Can you make intuition your compass in business?
Modern day business is going at such a fast pace and with such complexity that the mind cannot keep up and intuitive insights become a necessity.
Buddha never talked about intuition as such, but it is implicit in his teachings that intuition is needed in order to advance on the path.
Intuition at work
You must have had moments in your life when you felt you had to do something without a rational explanation of the reason why. This is intuition in action. Usually it happens when you are faced with a situation your rational mind cannot handle or solve.
It is often described as a ‘gut-feeling’ or ‘sudden insight’ and when you listen or pay attention to those signals you feel a kind of ‘inner knowing’. This inner knowing seems to appear out of nowhere, but really it was there all along. Because the mind let go and became still there was a gap, a silence and all of a sudden you were able to hear the silent voice of intuition speaking to you.
Can Buddha help train your intuition?
Interestingly, the original meaning of intuition was ‘mentally looking at’ and that is exactly what you’re doing when doing mindfulness practices such as the bodyscan or when meditating in the Vipassana tradition.
By mentally looking at or observing the mind, body or breath you shift your attention away from the common workings of the mind (thoughts) and you become aware of what goes on in the whole of the body system.
This becoming aware of the whole is the same as opening to your intuition. When, through practice, your mind becomes still, your awareness increases to more subtle levels of information. By practicing this skill outside work you will have easier access to it when faced with a business crisis.Intuition is opening the mind to the present
As with everything, practice makes perfect. So if you want have instant access to your intuition in busy times or complex situations at work, here are a few pointers:
A regular meditation practice helps most. If that's hard to do, use simple techniques like focusing on your breath to create a pause from the daily business. Slowing down regularly and experiencing your body makes your deeper awareness come forward. Practice on and off the cushion so it becomes easy to observe your mind and body during the day.
2. Try to use all your senses in living.
Be PRESENT, connect with your senses. You might need a change of scenery, a retreat to nature, to start this experience. Do you remember as a child laying on the ground and touching, studying, the grass and dirt around you? By actually taking the time to stand still with what you experience (taste, feel, hear, see and smell), your biological sensitivity can be raised.
3. Don’t ignore your instincts
When you are making decisions, what is the first thing that you notice? A feeling of fear, excitement or unrest? Pay attention to it. Hold it close to you. Examine it. What is it trying to tell you? What signs are you picking up? Stay with the first feeling. All feelings after will be tainted with thoughts.
4. Sit with the question
The intellect is strong in solving puzzles. A question is always interpreted by the mind as a puzzle to be solved. Intuition comes forward when the question does not have a definite answer. Life questions like “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose in life” are open-ended questions that do not have ready-made answers. Complex business situations are similar. There are so many roads you can take. Just sit with the question and let your answer emerge.
Living with your intuition as your compass will make hard times less difficult. Intuition helps you to stay true to yourself, so you won’t look back on life with regret. Whatever the outcome of the choices you make, you know they are the right ones for you.
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