© June 2016, Prashant S. Shah, http://spiritual-living.in
Intuition is the guiding voice of the soul. When we listen to our intuition, our life becomes more interesting; we see a purpose to everything; and we feel a sense of wonder. Although everyone is intuitive to an extent, this ability can be greatly enhanced by doing some spiritual practices.
The basic step for becoming intuitive is to shift the focus of our life from our ordinary nature, which is governed by mental preferences, to our higher nature, which sees the ways of the soul. Once we get into a condition where we can spontaneously call for intuition, we can allow intuition to guide our actions. It will continuously amaze us and satisfy our deeper aspirations.
In this article first we characterize the two natures within our being that we call – the higher nature and the ordinary nature. Then we learn to implant a seed of the higher nature in our mind and begin to nurture it. It will show us the ‘inner work’ that we have to do to grow spiritually and live a more fulfilling life.
- Our higher nature and our ordinary nature
- Installing the spiritual seed
- Creating mental space
- Preparatory exercises
- The Practice
- The steps
- Some suggestions
- Some results
Our Higher Nature and our Ordinary Nature
Sensual pleasures, self-preservation, and the survival instinct are the driving forces of our ordinary nature. When we follow them we become egoistic and selfish. On the other hand unity, dharma and kindness are the qualities of our higher nature. When we follow these qualities, we become ethical, kind, and act with a ‘sense of conscience’. Both these natures are active throughout our life and they are mirrored in the mind.
However, before we begin our spiritual pursuit we are largely guided by our ordinary nature. As a result our ordinary nature totally dominates our thinking today. At the same time we give very little attention to the aspirations of our higher nature. Hence, it is starved. And as a result it has become quiet and hesitant.The aim of every spiritual practice is to reverse this situation in our mind. We have to quieten our ordinary nature and bring forward the higher nature in the mind. How can we do it? We can do it by simply withdrawing the attention we spontaneously give to our ordinary nature and its activities, and begin to give it to our higher nature. That’s it. Admitted there will be a lot of going back and forth, but if we persist with this task we can make the higher nature the default program in our mind.
Installing the Spiritual Seed
To begin our spiritual journey we have to plant a spiritual seed in our mind. We can do it by saying to ourselves (daily) as follows:
“I am essentially a spiritual being;
I believe that there is a spiritual intelligence that is looking over my life; and
I am going to receive guidance and love from it.”
As you nurture this seed with your attention, it will sprout. Then your soul or the inner being will become active in your life. Then intuition and spiritual qualities will begin to arise in your mind naturally.
Creating Mental Space
The next step in our spiritual pursuit is to make space in the mind so that our higher nature can arise in it easily. Here are some things you can do:
- Daily take a long walk alone or walk with someone who has friendly vibes.
- In the evenings, avoid externalizing yourself by taking or making telephone calls or socializing.
- Read story books regularly and reduce reading magazines and newspapers.
- Always prefer reading and thinking to passively watching the TV (Don’t allow your attention to become passive).
- Play with someone. You can do it with animals, with children and also with adults.
- Daily do some work just for fun and not for earning money or getting favors.
- Daily sit for some time near a window and just watch what is going on without being judgmental (without labeling anything as good or bad).
As you do such practices your mental habit will change. Your mind will begin to slow down; it will become calmer and at ease. It will not be like that when you are overbooked, juggling too many things at one time, or constantly playing the ‘catch-up’ game. When you rush, you simply miss the subtle insight and the healing touch that comes from your higher nature, the soul. The soul is the basis of your intuition, your joy your purpose of living. And so, if you want to live a meaningful, joyful and intuitive life you have to involve the soul in your everyday life. Let’s begin to do it.
a) Take Mini Breaks
Take a mini break of about 20 minutes every day to spend time with yourself. During that time you can do anything that is not ‘work related’. You should also avoid reading the news or your emails during this time since such things keep the mind occupied with personal thoughts.
b) Create some ‘sacred space’ at home
Begin by making your room clean, organised and well arranged. If you leave this space disorganized and cluttered for days, it will become a source of disturbance or negative energy in your life. So mark out some time for clearing up the mess and arranging everything properly on a regular basis. Let’s say, you will do it on Saturday morning.
c) Keep a sacred spot
Put your favorite object, photo and or talisman in your sacred place. It may be a religious icon, the photo of a saint or master, or simply a rosary – anything that lifts your spirits. Then daily make some offering to it. It may be a fresh flower, the light of a candle, or the smoke of an incense stick. Further, chant a mantra or say a prayer to charge your sacred place with vibrations of peace and tranquility. Then when you sit in this place, it will immediately put you into a receptive mood.
