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Consciousness expansion and awareness

M.A. Wiebke Meyerding

What is the purpose of expanding consciousness?

Every day we are confronted with strong sensory impressions and challenges to which our mind reacts. How can we deal with all the influences and conditions of our time without turning away, closing ourselves off, or disappearing into a bubble? How do we stay connected with ourselves, with others, and the world without losing energy or getting caught up in negativity?

Most people want change and peace in themselves, as well as in society. How do we cultivate a change that is based on presence, mindfulness, fairness, sustainability, and compassion inside and outside?

Change can only begin in the consciousness of each individual. Once I have gained inner clarity and awareness as well as strength and trust, I can turn to the world and make a healing impact in the world.

How do I change my consciousness?

The first step is to become more aware of your destructive thoughts, feelings, and actions. What is preventing inner calm and clarity? On the one hand, this works through our minds by reflecting and questioning ourselves.

Lasting change does not only happen because we have understood something. A change in one’s feelings is decisive for a permanent transformation of consciousness. Because feelings determine our behavior and our behavior determines our feelings.

It, therefore, takes openness and the willingness to face our dark feelings such as fear, anger, envy, sadness, guilt, or shame and to allow them to occur. We are invited to admit our non-conducive behavior as well as our demands and to accept any resistance that may arise.

We can then carefully explore the causes of our frustration and restlessness, our worries and obstructive tendencies, and then let go of them, layer by layer. In this healing process, we become freer and healthy self-compassion and self-acceptance develop. Through them, we can in turn understand other people better and let them be more like they are.

The combination of rational understanding, acceptance of what is, and emotional experience and recognition brings about the change of perspective that allows a change in consciousness beyond one’s ego.

Train awareness and cultivate new perspectives and new ways of acting

To train our consciousness, we can use knowledge and teachings from spirituality as well as from humanities and natural sciences. Because spirituality and science are in direct connection. In doing so, we can make the information our own that is coherent and applicable to our personal life.

However, just as important is the knowledge that is based on personal deep insights and experiences of our being. Every person can receive and experience this through meditation and self-exploration, as well as through other methods and techniques that are suitable for him.

Every human being has an inherent intelligence that provides information, knowledge, and energy to accept difficulties, problems, and fears as well as the ups, downs, and limits of our lives and to deal with them healthily.

It is about our core consciousness. Our being. It is often described in spiritual teachings as „true / higher self“, „inner voice“, „true nature“, „essence“ or „soul“. Without this intelligence, our body and mind would be useless. Because at its core it is our spirit that inspires us and acts.

Experience and maintain connectedness

By experiencing the connection with our essence and by realising our true self, we can free ourselves from limitations step by step. These limitations are collective and personal influences, unconscious programs, and negative influences. The Self grants true contentment, joy, and inner peace that is independent of external influences. Various forms of meditation and different techniques of self-exploration help on this way.

It is our senses and mind, with its outward-facing thoughts, that cause restlessness, fears, and worries.

If we train ourselves to develop more and more awareness of our Self through various meditation techniques and methods of self-enquiry as well as through scientific evidence and Far Eastern teachings, we can consciously incorporate our true nature into more and more actions.

New perspectives and ways of acting can then be gained and cultivated in the present. Through presence, we encounter our everyday life, other people, and difficult situations with more serenity and clarity, openness, and the ability to differentiate.

Feelings of fear and sadness, anger, helplessness, or despair remain part of our being human. Situations, circumstances, or people always come into our lives that pose a challenge to us. If we train ourselves to remain anchored in the present and allow ourselves to consciously feel and accept what is there now, then in the next step we can be inspired to think and act in a solution-oriented manner. Or some new encounters and situations provide solutions.

One of my teachers said: „In everyday life that means:“ Be here now „and if that is difficult:“ Be where you are now and inquire it!“

Everyone is part of a whole and bears responsibility

Through meditation we become more aware of our senses and clearer. Also, more and more healing can occur on a physical, emotional and mental level through a regular practice of consciousness. Most people start meditation to get better.

Through meditation, we perceive our environment and our fellow human beings more consciously. We experience increased sensitivity and can get deep insights. If we are not professionally trained and accompanied in this process, this can lead to a misunderstanding about meditation and spiritual practice.

Journalist Gabriele Heise formulated the misunderstanding about yoga in her article „Gabriele, get on your mat!“ in the magazine „Psychology today“, which is also apt in relation to the practice of meditation:

„The world around us is becoming more populist, more hateful, more threatening. And what do we do? Yoga! […]
How do we, who consider ourselves to be sensitive contemporaries, come to terms with these escalations without merely taking refuge in the various inner spaces that have become part of spiritual self-optimization?

When I seek conversations with yoginis, I usually trigger silence and embarrassed stammering. „I don’t know either …“, „I don’t even read newspapers anymore …“, „I don’t watch the news …“ – these answers are frequent. It seems that in the spiritual milieu there is indeed a parallel world that tries to seal itself off from the political sphere.

The snide retorts of a yoga friend, when I told him about an article in the Süddeutsche, took my shoes off: „Oh, newspapers – it says the same thing everywhere!“ And he says this to me, who as a journalist knows from my time at a broadcasting company how much arguing goes on in conferences so that topics are presented in a factual way!

The polemical talk […] seems to have penetrated deeply into the thinking of some insiders. The practical benefits are obvious: One gains a convenient justification for abandoning the toils of critical opinion making.“

Meditation is not an end in itself and spiritual experiences alone are not enough. Rather, it is about the world as a whole coming back into balance, step by step, so that ultimately everyone experiences an upswing. This requires a change for which everyone bears responsibility and to which everyone can individually make their contribution, even on the smallest scale. It also means turning to the pain and the dark in yourself and the world.

What your contribution looks like is shown under the guidance of the inner voice, not through the personal expectations or demands of others. For a continuous development of consciousness, a continuous practice of consciousness is required, which transforms the ego – also the spiritual ego – layer by layer. For every human being, this is a lifelong process that runs in a spiral and in which everyone can penetrate deeper and finer layers of consciousness with their perception.

As a community on a large as well as small scale – for example in the teacher-student relationship, family, or friendship – we can inspire and support each other in this process.

„Change is only brought about through active action, not through meditation or prayer alone.“ – Dalai Lama

Consciousness training combines various presentations, methods, exercises and practices. The kind of consciousness work offered here accompanies with the help of: