Michael’s Macro Photos

Published on October 10, 2014

Click on the photo to see it large.

Basic meditation involves learning how to allow our mind to just relax. The Tibetan Buddhists have a slogan (as translated by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche) that reads "Relax as it is" and another traditional admonition "Don't alter the present," which both essentially are saying the same thing. My point here is that beginning meditation involves learning to just allow our mind rest, and the accent here is on resting. "Resting" means ordinary rest like we do at the end of a hard day's work when we plop down on the couch and take a deep sigh. It is the same thing. Rest is rest.

Before we can get into learning to use our intuition, we have to be able to completely allow our mind to rest so that we can become aware of what our intuition presents to us, what floats up. This involves having learned some form of sitting meditation technique that allows the mind to rest, and I am not going to present that here. I suggest some of my mind-training books like "Shamata Meditation," which are free downloads here:


Intuition requires confidence, learning to immediately trust glimpses, micro-flashes of insight as they appear, and allow them to register and develop in the mind just like a film negative. And it is "key" to not alter these subtle impressions, but to let them bloom in our mind just as they are. Don't try to turn them into what might seem as an obvious interpretation. Let them develop on their own. Not all intuition will be memorable at first, meaning some insights will be forgotten before we can grasp them. And there is no use trying to snatch at them. Instead, just relax deeper. That is part of the process.

The deeper we can rest and the least we try to alter our impressions for any reason, the better our intuition will become. Of course we can think about what comes up in the mind and analyze it later, but before that can take place we have to have something to analyze. We need to allow our intuitions to rise into the mind fully. In other words, don't jump to conclusions with intuitions. Allow them to bloom and develop naturally and then look or "think" about them. And intuitive thinking is very much something we can learn.

This is why I seldom alter my mind with caffeine, alcohol, sugar, or any mind-altering substance. They are anti-intuitive and you will find, if you try it, that intuition is one of your most precious assets. Altering the mind is like white noise; it drowns out the subtle creative intuition.

Our conscious mind is usually busy battling sensory overload and the din of current events easily overpowers the more gentle prodding of our intuition. It would seem that most folks have never developed their intuition and literally don't know what they are missing. As mentioned earlier, we have to be able to allow our mind to fall to rest in its natural state before we can monitor our more sensitive intuitive sensibilities.

And to reiterate, confidence is built not by force, but by patience, by waiting and resting until the mind itself informs us as it will. Intuition is not something we go into the mind and "get," but rather something we allow the mind to deliver to us, and we take in. It is all Aikido, and no Judo, all passive. With intuition the only useful action is passivity, to rest deeply and allow the oracle of the mind to speak to us, and it will. As the Tibetan Buddhists know so well, the mind is precious.

All this takes time and practice, the main practice, as mentioned, being allowing the mind to just rest. I have been practicing and doing this for many years. I had to learn to trust the information that my mind provides. In the beginning, my mind repeatedly gave me the correct information in a glimpse or insight, but I would ignore it. "Naw, that can't be important," is what I would think, but then I would be wrong. Or, "No, I am not taking that road," and then I should have. There can be a struggle to accept what is given to you, not crediting the information the mind presents, but we have to work through that.

We learn to trust our intuition, and not confuse it with our "Chatty Cathy" self, who rattles on almost all the time. The constant ministering of the "Self" should be easily recognized and distinguished from a glimpse of intuition. For one, intuition tends to arise without thought. It suddenly is just there, and not something we were "thinking." Intuition reminds of the Magic -8-Ball that I had as a kid. When I would shake it and turn it upside down, a message would suddenly come into view. The same idea here: not thought, just a shot of intuition appears. Intuition blooms like a flower.

Again, the hard part is living by it, trusting what comes up, and allowing it to bloom fully. If we cut intuition off with our thought or worry, with thinking, the clarity will not be there. Patience and a receptive attitude are necessary. I probably can't explain exactly how intuition works, but I can attest that it does work.

Sometimes I feel living more intuitively is like one of those oxygen masks you see at hospitals that feeds and mixes a stream of pure oxygen into our regular mindstream. The intuited information is stronger than our ordinary train of thought, more pure, and potent, almost like a whiff of smelling thoughts.

Intuition is how change enters the present. Therefore it marks what is true or is coming true, so intuition is our window on the future.

[Photo taken today of the Milkweed outside my door. The first frost has hit us these last two days.]

LOOKING IN THAT NEAREST MIRROR Published on January 24, 2015THE DHARMA TOOLBOX Published on November 11, 2014LIVING BY INTUITION Published on October 10, 2014SHARING THE DHARMA Published on October 7, 2014SUDDEN QUIET ON THE SUN Published on July 17, 2014TIMEOUT Published on July 10, 2014UP AND DOWN CYCLES Published on July 7, 2014THE QUEEN OF MICHIGAN ORCHIDS Published on June 15, 2013DRUGS AND THE DHARMA Published on June 2, 2013CORE CHANGE Published on April 29, 2013ECLIPSE-ASSISTED CHANGE Published on April 28, 2013MICRO-KARMA Published on April 27, 2013