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Discernment vs judgment - Dhamma Wheel

Discernment vs judgment

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
LinLin64
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:51 am

Discernment vs judgment

Postby LinLin64 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:08 am

Hi - I'm new to this forum and am hopeful it may become a very valuable resource. It looks very helpful.

My current question is around a work situation. How does one understand the difference between discernment (referred to by the Buddha in the Full Moon Shorter Discourse, which I see as positive) and being judgmental (negative)?

The situation: For 2 years I have been involved part time in an organization whose values I hold dear (environmental sustainability). The head, I have come to see, consistently stretches the truth, tells half-truths, omits key information, works 'creatively' in terms of funding (placing expenses in line items that do not really fit that line item), speaks harshly (literal finger pointing, name calling, etc), and has gained a reputation in town that many people have simply said they cannot work with her.
I see that she has worked on herself to try to improve her interactions with people, and I have wanted to support that.

Now it has been nearly two years and my instinct is to give up, walk away from the organization, and associate with people and organizations grounded in the Dhamma and ethical behavior.

I keep thinking a more skillful practitioner would be able to turn the situation around, and that it is 'good practice' for me. For a time I thought she was making positive changes but recently, as pressures have increased, she is back to her old ways.

Walk away and call it exercising good discernment? Or stay and continue trying to establish a more ethically sound ground in the workplace?

With thanks,

LinLin

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Sam Vara
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:48 am


LinLin64
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:51 am

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby LinLin64 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:54 am


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daverupa
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:57 am

Have you recourse to a Human Resources department?

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Mkoll
Posts: 6269
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:44 pm

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

LinLin64
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:51 am

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby LinLin64 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Unfortunately there is no HR, daverupa. In fact one issue is that I am trying to put in place comprehensive HR policies and was told by my colleague that she intends to discriminate and opposes putting at least one key policy element in place.

BTW, the feeling I have is not hatred but rather exasperation and shock in response to unethical behavior, harsh words, etc. Plus concern that the unethical behavior reflects on the organization, and on me if I choose to remain part of it.
What has been keeping me there is a 1) commitment to the environmental values of the organization and 2) seeing this situation as good practice. But my spiritual values take first priority, and there are other ways to express the environmental values. And any situation is an opportunity for practice, including the process of disassociation.

The quote to not get worked up over the impossible is very helpful. It helps me hold the situation more lightly.

It is time to watch over myself (SN 47.19) and leave the situation. It will be possible to do that with a sense of goodwill. And it will create space to devote to more wholesome associations.

culaavuso
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Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby culaavuso » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:23 pm



LinLin64
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:51 am

Re: Discernment vs judgment

Postby LinLin64 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:48 pm

Thanks so much for your comments, everyone.
I have decided to resign and have had a conversation with the head, which went very well.

What was particularly helpful was AN 10.80. It helped in changing my thinking from "a skilled a practitioner would be able to shift this, so I must keep trying" to simple acceptance of how things are.

From there it was easy to choose to turn away from the crooked path in favor of a straighter path. And by emphasizing that I was choosing a straight path (spending time on pursuits more directly linked to and supporting my spiritual beliefs), it gave a surprising ease to the conversation.

With a deep bow of gratitude,

LinLin64


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