Discernment is picking the best option from choices. Discernment is wisdom in action, because in the short term and long haul we derive more harmony in our lives when we use discernment to guide between what we want regardless of the consequences, and what will give us the most happiness in the long run.
Discernment is learned by trial and error. At first we may select between a couple of options, but through practice using discernment we learn to seek below the surface and find the real way to harmony in our situation. And there in lies the solution to balance in living.
Meditation on discernment
Begin by choosing a quiet place to sit where you can write out your insights in your journal. If you have a peaceful outdoor space available that is ideal; the low buzz of nature is soothing to our mind and conducive to a meditation session.
If indoors prepare your meditation table with a candle and burn some incense. My favorite is sandalwood; just the smell of it begins to calm my mind and puts me in a receptive mood for meditation.
Indoors or out, sit on a bench or chair and fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes and begin even regular breathing. For example, breathe in count 1, breathe out count 2, breathe in count 1, breathe out count 2 and continue. After a minute let go of counting the breaths but continue the rhythm throughout the meditation.
Think with appreciation for all that you have that makes your life full and send loving thoughts to at least one person, or even to a dear pet.
Rays of love
Radiate to everyone
Beginning with one.
Turn your attention to how you can use discernment in your daily life: if you're a student, then in your schoolwork; on the job to make the choices that bring the best you have to your assignments; at home with family, choices that preserve harmony.
Now, sit quietly and let any new thoughts arise in your mind and take time to write them in your journal after your meditation.
Open your eyes, stretch out, write in your journal, go on with your day, enriched with new understandings on the benefit of using discernment rather than automatic responses or actions in your life.
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons for Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
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Article and photo of garden by Susan Helene Kramer