One of the biggest challenges along the path of higher consciousness is overcoming our impulse to cast judgment on everyone and everything. Our little old monkey mind just loves to sit as judge and jury for everything that enters our conscious awareness. Yet, if we wish to bring love, peace, compassion, understanding and tolerance into our daily lives and into the lives of others, we may want to choose to practice discernment.
Discernment is another step along the path of becoming the change we want to see in the world, to better support ourselves and others.
So, what is discernment? Discernment is our cognitive ability to see things as they are without casting any judgment. We can discern someone’s actions and not judge them as right or wrong, good or bad. We can value everyone as being equally worthy, even as we recognize differences in their life choices and abilities and even the way they may treat us.
With discernment we can embody compassion, wisdom and higher awareness, allowing us to make clearer choices for ourselves and respond rather than react to others. In the yogic tradition, discernment is a personal, conscious approach.
The practice of discernment as a spiritual practice dates back thousands of years. The Sanskrit term viveka is translated into English as discernment, discrimination, distinction. It is considered a form of spiritual or intuitive wisdom – the ability to discriminate between what is real and what is illusion, what is the self and what is not the self, what is permanent and what is only temporary or transient, what is truth and what is not.
Discernment or viveka is not necessarily an easy practice, yet if we think about what discernment means, it is really, conceptually, observation. Perceiving without judgment, like mindfulness. It is seeing things as they are – not making something right or wrong as the world of duality has conditioned us – but just “Oh, I see this” and “Oh, I see that.” No judgment.
When we use discernment, we tap into something deeper than our egos passing judgment. We are using the ability to perceive clearly.
Those outer distinctions – right or wrong, good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant – are what we often attribute to things. But that is not their true nature. The inner essence of all things is consciousness itself. With discernment, we can evaluate what we are seeing or feeling by simply noticing if it resonates with us or not – does it have value and quality for us or not – not “it’s good” or not “it’s bad.” Just whether it resonates with us or not. And perceiving that, even if it does not resonate with us, and perhaps it does resonate with another, there is nothing “wrong” with it. It just is what it is. This is how discernment works as a spiritual practice.
Discernment comes from understanding both ourselves and others. Having compassion for those who suffer or cause us pain. And we balance that with our confidence in our own abilities and humbleness in the face of the great differences in the Universe.
Time itself, such as it is, continues to race along at its accelerated pace letting us know we are, indeed, on the rollercoaster ride of change. Riding this rollercoaster with discernment provides us lessons in evaluating the real worth and value of people and things in our lives. It continues to be an appropriate time for purging. These cycles produce experiences where it is easier to discern the relative worth and value (not right or wrong) of people or situations in our lives.
Discernment is effective. Discern your heart’s knowingness, your intuition, your own internal guidance system - and follow your spirit.
So, with eyes wide open, fully alert, and exercising discernment at every twist and turn of events, stay grounded in knowing that All Really Is Well. Allow people and situations to be what they are, and to do what they do, no judgement necessary. Awaken to a higher level of acceptance for what is.
Darity Wesley is an award-winning, best-selling author, a lawyer, a speaker, a Death Diva and a Wisdom Sharer. She has traveled the spiritual, metaphysical, and personal development paths for many decades and has become a powerful resource for those awakening to their evolving consciousness. Her ‘Wisdom for the New Reality’ messages goes out monthly to her international community for free. Sign up on her website www.DarityWesley.com.