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Spiritual Topic for April 2022 - Intuition and Discernment

Intuition and Discernment


Discernment is a word that is tossed around frequently these days. “Use your discernment,” people advise. But what is discernment and why is it so important?

Ancient spiritual traditions designate discernment as an advanced spiritual quality. In Sanskrit, spiritual discernment is believed to be the “crowning wisdom” on one’s spiritual path. According to Indian sage Patanjali, spiritual discernment helps one achieve a “luminous state,” also known as spiritual illumination or wholeness.

The word discernment comes from the Greek word diakrisis which embodies several ideas; to see, consider, examine, understand, hear, judge closely. In short, discernment is the ability to determine what is true and not true, and real versus not real.

Discernment is individual. What feels right or is true for one person is not necessarily an absolute truth for another. Some situations are easy and straightforward to discern while others are tricky. When taking into consideration other’s thoughts and opinions, it can be hard to determine absolute truths. Also, when deception is involved, it can be very difficult to discern the truth.

Attention, intention and inspiration are all important when developing discernment. One needs to pay close attention to one’s own and other’s intentions, and discernment involves divine inspiration connected with one’s intuitive heart, mind, and gut centers.

Discernment requires a deep desire to seek and learn the truth, even if it means letting go of long-held beliefs and prior programming. Discernment entails looking within, connecting with your heart center and opening to the truth, even when it’s not what you want it to be. We are all like different facets of a diamond. We bring our own experiences and points of view to a situation, which may affect and cloud our judgment. Cultivating discernment takes time, desire, and practice to avoid the many traps such as ego, spiritual bypassing, and judgment.

As you contemplate discernment, consider what it is you wish to discern, and what is most important to you. For example, do you wish to find the truth about a particular event in history, discern the best food for you to eat today, or uncover whether JFK Jr, Lady Diana, and Michael Jackson are dead or alive? For the last example, if they appeared and spoke to us, how would we know it was really them and not an actor wearing a mask?

It may not be a good use of one’s time to attempt to discern everything, which is why it’s a good practice to consider where it’s most important to use discernment. Ask yourself whether it’s more important to discern things outside of yourself or what’s true inside yourself.

How does one develop their discernment? The simple answer is that one must develop their intuition in order to develop their discernment.

We all use intuition every day to help us decide what choices to make, where to go, what clothes to wear, etc. Intuition is an important factor in making informed decision. There is a very helpful tool BRAIN (acronym) which incorporates intuition to help one make informed decisions about daily life choices. Please see the QRG (Quick Reference Guide) for more information on BRAIN.

Many people think intuition is that gut-feeling or the little voice in one’s head. Many ancient wisdoms believe that intuition is composed of three centers. The Celtic and Taoist traditions consider three key centers in the body—one resides in the abdomen, one in the heart, and one in the head. Our Higher (Divine) Self encompasses all three centers.

The Indian culture recognizes chakras, which can be viewed as lower (root, sacral, solar plexus,) middle (heart and throat) and upper chakras (third eye and crown.) Chinese traditions identify Dantians, which also represent three centers in the body—the upper dantian, Shen, is tied to the third eye, the middle dantian, Qi, is located in the center of the chest, and the lower dantian, Jing, can be found below the navel. 

Regardless of which tradition you prefer, we can connect with our Divine Self through any of these three centers. Gut intuition aligns with our physical body. Heart intuition aligns with our emotional body, and our head intuition is aligned with the mental body. Gut intuition is different from how you feel from your heart center, which is different from how you feel and think with your head. To develop your intuition to the best degree, you need to have all three centers—gut, head, and heart—in alignment and communicating with each other.

You can conduct exercises to see if you can differentiate between your three intuitive centers. Ask yourself:

  1. •        How do you feel about ‘X’ physically?

  2. •        How do you feel about ‘X’ when connected with your heart?

  3. •        What do you think about ‘X’?

  4. •        Can you differentiate between these three aspects? Can you feel the connection?

Are your three centers aligned?

Some people use divination tools to aid in developing and/or most effectively working with their intuition. Examples of divination tools include: Runes, angel or oracle cards, dowsing rods, pendulums, crystal balls, and tarot cards. These tools are not for everyone; however, some find them helpful as a way to more easily connect with their Divine Self to obtain intuitive guidance.

