Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of having a properly functioning pineal gland in order to enhance or awaken your intuitive abilities.
As a shamana, who also has been trained extensively in the neuro and psychological sciences, I had some questions about this, too.
The only written articles I could find that attempted to explain the issue, didn’t make any sense to me, even as someone with over 10 years of training in the field. And part of my goal, as both a shamana and a scientist, is to provide the missing link for so many of us logical minded folks, who also happen to be spiritual and need some clear baseline answers.
The link between the pineal gland and intuition, as it stands now, is mostly a missing one.
I’d like to add some clarity on what the real connection is between the pineal gland and your intuition. First, let’s cover what the pineal gland even is and what it does.
What is the Pineal Gland?
The pineal gland is an endocrine structure located near the center of the brain, near other core, central structures - like those involved in balance, core motor abilities, appetite regulation, breathing, and so many more functions necessary for our survival.
It’s an endocrine structure, which means that it regulates the signalling of hormones and other neurochemicals, specifically, ones like melatonin, that are involved with one of the primary duties of the pineal glands, the regulation of our circadian rhythm.
The pineal gland’s location deep within the brain is important to note, because it is believed that the deeper and more protected a structure is within the brain, the more primeval, the more rudimentary, the more essential for survival. The pineal gland is thought to be core and essential to part of who we are as humans.
And this is for two reasons. The first reason, is that during the course of evolution, it’s believed that these central, core structures evolved first - and if something evolved first, that means it’s a really important, basic need.
Imagine you create a ball of yarn, you start with the tiny knot in the center, then begin to roll outward, and add layers. It’s this same general idea that is behind the development of the human brain - that the core layers are first and essential to survival - to the entire structure and foundation to that ball of yarn.
And if you think about it, it makes sense. If something is an essential, non-negotiable need for survival, like breathing, you’d want to make sure as a physiological being, that the structures that control this function are highly protected. . . .deep in the center of the brain.
Which brings me to reason number two for the importance of the pineal gland’s location - it’s more protected by being on the inside, and thus, the idea is that it’s more essential for survival. Any traumas or injuries that happen on the exterior, have more potential to affect the exterior structures of the brain, the cortex. While yes, these functions are important, some consider them peripheral to the functions regulated by structures located in the center of the brain.
More exterior, is less protected. More interior, is more protected.
Like a bank vault housed in the deep, dark center of the bank, which contains all the money and the security systems of the bank necessary for operation, the brain operates the same way - with its essential features located and protected, deep within.
Meaning, the pineal gland, if it is linked to intuition, is thought to be a core element of all humans.
The Circadian Rhythm
One of the core functions of the pineal gland is regulating our Circadian Rhythm. This is our sleep-wake cycle, this is our body’s ability to be awake when it’s light and be sleeping when it’s dark, on a regular cycle. This, in science, is also known as your arousal state.
More aroused = more awake, less aroused or not aroused = relaxed or asleep.
And the pineal gland regulates this ability.
By now, you might be wondering, what does this all have to do with intuition?
I’m getting there.
The ability of the pineal gland to regulate your sleep wake cycle relates to how well it’s functioning, as a whole, just like everything else. A structure, of any kind, functions better and more efficiently when it’s well maintained.
As this relates to the sleep wake cycle and intuition, the ability of your pineal gland to regulate arousal states is known as it’s ability to entrain an arousal state.
Entrainment is the idea that your brain learns to do something, after being trained to do it. It becomes entrained to regulate sleep wake cycles, after learning when waking is for you and when sleeping is for you.
Often, this is done by light cycles. The easiest example is when you have to set your alarm earlier to wake up, or when you visit another time zone, and your body has to “get used to” the new time zone and the new daylight hours.
This process, of teaching your body when you’d like to be awake vs. asleep, occurs inside the brain and is called entrainment. You have you entrain your brain to notice the new light cycle, and thus, give it time to regulate its functions to allow you to be awake at this time.
This is the job of the pineal gland. To regulate your circadian rhythm, and to entrain your brain of new changes in the rhythm.
The better functioning the pineal gland, the better and more quickly it is able to do this.
But there’s more elements of the sleep wake cycle, or the arousal cycle, than just being awake, and being asleep.
There’s 4 elements of the brain’s sleep-wake cycle.
There’s awake (beta state)
There’s awake, but almost asleep and relaxed (alpha state).
There’s asleep (theta state)
And there’s deep sleep (delta state)
You may have heard of these brain states before, when doing your own research on meditation, which is why they might sound familiar. Alpha waves meditations on Youtube, anyone?
Option 2, Alpha state, is the state that’s related to meditation. Your brain learns to do this too, and can be entrained to do it.
That’s where the pineal gland comes in.
Your brain can be entrained to get into meditative state easier, with a properly functioning pineal gland, since that’s what’s in charge of all this.
The better functioning, the better it is at entrainment. The better it is at getting you into the state you want to be in, at the time you want to be in it.
Entrainment is teaching your brain when you want to be asleep, when you want to be awake, and even, when you want to be in a meditative state.
This is why, it’s often said, that meditation should be practiced at the same time each day when you’re first starting - this is teach your brain how and when to get there.
The more trained your pineal gland, and your brain, is at getting into these states, the easier it is for your to get there whenever you want.
A properly functioning pineal gland can help increase your abilities to get into a meditative state, faster, quicker, more easily.
And guess what? In a meditative state, is where most people access their intuitive abilities.
Your meditation routine, whatever that may be, provides cues to your brain that it’s time to enter into a different sleep-wake state - the meditative state. The better functioning the gland, the more responsive it is to your cues.
The pineal gland regulates your ability to get into a meditative state.
Meditation is the key to unlocking your intuition.
The pineal gland is the key to your intuition.
So, how can you improve the functioning of this gland to subsequently improve your intuition?
Yes, diet has been suggested as a way to improve function, but there are many other ways.
You can improve the functioning of your pineal gland by giving it clearer cues to how it needs to function for you.
Primarily, all you have to do, is to teach your brain that you want to access this meditative state, the almost asleep but still awake state, more often.
This is why many teachers *stress* the importance of a meditative routine or having a set schedule for when you practice and flex your intuitive gifts.
How can you do this?
Meditate at a regular time each day, when you first start or re-start the practice. This gives the brain a reliable, predictable schedule of when it needs to be in this state. It’s a cue to your pineal gland, saying, “Hey! 6pm every other day is when you can expect to be ready to be in this particular brain state.”
Develop a meditative routine, even if it’s just sitting in a certain chair at a certain time - the more cues you can provide, the better.
After you practice getting into this state at a regular time each day with the cues that you provide, your brain will learn quickly, or become entrained, to recognize when it’s time to get into meditation state - i.e., to access your intuition.
The pineal gland is linked to intuition, because it regulates your sleep wake brain states, and one of those brain states, is the meditative, intuition linked one.
Pineal gland = intuitive gland.
There you have it!
There are other functions of this gland, of course, that link it to various features of your intuition, one of which, is it’s signalling relationship with the SCN, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a primitive brain structure that forms a rudimentary visual pathway. This visual pathway, in many ways, can be linked to your clairvoyant abilities, and is the topic for a future post.
I hope this helped clear things up and helped to strengthen and formalize that missing link between the pineal gland and intuition.
LAST UPDATED: October 17, 2014