Highest Form of Discernment

Everything exists transgradiently (i.e., on all levels of existence). As Adi Shankara said, “Spirituality is the path of discernment.” We do well to understand the nature of discernment, particularly on the deepest level of existence. There lies the highest form of discernment.

The highest form of meditation is the technique of discernment. However at this profound level, discernment is not what many may think. In meditation, the practitioner innocently favors the mantra. When thoughts or emotions come up, we don’t push them out. Instead, we innocently favor the mantra. This is the process of discernment. On this profound level, discernment is an effortless process. Everything naturally gravitates back to Oneness. This form of meditation allows the awareness to naturally and effortlessly follow that flow.

Discernment on this level is the distinction between Sat and Asat (i.e., the Self and the non-Self). The Self is Oneness. The Self is Brahman. The Self is one with the source of all life and existence. Everything in creation naturally gravitates back to that source, just as every drop of rain naturally gravitates back to the ocean.

The vehicle the awareness rides in meditation is the mantra. The mantra resonates with the Transcendental Self as well as the subtle physiology of the practitioner.

Isn’t it beautiful that when understood, the spiritual path can be explained with that one word: “discernment.”


© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. This has given me a deeper understanding of discernment. Thank you for connecting discernment to the meditation I already do. Now I am more at peace with discernment and meditation.

  2. Very nice to hear. Does my mantra help with discernment? My yoga teacher said the mantra connects me to the universal oneness. He said it was a special mantra from a great sage in India.

  3. Simply beautiful it is.
    I can not think of a better way to start the new year.
    Thank you Brahmarshi

  4. Awesome!

  5. Great blog! I love it when you explain the transgradient nature of various words. This deeper meaning of discernment is delightful. It so clearly explains why evolution is the path of discernment.

  6. Wow! This really deepened my understanding. Thanks so much.

  7. Beautiful! It made great sense the way you explained. Thank you.

  8. Thank you! Happy New Year! 🙂

  9. Thank you for your words! Happy New Year!

  10. Discerning the source of things is one thing, by tuning into the creation of life the discovery of spontaneous moments can bring tremendous joy. Another aspect would be willing to allow the Will of God to unfold; to not interfere with it all, or control our experience. Or maybe understanding that we can defend against the feeling of being castrated or cut from having a personal will when we don’t get our way. Do you have faith or paranoia? How about a plan, do you dwell on the past? Are you always trying to harmonize things? The force of narcissistic tendencies can be discerned…

    Yet another way is being real and honest with where we are truly at, whether it be loving or having frustration, expressing anger or strength, being ignorant or intelligent; having all the polarities of life reveal the selves. Inquiring into our experience and expressing what is going on. Not rejecting anything while trusting the transgradient dynamism of life in a way by understanding who is participating or not; awakening to ourselves being connected to each other and something more…

    Just some thoughts that come to mind.
    Thanks for the stimulating blogs.

  11. C,
    I can not really comment on this because I have no idea about your yoga teacher or his teacher. Just as in this country, in India there are lots of people claiming to have great spiritual knowledge when they do not. I am not saying anything about your specific teacher other than that I do not know.

  12. And of course we all understand that cultivation of discernment on all levels of life is very important.

  13. Effortless discernment! Love the seeming paradox, thank you

  14. really cool!

  15. I don’t recall the names and probably couldn’t pronounce them. They just said mantras are good to chant and meditate to bring love and power.

  16. C
    I sometimes compare mantras to medicine in a pharmacy. Nobody would walk into a pharmacy and start eating all the pills on the shelves thinking it is all medicine and so it is all good for you. The same is true of mantras. Mantras are very often misused.
    The right mantras at the right time only.

  17. Beautiful blog, I love the last quote about spirituality being described with one word. This quote would have made 0 sense to me before I was your student. Because you have explained it so many different ways over the years it is not completely foreign to me. The best part is that I will understand it even more over time. I look forward to the process.

  18. It is so delightful to know that I’ve already been practicing discernment in my meditations when I feel that on the surface I may not be making much progress.

  19. Parts of this are very useful for explaining what makes an authentic transcending meditation like Surya Ram different from other meditations… I feel like I am trying to do that, frequently…

  20. Michael,I just wanted to thank you for your blogs,your teachings, your meditation etc..all of it. Recent blogs i.e..”there is an ocean”, “no bottom line”, “crest jewel of discrimination”,relationship with “,to name a few have brought it all together for me. Thank you for showing us , and stating truth in so many different ways and from various angles. I really appreciate how masterfully you can do this. For me you are like that warm,luminescent, energy of the soul, a Beacon showing us the way.
    John A (jeweler)