Discernment is no longer a Good Virtue but an Essential Skill
By: Ruby Gangadharan: Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Developing an Accurate Perception is generally taught in Yogic, Buddhist or spiritual schools as one of the essential virtues. Inaccurate Perception or Distortions are one the most important pitfalls a student has to overcome to grow spiritually.
Discernment towards what we experience is more important now than ever before. This is true not only because of the hyperactive information platforms via the internet but also because there is a general awakening our consciousness in numbers we haven’t seen for a while.
There is so much talk, debate and writing about what is the right way that discernment is no longer a virtue but an essential skill.
There are plenty of self-described gurus, masters, leaders and influencers each with their own brand of woke. Even the everyday things like relationships, parenting, lifestyle, food habits, careers are no longer one fits all.
Living our lives without Discernment is like being the Hamster on a wheel. Running towards something that has no end.
No matter what we are hoping to achieve, learning to discern accurately is one of the essential skills to master.
Discernment is the ability to distinguish. It is the ability to recognize, perceive, spot, or detect the essence or the core of things, using not only what is obvious but also the subtle and the underlying nature of things.
Whether we know it or not we are constantly but superficially discerning. We look at everything and categorize it into good, bad, tolerable, like, and dislike. True discernment is not about labeling and passing judgment but gaining a deeper understanding so as to come closer to the true nature of things.
It is crucial that we learn to look beyond the obvious and consider a deeper, more subtle connection to what we see. We need to question the source of the information and think about what the words are really wanting to communicate.
How we think and feel is based on how we perceive things, its how we build our belief system and it is how we respond to situations. Whether it be a relationship, our work, or our spiritual life, how we grow and express ourselves is based on our perceptions. And using discernment helps our perceptions come closer to the truth.
Here are four simple steps to actively discern what we think, feel and see:
The first step is to recognize each feeling and thought as it arises. Closely watch every part of what we see, hear, think and feel. Recognize that all parts of this experience are arising from inside of us. It is a reaction based on our perceptions.
The second step is to live and experience the situation more deeply. Stay with the thoughts and feelings for a while, even the ones that are unpleasant and scary. The more deeply and closely we experience the less unpleasant and scary they become and it further reduces actions that are emotionally driven.
The third step is to calmly and objectively look at the different viewpoints and belief systems that have led to generating the thoughts and feelings. Question each of those viewpoints. Seek to gather more information about the belief systems that are triggering our reactions. Deepen your understanding of the cause and nature of things. Read, ask questions, ask for guidance.
The fourth and last step is to stiff through all the noise and locate the grain of truth. Remove all inaccuracies and exaggerations. Using compassion and a calm mind, work out an action that is informed, helpful and supportive.
We all have to practice discernment because it is the need of the hour. We are all responsible for the chaos and confusion that is being experienced within and outside of us. Accurate perception and action based on compassion, even in the face of adversity, is the key to finding balance and peace. For the world and for the consciousness.
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