Intuition is a very powerful tool of the mind which can guide us at each and every step in life. But the problem is that the voice of intuition is far subtler than the voice of chatter going on in the mind.
Most people today have so much going on in their minds that they are not able to hear that fine voice of wisdom from the depths of the subconscious.
Most of us feel so overwhelmed by our own thoughts that we completely ignore our intuition. Meditation is an excellent way to develop intuition and perception and reduce the unproductive chatter of the mind.
Let us further understand the role of intuition and how can we develop it using practices like mindfulness and meditation.
Why Do We Need Intuition in the First Place?
Let me explain this by sharing one of my own experience of how intuition saved me and got me out of a very messy situation.
A couple of months back I was working on developing a software product when all of sudden I was approached by an investor who showed keen interest in my project.
This guy was very well known to the people close to me and that made me even more comfortable working with him.
We used to sit for hours together and discuss about the whole project – how we would go about the execution, marketing, and other stuff. And he seemed to be very witty and charming personality.
So the deal was that I would run the business as per the plan and he would provide me with all the required resources. So far so good.
One day I get a call from this guy asking me to help out his son with a little something, who at that time was doing his majors in computer science.
And the catch here was that he expected me to help out his son free of cost in return for investing in my project. So at that time I complied because I didn’t want to lose out on a good investor.
I helped out his son and devoted almost a full month’s time on his work. But it didn’t end there and his son started asking for more help.
At this point my intuition started telling me that ‘this might not be a very good idea and it’s better to get out before it’s too late’. This was the first time I had ever dealt with a business investor and had no past experience in this area.
After a few days his son calls up again asking for another favor. But this time I called up the guy and told him that I would personally not be able to help his son because I needed to focus on my own work and that I would find someone who could help him out.
That was the time when I saw his true colors. This guy became extremely passive and abruptly cut off all direct communication with me. He started showing disinterest in my project and would not take my calls and text messages.
He would only communicate on email and bluntly refused to do any legal agreement with me.
This was a clear indication for me that this was not the person I can trust. I sent him an email saying that I would not be able to continue without a formal legal agreement along with proper terms and conditions.
And that was the end of it.
I never even for a moment regret that I lost this investor. This would have been hell. It was like I could foresee the future and what was going to happen. And this is how my intuition saved me from getting involved in a mess.
Your intuition can be a very helpful asset, if you take time to develop it. Our day to day life is full of unpredictability. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the very next moment. This is where the power of intuition can help us.
Since I have started meditation, not only has my intuition become better, but also my mind has become more clear and relaxed. Even my sensory perceptions (hear, smell, taste, touch) are enhanced.
In addition to the sensory perception, my perception of life in general has become more positive. I have become more kind, tolerant, and compassionate towards all beings.
Our intuition if sufficiently developed guides us consciously in the right direction without the aid of rational or logical reasoning.
How Does Meditation Help in Developing Intuition?
I personally believe that we are all spiritual beings who exist much beyond this physical body. We all have intuition and psychic powers. It’s just that we get so trapped in our minds that we forget who we truly are.
When you believe that you are just the physical body which is aging and decaying with time, you tend to accumulate lot of fears and insecurities. As a result, your mind is overactive all the time.
This overactive mind (also known as monkey mind) keeps you jumping from one thought to another and creates restlessness and anxiety. And all of this brain activity results in you being unhappy.
It’s not that we have to develop intuition. We already have it. It’s just that we have to clear the junk out of our mind to recognize it. This can be done by practicing yoga and meditation.
The word ‘yoga’ means union with the one that ‘is all there’. It helps in breaking the barriers of the physical and understanding the ‘true self’. It is all about self discovery.
Yoga postures helps us to develop flexibility in our joints and muscles and meditation helps in calming the mind. The two combined together can give great results.
If you are absolutely new to meditation and would like to get started. Checkout my beginners step by step guide to Mindfulness Meditation.
There are no hard and fast rules here. You can practice any form of meditation you like or are comfortable with. Some people have also reported getting good results by practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM).
TM is a mantra based meditation which is practiced in a different way as compared to the mindfulness meditation. If you want to know the difference between Transcendental Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation, checkout this post.
A clear and calm mind helps in better assessing the situation at hand, and allows for better decision making. It harnesses and strengthens the power of both intuition and perception at the same time.
However, a very common question I get is that “I have been meditating for a long time, but at times my intuition goes wrong”. Why does that happen?
You must know that by just sitting in a meditation posture and closing your eyes is not meditation.
Meditation truly happens when you start discovering yourself. When you truly let go of all the fears and worries within you. When you start getting in touch with your true thoughts and emotions.
