Friday, September 7, 2012

Discernment

Discernment is a practice in both Christianity and Buddhism. In Buddhism it is sometimes referred to as seeing with compassion  From a Christian point of view, seeing with compassion can be considered as discerning God's will.

The process of discernment usually involves thinking about an issue to get clear on what the question is, then keeping the question with you for a time until you have a sort of feeling or clarity about it that comes of its own accord. The I Ching recommends 3 days before attempting a decision and 3 more days to evaluate it. Meditation, prayer, etc are good during this time of course. If successful, decisions made in this way should leave you at peace, even it is a difficult decision.

It is important to understand that this process does not reveal absolute answers about what is right or true. The idea that enlightenment or God grants an individual access to the "right" answers is dangerous. Both Buddhist and Christian mystical sources caution against this belief and consider it dangerous to your spiritual progress and well being.



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