Discernment is the ability to distinguish what is to be abandoned and what is to be adopted. It is a result of studying, contemplating, and rightly understanding the nature of reality.  

Discernment has three aspects:

  1. common discernment: understanding suffering, the causes of suffering, cessation, and the path
  2. superior discernment: understanding impermanence, interdependence, and the twofold emptiness
  3. supreme discernment: understanding true purity, true self, true bliss, and true permanence 

Common discernment leads to renunciation of the illusion of happiness in samsara.

Superior discernment leads to liberation from individual suffering.

Supreme discernment leads to perfect enlightenment.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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4 Responses to Discernment

  1. Sonam says:

    Does wisdom come only with renunciation? It seems that forsaking the objects of false happiness in samara is the forerunner of a deeper understanding of the true nature of reality. Right view, generosity, and renunciation seem to come together.

  2. Ratanadhammo says:

    I am unclear about supreme discernment as the understanding of true purity, true self, true bliss, and true permanence.

    It would seem to set up both a permanent self and objects of craving, i.e. true purity, bliss and permanence, that ultimately tie one to cycles of suffering.

    • Tashi Nyima says:

      The Mahayana sutras clearly and repeatedly speak of the four purities as the marks of nirvana, but they are not to be confused with the self of the tirthikas. As there is true purity (non-duality), there can be no craving.

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