By Claudia Carballal
February 12, 2019
Every day we hear about the importance of consciousness and self-awareness, but do we know exactly what that means and the importance of it?
Sense perceptions, thoughts, and emotions form who we think we are. People see everything through the filter of his or her lenses. We project onto the world our desires, ideas, prejudices, and memories. We identify our thoughts with our belief system. For centuries, we have subscribed to the belief that thinking makes us who we are. Is this so?
What is consciousness?
Consciousness is the presence behind our thoughts, the spiritual dimension that is in all human beings. It is awareness itself. It is your true Self. Must human beings do not know that this presence is there; we are not trained to know it. Consciousness is not something tangible or quantifiable, yet it holds the space for everything that exists. Some people intuitively know, or understand at some point in their lives, that there is an essence or space that is consciousness. This is what is called "the awakening of consciousness."
"Consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all existence.” ~ Amit Goswami.
What is the awakening of consciousness?
Our thoughts, belief systems, and ideas are not our own—they have been implanted in us since the moment we were born. We tend to project into the world our ideas, assumptions, values, and expectations. We react to events based on our belief system, thus creating a world of illusion. The world then becomes more a product of our minds than what it reality is.
This subjective reality or belief system that most people experience, called màyà in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, is no more than an illusion—something false or without real existence. In other words, our thoughts are not who we really are.
What is the importance of awakening our consciousness?
Once we achieve the awakening of our true consciousness, we can transform our lives regardless of past suffering, trauma, or emotions that may be holding us back. We become more self-aware and aware of the world around us. This trains our mind to take second stage. We learn not to give so much authority to the mind.
How can we awaken our consciousness?
Awakening our consciousness initially involves deep introspection and self-inquiry. Asking questions like:
Who am I?
Are these ideas and belief systems really of my own choice?
Am I who I was meant to be?
Who is the observer of these thoughts and emotions?
What is the purpose of my existence?
Answers to these inquiries can be searched through a consistent meditation practice. When we meditate, we tap into this essence or space that is consciousness, witnessing our thoughts and actions as an outsider, and calming the mind to use our energy as efficiently as possible.
Through meditation, we can observe the distorting tendencies of the mind. Through awareness, we can witness the projection of our values and ideas onto others. Perhaps we will never completely suppress our wondering mind, but through meditation we can train the mind to be less reactionary and more reflective.
Eventually, through meditation, we want to see things as they really are. This is the end result of the awakening of consciousness and the ultimate goal of enlightenment.
Author: Claudia Carballal
Claudia Carballal is a Life Coach and Ayurvedic Yogini based in Dallas, Texas (USA). She's the Founder of InnerWellbeing Life Coaching. She leads classes, workshops, and retreats worldwide and provides coaching and consulting in person, via video conferencing, or online video lectures on YouTube. You can reach Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org