Tying together wisdom from Be Here Now Network teachers, Ganesh Das explores how we can sift through the constant stream of mental-emotional turbidity from news, social media, and our thoughts, in order to live and act from a place of intuitive flow.
In today’s day and age where we are constantly being thrashed about on the high seas of our minds, it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere without being steadily bombarded by sneering political assessments, vexatious advertisements, and intensely overwhelming opinions from all sides of the reality spectrum. Even sitting down to the meditation cushion—where you think you may be safe—all of these social-mental imprints from the day can revivify for further torment. So, amidst these etched layers of mind-engravings, how can we be sure we are making decisions based on how we actually feel internally, rather than from these outer imprints?
The Buddha: An Intuitive Calling
When Siddhartha Gautama left his Sakya princeship and palace, what was it that pulled him from the lap of luxury to go live as a poor aesthetic in the woods? He had everything anyone could want—and then some—but there was something that pulled him from his kingdom of opulence, to instead focus his energies inwardly on meditation, renunciation and tapasaya (straightening by fire).
From an outer, materialistic perspective, this abrupt upheaval of safe abundance makes very little rational sense, but from an inner, spiritual perspective, Gautama had no choice but to follow this deep intuitive longing toward Buddhahood – a state of awakening beyond identification with a separate self, marked by the cessation of dukkha (suffering).
This awakened state, Buddhism describes as our natural, basic goodness, our radiant baseline, our intrinsic reflection when we finally clean all the scuffs off our mirror. It was the deep richness of this unitive love that magnetized Siddhartha’s journey from the outer, sensory shackles of his palace, and into the inner world of self-inquiry, understanding, and compassion.
Rather than laying his treasures on Earth, where they are subject to impermanence within the dissolution of time, he found a methodology for abiding within the the unborn and undying awareness. Through the unbridled service of following his intuition, The Buddha was able map out an end to human suffering.
“Why should I—who am subject to birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, and suffering—seeing the danger in these things, take refuge in that which is also subject to change, to death, to sorrow, to suffering? Let me find that which is changeless, which is deathless, which is without sorrow, which is unborn and undying; that is a true refuge.” – The Buddha
Join Buddhist teacher, Sharon Salzberg, as she illuminates the enlightening story of our first historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, on Ep. 43 of the Metta Hour
Emergent Intuition, Unfolding Mystery
Siddhartha Buddha would not be the last seeker to find their path through an irrational, intuitive calling. The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi Rinpoche is a contemporary Dharma teacher who ran away from home at the young age of ten to join a Buddhist monastery. Again, it was not rationality that created this gravitational pull towards spiritual inquiry but, rather, a reoccurring series of intensifying dreams and visions that sent Venerable Tenzin running towards mystery.
Literally following his dreams, Venerable Tenzin would come to know these astral visions as faces of prominent Buddhist monks and important holy sites of the Buddha, like Vulture Peak. When he left on his journey—which would eventually lead him to monkhood—he had no logical idea of where he would go. He just simply followed the guiding force from the center of his being, and his heart intuitively knew to bring him home to his Sangha (spiritual community).
“I just felt like a force or something was guiding me along this journey. I had no particular destination in mind. I had no logical thinking about where I might end up, or where I would be going, and the journey just unfolded.” – The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Hear the story from the Rinpoche himself, as Venerable Tenzin shares his intuitive journey of running towards mystery, on Ep. 352 of Mindrolling
Following the Signs
What about those of us who aren’t getting overt visionary downloads in our dreams, though? How can ‘normal’ beings like ourselves uncover steadfast ways to tap into our flow of intuition? We have more spiritual resources at our disposal now than anytime in known human history, but coupled with all of modernity’s constant distractions, it can prove difficult to dive down through our turbulent mental waters to continually rediscover our intuitive heart and bring it up for air.
In a recent podcast, Be Here Now Network teacher, Dr. Robert Svoboda, talks about how human beings, as a species, have become urbanized and disconnected from the natural world, which limits the power of our intuition. Imploring that the natural world is always sharing signs for us to follow, Dr. Svoboda suggests that we can tap into our intuition by bringing into resonant alignment, our inner and outer worlds.
“Resonance can occur between anything outside and anything inside, and that means that the outer world is always providing us hints and suggestions and advisories. What we have to do is try to find ways that we take advantage of those advisories, and move ourselves in a direction that will position us in the best place we can be in for whatever is going to happen next.” – Dr. Robert Svoboda
Follow the Signs, as Dr. Svoboda elucidates how we can best tune into our intuition in this age of constant confusion, on Ep. 8 of Living with Reality
Aligning Our Worlds: Balancing Heart & Mind
What are some approaches, then, that we can use to bring our inner and outer worlds into alignment in order to tap into our intuitive flow? Harvesting a two-way communicative relationship with the outside world is always possible, but we must have our faculties specially tuned with the ability to see, listen, and feel for signs, omens, archetypes, and symbolism which can offer unique, personalized guidance from the universe, cast in the language of your heart.
