I need to recognize that with my waking mind alone I do not see, and will never see, the complete picture. There will never be enough facts. Life is entirely too complex to fully understand a person, an issue or an event. That is why the Buddha said we are each like blind men touching one small part of the elephant. What part of the elephant I feel is what gives me the definition of an elephant. Maybe the guy touching the elephant’s side gets an idea of the huge size of the creature, but he has no clue to the column-like legs while the guy holding the tiny tail thinks the elephant is like a tiny snake. I need to ask if I am seeing the bigger picture.
- I need to recognize when my waking mind is on overload, hopelessly yet valiantly trying to figure it all out. A good indicator of an overworked mind is the constant replay of scenarios or endless chatter going on in the head which can totally absorb and suck me in. It’s time to bail out, and give the brain a rest!
- I need to step back. When I feeling I am getting sucked into this internal whirlpool I need to step back and try something else. Taking a walk, just walking away from the problem or listening to music can really help give the mind a rest. Ironically, effective and problem-solving intuitive insights often just “come” after I let the problem go and take a breather.
- I can explore methods that work safely and quickly for me to not only get me beyond the pull of the internal mental whirlpool but also can provide desired insights that address the need of the moment. I can act proactively to get the results I want and not just wait for them to come. Asian religions and the Judeo-Christian mystical traditions have long explored ways to do this. Nowadays, non-sectarian methods have been developed based on the findings of these religious traditions. Basically these methods involve:
- Stating or write down the situation or concern needing a resolution.
- Invoking higher or inner wisdom to provide an answer to the situation or concern at hand. This can be done either in prayer form to a deity or inner guide, or can be done with intention to learn from higher wisdom.
- Stilling the mind by focusing on the breath or a still point. There are many techniques out there to do this. Try several and use the one that works for you. A simple and very effective method was developed by Dr. Henry Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Edgar Cayce Institute of Intuitive Studies. It is called The Inspired Heart Meditation and can be downloaded at: http://edgarcayce-intuitionschool.org/intuitiveheart/world/Inspired Heart Meditation.pdf.
- Relaxing the body.
- Allowing any sensations such as images, feelings, sounds, impressions, etc. to well up. Look for the particularly subtle impressions.
- Observing these sensations. No matter how bizarre or irrelevant they seem, there most likely is a connection to the problem at hand.
- Asking what these sensations have to do with the problem posed
- Observing the responses that come to mind.
- Reflecting on the associations that come to mind.
- Forming a conclusion.
- Lastly, but most importantly, acting on the new information received and the conclusion arrived at!
It is important to understand that this exercise is like any other; the more often it is done, the faster you can do it; and the easier and more effective it becomes. Like riding a bike, in the beginning it may feel a bit awkward but eventually the person gets the “hang” of it.