What is consciousness?

What is consciousness?

In my life I sometimes wonder, ‘what I am’? What makes me look out of my eyes and not some other pair of eyes? Do we have a purpose on this planet? Is this, what we perceive with our senses, all there is to life? These questions are as old as mankind and cannot be easily answered, especially not by our mind. This collection of millions of neurons likes to think in concepts. Linearly, straight forward, being in control. Asking question beyond the physical body, beyond what senses are able to retrieve, are too big. It feels overwhelmed and tries to clear these thoughts as fast as possible. It feels uncomfortable.

A balance to this controlling mind is the heart, largely untapped by many people due to the big focus of knowledge in this western society. It can understand different concepts as feeling, warmth, flow, inner wisdom. To hear it within you, requires full connection to the heart. Being fully consciousness. So what is ‘being conscious’ mean?

What first should be realised is that the mind is very strong. Modern society largely favours mind thinking over heart feeling. Education is mostly focused on training the mind. Learning to solve problems, figuring out new concepts, progressing towards a goal in the future, and learning from the past.

I have similar experiences with working on my university degree. When I do university work I feel completely sucked into my mind. I hardly feel my body and other bodily functions. At the end of the day I feel mentally tired. I cannot process anymore information. The funny thing is that I also feel a large unrest. I have a feeling that I need to do something. I’m addicted to new information, but I feel also feel tired. It divides me in two.

Consciousness is first being in the moment. Fully present. Not bothered by future or past. One way of doing this is sitting in a chair and just feel your breathing. Listen to it. Focus on where you physically feel the breath. When I first started meditation this was difficult. I felt immens resistance and unease. Simply said, I just didn’t like doing nothing. What I quickly discovered is that the mind constantly pulls me back in the circle of past and future. And then, I wake up again. It could be minutes but I’m focusing again on the breathing. Be gentle with yourself. Smile that your mind is playing these tricks with you.

Ever time you start to list to your breathing you make connection with your heart. You balance yourself in the present moment. You will find that you can distinguish thinking and feeling better and better. You eventually become aware of it in every day life.

But don’t disregard the mind. It also want to be heard. And it definitely has relevant objections. Sometimes concerning safety or survival. Use your mind were it is good at. Use your heart to direct you in life.

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