During one of our Be Here Now Network Guest Podcasts, Spring Washam—reminding us to always listen to our body’s signals—implores that to truly wake up to our natural, inborn intuition, the heart and mind need to be in balance. Through equalizing this heart-mind balance and imbibing deep listening, Spring demonstrates that we can learn to trust our intuitive wisdom like the deep roots of an ancient GPS system.
“I feel like my heart has a GPS system; it knows where to go if I listen to it. It’s wiser than my mind; it has much deeper roots because it’s tapped into those ancient roots. We can learn to trust our intuitive wisdom; we don’t have to be cut off from that.” – Spring Washam
Aligning our worlds and balancing heart and mind in order to water the roots of our body’s ancient GPS guidance system is a potent framework of methodology for those who may have touched this intuitive heart-space before, but what about those of us who haven’t yet begun to consistently breach into this inner sense? Is there a way for individuals who haven’t honed this ability to spark a reciprocal relationship with the universe to start to pick up on it’s symbolism and omens?
“Some of us are naturally more attuned to the emotional mind’s special symbolic modes. Metaphor and simile, along with poetry, song, and fable are all cast in the language of the heart.” – Daniel Goleman
Become the full essence and embodiment of intuitive wisdom by owning your innate personal power with Spring Washam, on Ep. 64 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Harvesting Omens, Asking for Guidance
For those of us who aren’t naturally gifted with this intuitive sense, how can we begin to cultivate and foster a communicative, guiding relationship with universe? In another recent Living with Reality podcast, Dr. Svoboda and Paula Crossfield dive deeply into this question, illuminating not only the essential essence of omens, but also the methodology for opening communication with nature to be lucid enough to discover them. A legitimate asking for universal guidance, Dr. Svoboda explains, comes down to proper intention and focused attention.
“Find something meaningful to you that represents nature, and use that thing to focus your attention and intention so that the thing can act as a conduit through which the information can come. Then, be patient. Omens are all about paying attention.” – Dr. Robert Svoboda
Relating the key omen-harvesting ingredients of intention and attention to the process of honing our intuition, Dr. Svoboda describes how in our preverbal past, our ancestors would ‘think’ using emotion and intuition – literally trusting their gut to provide information on the environment. This process of following our intuition comes down to a deep trust and respect for nature, a relationship that is not give-or-take, but reciprocal and mutually beneficial.
“Always be very respectful towards nature and request her not only to send you the message, but to assist you to interpret it properly, and for you to use it in a way that will not only benefit you, but will benefit her in some way.” – Dr. Robert Svoboda
Uncover hidden worlds of omens, & cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the universe, with Dr. Svoboda and Paula Crossfield, on Ep. 10 of Living with Reality
Applying to Daily Life, & Honoring Perseverance
Intuition has the innate ability to guide us through just about any life circumstance, no matter how dire or minuscule the situation may seem. At Ram Dass’ memorial on Maui, Hanuman Das, from the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, made a joke that he asks his Guru—whose essence represents the wellspring of this intuitive flow—for guidance on everything, all the way down to what pair of pants he should wear in the morning; characterizing that even the smallest details in our lives can be offered up to our divine intuitive faculties.
Whether grandiose or infinitesimal, remember, this process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is the growth and gain of attuning to the ability always linear. This is where trust and perseverance come in. Everyone’s path of intuition is completely unique – that is the why it’s intuition! Your intuitive sense is your own totally personalized, one-of-a-kind flow, your exclusive path up the mountain.
“The first thing is perseverance; the second thing is honoring your intuition. If something really touches you deeply, rearrange the rest of your life to follow that.” – Danny Goldberg
Danny Goldberg elucidates his success in spirituality and rock ‘n roll, manifested through following his intuition, on Ep. 15 of Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck
Finding Flow in a Chaotic World: The Still Small Voice Within
Throughout our lives there will be situation after situation which attempts to draw us in, swindle us, or knock us off our path. Sometimes the signs may be overt, while other times—like in the story of Siddhartha Buddha—they may be hidden under a sheen veneer of rational abundance. Amidst the turbulent waters of the mind, intuition offers a life-raft adorned with a homing-beacon set on fulfilling our unique, personal Dharma. This isn’t an ability one can learn in books. It’s internal, it’s visceral, and it starts right Here.
“As we learn to listen with a quiet mind, there is so much we hear. Inside ourselves we can begin to hear that ‘still small voice within,’ as the Quakers call it, the voice of our intuitive heart which has so long been drowned out by the noisy thinking mind.” – Ram Dass & Paul Gorman from How Can I Help?
– Written by Ganesh Das Braymiller on behalf of the Love Serve Remember Foundation