To practice discernment, on the spiritual path, means to use one’s awakened natural awareness to bring the multidimensional being into total alignment on the level of action. Discernment is a tool for refining the mind, but in order to use discernment one must also have awareness. If discernment is the blade that one uses to cut through illusory and false perceptions of the reality, then one’s natural awareness is the steel that that blade is made out of.
Even though one is to discern and make choices in the world, the practice of discernment always take place in within one’s own mind. In order to discern, one is to use one’s own realisation about the nature of the reality alongside the knowledge that one gains about one’s own inner distortions through the practice of refinement. One must, in order to discern properly, learn how to treat the mind and the stream of thoughts as an object that one contemplates on, rather than the subject that one essentially is.
So how to use discernment practically? In order to determine the validity of a certain thought or feeling that would lead to a certain course of action, one must first try to determine where it is coming from. This is where the power of one’s natural awareness is key. If one can, when immersed in a certain flow of thoughts and feelings that lead to a certain course of action, step out of that thought-stream into the space of natural mind – nothingness – and perceive one’s own contentment beyond any kind of life circumstances or condition, then one will be able to return and see clearly the nature of those thoughts and feelings.
The more that one is able to step out of any story or any emotional train of thought in any moment, the more one is able to refine and eventually transcend the gross/ emotional reality entirely.
The greater the realisation, the greater the power of discernment and ability to refine oneself on a deep level. Because when one truly understands that the programs of victimisation, projection and superiority/ inferiority, are illusionary constructs based on unresolved trauma and undigested emotional/ mental information, then one is able to cut through these arising thought forms in a cleaner and more forceful way. When one establishes oneself in an unconditional contentment that is beyond the mind, then one’s arising thoughts and emotions hold less sway.
Life will naturally test one’s ability to discern and maintains one’s own space of content being. Life, as the reflector one’s own consciousness and the distortions contained within it, will dig out every present or latent tendency from one’s being and show it to one through one’s own life circumstances. When one refines one layer, the next one will be revealed. This is process of refinement in a nutshell, and it is extremely simple. One must first accept and understand that this is how the process will be and then begin to sharpen one’s blade of discernment and prepare to face whatever is to be revealed to. If one can always remember that whatever happens in life is a product and manifestation of one’s own conscious distortions, then one will not fall into victimisation and will be well set to succeed in spiritual life.
From the outside, the practice of refinement through discernment may look extremely simple, almost like a game. When one runs into some kind of obstacle in the mind, whether it be a tough decision, a painful memory or a difficult dilemma, one is to instantly go back to one’s natural, empty and thoughtless mind. One is then to perceive the contentment that is present in that space and sit with it. From that space, one then is to perceive the same issue that arose in the mind as objectively as possible. If the practice is done thoroughly and wholeheartedly and is fueled by a genuine establishment in that space then one will perceive the true nature of the thought/ emotion and will see from where it arises and what the next course of action will be. One is to live one’s whole life from this perspective. The content, empty being – natural mind, should be the reference point and anchor of one’s being during every moment of life. This way, one enters the natural flow of life and refines self naturally. It sounds simple but is experienced as difficult by most. The difficultly comes only from the power of the tendencies that first create circumstances in one’s life that will precipitate the arising of certain mental and emotional content. Beyond this, there is the contentment of one’s own being. That contentment is always there. One’s job as a spiritual adept is to recognise the content being, immerse oneself in it and use it as a tool to sharpen one’s blade of refinement. This is the true Vajra, or Diamond Path, which is inseperable from the path of Siddha Kundalini Yoga.