one of the options make you feel tired or drained? If so, this is probably not the best option.

5 - Are they truly as in opposition as they seem? A part of spirituality is to release the outcome. You may not know why you are being guided in a particular direction until after the fact.

6 - Is it possible it is a step 1 followed by step 2? (Usually this is not my experience, but may be for you. My personal experience is that step 1 would come first then later step 2 but again a reason I would encourage you to experiment with and become familiar with your own intuition.)

7 - If you do not need to immediately take some sort of action, then my suggestion would be to wait until you have more clarity. If action is needed and you do not have clarity, I would suggest using the intellect to weigh the two options logically, then move forward as slowly as you can and stay attuned to future guidance. You may start down a path and then realize it isn't the correct way to go.

Check back in a few days for additional information on intuition!

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. I also would like this to be a place where you can share your thoughts about what has worked or not worked for you. Feel free to do so by clicking the “comments” link below, at the end of each post. If you prefer, you may also send comments to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com .

All posts will be archived along with other useful information at Simply Spirituality .

Until next month,
Here's hoping you keep it simple,
Penelope