Most people are not able to let go of their thoughts and emotion. They are not able to drop the pretense and accept themselves the way they are.
If you are working in a highly stressful environment, where you are constantly stressed and harassed, there is no scope for healing.
If you are highly competitive and are always worried about what others are doing or thinking, meditation will be of not much help to you.
So What Exactly is Meditation?
Meditation is complete way of life. You not only breathe, but live in meditation.
If you are living consciously 24×7, there’s no way doubts, worries, or fears can even enter in our mind. It’s only when we are operating unconsciously that we invite these foes.
Now don’t get me wrong when I say that you should live consciously throughout the day. You might feel it is impossible to do that. But that it is not so.
Why most people fail in meditation is because they attempt to sit in meditation for long hours. You don’t have to do meditation for the whole day to become conscious.
That way it becomes a sort of chore that you have to do everyday. It’s not the length of time but the intensity that makes all the difference.
It’s better to sit for just few minutes (10 minutes or so) but do it a couple of times a day. Specially, whenever you feel stressed out or anxious.
Most of us live in an autopilot mode where we don’t pay any attention to the activities we are doing throughout the day, and that creates a door for unwanted thoughts to enter our mind and play havoc on us.
When you do something consciously your level of awareness is naturally high and there is no scope for any thought to bother you.
All the routine things like eating, bathing, doing daily chores, commuting to work, etc. can be done mindfully. I personally practice mindfulness throughout the day and it helps me to keep my awareness levels high.
If you want to know more about practicing mindfulness, you can check my post, 12 ways to practice mindfulness in everyday life.
Meditation is a process and it is going to take time for you to develop awareness, intuition and perception. Don’t be hard on yourself if you fail a couple of times.
If you are persistent in your practice, you will see the results sooner or later. In addition to meditation, you should also develop mindful habits.
Avoid these 4 Mistakes in your Meditation Practice
Let me discuss some of the most common mistakes that people generally make while practicing meditation.
Set Unrealistic Expectation with Yourself
As a beginner I used to make this mistake very early on in my meditation practice. I used to sit for very long hours and expect fast results.
In a couple of days, I started feeling the burnout and couldn’t do it anymore. I was feeling frustrated and became inconsistent in my practice.
Therefore, it’s important to set realistic expectations with your meditation practice. Think of meditation as preparing for a marathon. It is something which will take time, patience and perseverance.
Don’t Fight with Your Mind
You must understand that the objective of meditation is not to eliminate thoughts. We have been designed in such a way that it’s impossible to stop thinking. Thinking is required to be productive in day to day life.
Most beginners feel extremely overwhelmed when they close their eyes. For some It feels like if someone has put on a horror show which is never ending.
The purpose of meditation is to discover yourself. Allow all kinds of thoughts and emotions (no matter how uncomfortable it feels) into your mind. Only by witnessing your thoughts, you can be truly free of their affect.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle by Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be a very powerful practice, but only if understood and practiced in the right way. Some of the mindfulness tips that we can practice on a daily basis are as follows:
- Connect with Nature (go for walk).
- Practice Meditation.
- Eat fresh and organic foods (Reduce sugary and fatty foods)
- Replace caffeine with herbal teas.
- Socialize with positive and uplifting people.
- Be compassionate towards others.
- Repeat positive affirmations everyday.
- Practice yoga and breathing exercises.
- Reduce time on screen (smartphones, laptops, television, etc.)
- Avoid distractions while eating and sleeping (put that smartphone away).
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
Practicing mindfulness along with meditation goes a long way in self transformation and greatly speeds up the process.
For complete information on Meditation, benefits, breathing exercises, how-to’s, and more, check out – The Ultimate Meditation Guide eBook.
Your intuition is almost like a superpower where you can see the predicted outcome of a particular situation. Although, it takes time, patience and a lot of practice to develop intuition.
One may argue that intuition has got more to do with learning of the experiences and emotions from the past.
Modern scientific view states that consciousness and mind are part of the physical brain itself. And we very well know that our mind operates only by generating thoughts.
If you believe in the modern scientific view, then you will definitely argue that intuition is somehow related to thinking only.
However, ancient scriptures from the east tell us that mind and consciousness are not part of the physical body. In that case, intuition cannot be generated by reasoning or reflecting upon the past experiences and emotions.
And I may be wrong here, but I personally feel that intuition originates from the spiritual layer of the subconscious mind and is felt in the conscious mind.
If you are thinking, rationalizing and reasoning about a particular situation, it is not intuition.
No matter what you believe, it is evident that meditation creates the necessary space in the conscious mind to think independently of what you have experienced in the past.
My intuition has guided me on a countless number of occasions. Over the years, I have build great trust in my intuition and most of time it proves to be right.