- In the morning, sit quietly in your sacred spot and think you are in the presence of your guiding spirit (like a master or your soul). Then some questions on what is to come during the day will come into your mind. Verbalize them and put them one at a time before to your guiding spirit. Then ask for guidance. Something will come – now or later on.
- During the day, pay keen attention to the world around you. At every point of choice or interpretation, don’t get to it by yourself. Instead, refer it to your guiding spirit. It will send an image into your mind which will show the matter in a different light. Persist in this practice and you will come out of the ordinary world and experience into an extraordinary one – wherein the old rules of the ego don’t apply. It will relieve you.
- In the evening, mentally speak to your guiding spirit. Speak just as you would speak to a dear friend. Tell what happened and what you are thinking of doing next. Then once again ask for approval or guidance.
- Open yourself to intuitive guidance daily
- Expect intuitive guidance in all matters concerning your life
- Once you get the intuitive idea or feeling, trust it and put your reliance on it
- Then begin to act on the intuition instead of postponing the action.
In the beginning your intuition will not be clear. It happens to everyone. It is due to mental restlessness or your egoistic considerations. However, when you act on the little intuition you have received, it will be easier to receive more of it. As you persist with these exercises the balance will change in your mind and suddenly you will find that your intuition has become more reliable.
- You have to ask for intuition. It usually doesn’t happen by itself. You have to value it. You have to want it above all things. Then it comes.
- When you live by intuition, being right is not the goal; being sensitive to the truth or the higher nature is the goal. Some misunderstandings and misinterpretations will arise. Consider them to be a part of your development process.
- Try to share your intuitive insights with people who are supportive. Don’t show off. Do it to reinforce this new habit.
- When you use intuition, you don’t try to do everything by yourself. You only focus on doing your part and the invisible helpers will bring others to collaborate with you. You have to observe this.
- Regard your intuitive message as a directive from the boss. Try to follow it even when it inconveniences you or upsets your personal plans. Consider your success as following your intuition.
- Use intuition to inject a sense of wonder in your life. So, when the phone rings, mentally ask who is calling? When you need to park, mentally ask where is the space kept for you? When you receive mail, mentally ask what is the content? When you meet someone, mentally ask what is the person up to? When you go for a feast, mentally ask what is on the menu?
- Always show gratitude for receiving the intuition. Verbalize it when you sit in your sacred place. Before going to sleep you can think of something good that happened during the day. Take the opportunity (and every opportunity) to thank your guiding spirit for its support. It will enliven your intimacy with your guiding spirit.
- Daily use your connection with the guiding spirit to send a smile to the people you are connected with. It will overcome your indifference to people and events.
Living by intuition is simply listening to our heart or the higher nature before we decide or act. What happens when we do that? We get a direction or clue for searching the truth in any real-life situation.
The insight got through intuition comes from a higher level intelligence. Hence, will be more reliable and balanced than what we can get through mere rational inference. However, initially we can get intuition only in ‘flashes’ or pieces. So, we have to put the pieces together through mental inference! This becomes the source of our mistakes. However, as our intuition develops the pieces become larger; and they fit better into the greater picture.
There is a lot of inner work that has to be done before intuition can become a fact in our life. However, as we do this work, it will totally change how we make our decisions or interpret the happenings of life. Gradually a ‘truth sense’ will arise, which will point out the difference between what is true and what is false; between what is real and what is imaginary; and between what is valuable and what is worthless in all real-life situations.
Ultimately we shall perceive the action of a higher consciousness behind all the happenings of life. Then we know that the world is in safe hands; and we will be able to serve our purpose in life with grace and ease.
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