Intuition vs. Internal Dialog – How Can You Tell the Difference?

(By Roger Cantu)

One question that usually comes up in my classes is, “How can you tell the difference between your intuition and your mind talking to you?” For me, my intuition is like a soft and gentle voice that whispers inside my mind. My internal dialog is a louder and faster voice inside my mind that sometimes moves at a thousand miles per hour.  

I’ll give you a couple of examples to illustrate this point. I feel that I have a very strong past-life karmic and psychic connection with my daughter. Sometimes I can feel what she is thinking or when she is upset. One day, about three years ago (my daughter was six years old at the time), I was traveling from Atlanta back to San Antonio. I wanted to get a little stuffed animal for her. I walked into the gift shop at the airport, all the way to the back where they had a wide variety of stuffed animals. My intuition whispered softly in my mind and said, “Get her the cow.” I picked up the cow and looked at it. Then, my mind started talking to me loud and fast. I heard, “No, not the cow. Pink is her favorite color, get her the pink pig instead…” I picked up the pig and ignored my intuition.

When I got home that night, I told my daughter I had a little something for her. I opened my suitcase and pulled out the pig. She looked me in the eye and said, “Dad, I wanted a cow…” I should have listened to my intuition, but I was too busy listening to the internal dialog in my mind. I learned a good lesson that night.

Sometimes my intuition is more like a feeling. I get a strong pull that I should do something or not do something. I’ll give you an example. When I heard that this year’s Rama’s birthday celebration was going to be at the Marriott in Tarrytown, I was jumping for joy. Tarrytown is the place where I was initiated by Rama as a Buddhist Monk of his lineage, and I haven’t been there in years. Of course, I would have to think about my finances before committing to make the trip. I would have to pay for airfare from Texas to New York, hotel room, rental car, admission to the event, meals, etc.

I decided to “sleep on it.” I learned this technique a long time ago from Jose Silva. If you want to know if you should do something or not, go to sleep at night thinking about what it is that you would like to do. Let that thought be the last thought you have that night. During the night, your mind will travel and try to find an answer for you. When I do this technique, sometimes I hear a voice in the middle of the night telling me what to do, and sometimes I wake up in the morning with a feeling of what it is that I should do.

I went to sleep that night thinking about the trip to Tarrytown. The internal dialog in my mind was very excited! When I woke up in the morning, I had a very strong feeling that I should not go. I was very surprised since I was very excited about it. All-day, I kept on feeling a very strong pull not to go, even though every time I started thinking about it I would get very excited.

This time I decided to listen to my intuition and I did not make any plans to attend. Later on, I got an email saying that the event would be postponed due to a major storm hitting the New York area. Had I not listened to my intuition, I would have lost money on the airfare to New York or I would have been stuck in Atlanta while making a connection, or who knows? The point is that this time, I listened. Always listen to your intuition – trust your inner feelings, let them guide you.

Am I going to the celebration in Tarrytown on March 16? No, but I do feel a strong pull to go to the Mahasamadhi celebration in April in San Francisco. Again, I need to consider my finances, flying to San Francisco is very expensive, plus hotel, rental car… blah, blah, blah – you can tell that’s my internal dialog talking to me right? Well, we will see what happens. It’s too far in advance to tell. It sure would be nice to spend some time with other Rama students at this powerful event. Who knows? Maybe someone will volunteer to sponsor my trip.

In summation, learn to tell the difference between your intuition and your internal dialog, and let your intuition guide your life. Namaste.