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Now that we have explored the magic of the present moment, the power of gratitude, and the reality of time, we can start talking about Consciousness in ways we would have never dreamed of before… Please take the time to review the first 3 steps to get the most out of step 4. Come into this session with an open mind and no expectations. This is the best way to approach everything in life, but especially the subject matter of higher awareness.
Step 4 of the 10 Steps to Bliss – Finding Consciousness
Most of us understand Consciousness as a pretty simple either/or situation. Either you are conscious or you are not. If we are having a conversation, then you are clearly conscious. If you are asleep or knocked out cold, then you are unconscious. When we explore higher levels of Consciousness, we adopt a more dynamic interpretation of the word. A more global definition for the term Consciousness that expands the possibilities from two…all the way to infinity. To define Consciousness, we can you use the synonym “awareness”. The more conscious you are, the more aware you are and vice-versa. I think we can all agree that more awareness is ideal. Unless of course, you believe ignorance to be bliss. Awareness means you have more information, more data to process, more input. The opposite of having more information would be to have less information. We define that as ignorance. So, by definition, awareness or Consciousness, can be defined as knowledge. Of course, knowledge is power.
I believe the entire Universe is conscious. Functioning and acting in the same way as we do. If you look at the human body, we are each made up of about 100 Trillion cells that are working constantly for the greater good of the whole body. What if our body was just a cell of the Earth? What if the Earth was just a cell of the Galaxy? What if the Galaxy was just a cell of the entire Cosmos? If you can start to imagine THAT as the total reality, then it’s easy to see why the Universe is in fact conscious. It’s the discussion that brings about the question of “life”. Is the planet alive? Is the Universe alive? According to what I think is happening…yes. There are just too many similarities within the structure of our bodies, the bodies of all living things and the Universe itself. Too many to just be a coincidence in my opinion.
So, how do I find Consciousness?
For me, it’s been meditation and stillness that have increased my awareness. When I started meditating twice a day, at the very onset of my spiritual practice, my awareness began to shift right away. I was able to experience more of my thoughts and therefore have more input on the output! Too many of the things we say or do, when broken down to their parts, are just conditioned reflexes vs. conscious thoughts. For example, when you see someone and say “Hi, how are you” and they say back “Great, how about yourself” and then you say back to them “Fantastic, thanks.” What was the point of that? Was anyone paying attention to what was being said? Was either party interested in the other at all? These types of interactions are an example in lack of Consciousness. What I have been working toward is to be the opposite of that. To be totally present and conscious in every moment and every decision I make. When I make an unconscious decision or experience a conditioned reflex, I can witness it right away. That is part of growing your awareness. Noticing everything you do for what’s really happening and not being on “cruise-control”.
But aren’t we ALL aware? Don’t we all have access to the same 5 senses?
Yes, that’s true, but there are many different levels of awareness. You can increase your awareness a little bit every day or a lot, it’s completely up to you. We have tens of thousands of thoughts per day and no matter how aware you are, there’s no way you will be totally present and therefore conscious for all of them. But, we can strive to be aware and present for as many of those moments as possible. In doing so, we can increase our level of awareness and ultimately become more conscious. I believe the best way to do this is with a consistent Meditation Practice. For me, meditating at least twice a day has totally changed everything around my awareness. Not just how often I’m aware, but the volume of awareness I experience. This is what I’m referring to as higher levels of Consciousness.
Consciousness is the root of everything. Think about it. What would you have if you did not have Consciousness? Everything we do and everything we experience with our 5 senses is a result of Consciousness. So, we can easily agree it’s a good thing, but how does achieving higher levels of Consciousness help with anything? It boils down to a simple principle. We are responsible for what we do. Would you rather your actions come from a state of full awareness or be some kind of conditioned reflex? If you prefer to be a conscious choice-maker, then you and I are in the same boat. As conscious choice-makers, we have the ability to really change the world. Humanity is great and deep down, we are full of love, but it takes Consciousness for the best in us to shine through. Without it, we are just a bunch of reflexes waiting to happen.
Avoid the trap.
Here are some of the things I remind myself of to increase awareness and achieve higher levels of Consciousness. Watch your actions. See what you’re saying when you speak. Keep your thoughts in the present moment. Take your time. Think about every decision thoroughly, even the small ones. Never rush or be in a “hurry”. Do not multi-task, practice mono-tasking by just doing one thing at a time and really experience that one thing. Every time you feel love, share some of it with someone else.
Happy Meditating! I hope it helps 🙂