While spiritual traditions have long recognized that the gut, heart, and mind are all intelligent centers in the body, science is beginning to accept this as well. A study published in SAGE Journal classifies all three (the gut, the heart and the head) as functional brains and goes on to indicate there are complex neural networks in all three. This awareness has important implications from a wellness perspective. 

Good bacteria are connected to our intelligence, heart centeredness and intuition. We hear a lot about good “gut health,” but studies have shown this doesn’t just apply to the gut. Good bacteria concentrates in areas where nerves are very intense, such as one’s gut, heart and head.

If you kill off good bacteria, it dramatically impacts your overall health. Please note this is not medical advice and everyone is encouraged to do their own research on the connection between good bacteria and these energy centers and how good bacteria helps with intelligence and intuition.

These three intuition centers (or functional brains) are separate yet connected. When connecting with your Divine Self through whatever spiritual process you use (meditation, prayer, being in nature, etc.) it’s important to make sure you are fully grounded. Otherwise, you will connect in “spirit” only. Some people believe connecting with our spiritual nature is moving upward. In reality, it’s going deep within and all around us.

Subconscious conversations occur inside us, with ongoing communications between our gut, heart and head. Intuition is not just a mental challenge (going upward) or just a gut check or just going into one’s heart. Intuition is strongest when there is a clear communication between the gut, heart, and mind (our physical, emotional and mental bodies.) The spiritual body connects with and encompasses all other bodies. When there is a clear connection between all four bodies, you create a stronger alignment with your Divine Self, and thus it is easier to tap into your intuition and discernment.

Discussion Questions

  1. Ancient spiritual traditions consider discernment to be an advanced spiritual quality. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

  2. What techniques do you use for improving your discernment?

  3. What techniques do you use for improving your intuition?

  4. What are some spiritual traps related to discernment and how can you avoid these?

  5. How can you discern between your three intuition centers—gut, heart and head? How do you reconcile differences you may experience between them?

  6. What are your thoughts on good bacteria impacting the three intuition centers? Do you have any tips to share with the group on how to use good bacteria for one’s overall wellness?

A Deeper Dive: Psychic Intuition Overview

Part of the 'higher vibe' side of intuition is psychic intuition or psychic experiences. A psychic experience can be defined as information or impressions received by means that cannot be explained scientifically.

Sometimes psychic experiences are subtle like having a feeling that something isn’t right or thinking about a friend who calls a short while later. Other times psychic experiences are more apparent, like receiving a channeled message or seeing a spirit.

Psychic experiences are typically experienced in one of three main ways:

Clairaudience—“Clear Hearing”—The ability to hear sounds or voices that are beyond the range of ordinary hearing.

Clairsentience—“Clear Feeling”—The ability to physically feel and/or experience the feelings and thoughts of another.

Clairvoyance—“Clear Seeing”—The ability to visually perceive things beyond the normal range of vision. This may include seeing auras, subtle energy fields, chakras, colors symbols, objects that are concealed, etc.

Other ways people can have psychic experiences are through channeling;

Communication with angels or spirit guides; physical sensations like smelling a perfume or cigar smoke where there is no obvious source; feeling someone stroke your hair when no one is around; vivid dreams; visions; seeing colors, shapes, or symbols; automatic writing; past-life recall; astral travel; out of body experiences; etc.

Children often have these abilities naturally because they live in closer alignment with their Divine Self. However, over time, they are often taught that these are the fantasies of a childish imagination and not “real.” e.e. cummings refers to this in his poem, anyone lived in a pretty how town: “children guessed (but only a few, and down they forgot as up they grew…)”

Many adults dismiss less obvious experiences, hoping instead for a big encounter like finding a glowing parental ghost sitting on their front porch. However, most don’t regularly experience psychic intuitions in this manner. It may be difficult to live our everyday lives and fulfill our missions on Earth if we consistently saw spirits, heard ethereal voices or took on the feelings of another. Instead, we are more often blessed with the gift of smaller synchronicities and subtle responses to our questions. Part of our spiritual growth is learning to look for, recognize and embrace each of these gifts, large and small.

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had a psychic experience which was later confirmed?

  2. How can we encourage children to embrace their natural psychic gifts?

  3. Can you share examples of subtle psychic intuitions you have experienced?

  4. Have you ever had a subtle psychic experience that turned into a larger revelation or growth?

  5. How do you develop your psychic abilities?


QRG-Brain Decision Making & Spiritual Traps:

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