The Gut and Intuition

In Taoist practices the source for all things is sometimes identified as the Original Dark, and the gut suggests this darkness, the underworld below the mantle of the diaphragm. It is a realm that includes the inscrutable, that which is just beyond one’s grasp. In Chan Buddhism, there is an expression that suggests the power of intuition: “I do not comprehend the word, but I recognize the handwriting.” This points to the dreamy, intangible side of intuition. We can glimpse the text itself, yet our knowing is provisional—we do not understand in any rational or cognitive way exactly what is being said. This half-recognition speaks to the fleeting, evanescent nature of all things, like the process of digestion that involves passage through the stomach and intestines. For ingested food is transitional and does not exactly belong to the self.

MORE ARTICLES

Caught in the Web

Caught in the Web

Sometimes it feels like my heart will just melt, and my blood will spill onto the street and mix with those who struggle, those who cry out, those...

read more
The Mystery of the Breath

The Mystery of the Breath

Time for a deep breath. A deep, spontaneous breath is suggestive of our very first breath when we emerged from a watery, maternal, uterine...

read more
Best Enemy

Best Enemy

Best Enemy shared by Guest Teacher: Janet Curry When my son was 5, he came home from preschool one day and asked if Emily could come over to play....

read more
Be Humble

Be Humble

In this day and age true humility is a rare commodity. Around the world today, societies put on a pedestal self-promoting Big Achievers, who are...

read more