Wherever we go in the tantric texts, we meet words such as polarity, consciousness, awareness and other apparently complex words.
In a way we cannot talk about tantra without understanding polarity, which exists both as principles on a universal scale but also in our daily life.
It can be polarity of emotions, such as positive and negative, high or low, happy or unhappy. Or it can be polarity within our capacity of knowing things, such as being aware or being unaware of different aspects.
We might wonder, what does awareness mean more exactly?
Awareness is that ability or way of being when we perceive what’s going on with ourselves and around us. So we say we are aware when we notice things. Awareness can be larger or smaller. For instance if we are very focused in a talk and we don’t notice the colors of the other one’s shirt or the fact that it’s raining outside, we can say that our awareness is limited only to our conversation. The more things we perceive, the more aware we are.
Or if we are involved in a passionate dispute, we get angry and the fury takes over our words and action, we can say that we have almost no awareness at all.
Why is awareness important?
The more aware we are, the more in control of our life we are. We feel and understand what’s going on in our being, what are the mechanisms of our mind, why we have certain emotions and how to deal with them.
Gradually we become aware of a certain “I” which is in the center of our being and which is like an unshakeable pole, a kind of “lighthouse”. To live in full awareness, means that we experience life from the position of the lighthouse. We see and feel the stormy and peaceful waves of life and in the same time we have the overview, without sinking in drama and tragedy.
As an analogy, imagine a very tall tower. If we are on the ground floor, we can see just a few meters around. The higher we go up the tower, we realize that there is a whole city around us. We can see the way streets are connected, we can see where there are traffic jams, which ways to avoid, what needs to be fixed, and we can choose which way to take next.
The same in our life, the more awareness we have, the more choices we have. We are no longer “victims” or “robots” functioning according to our pre-existing patterns and programs of our subconscious.
With awareness, we go higher on the tower, we understand things and we manage to go through life with suffering less and enjoying more.
How to train our awareness?
We train our awareness step by step, starting with one thing at a time.
For the beginning, the easiest way is to be attentive on what we perceive through our senses. When we eat, let us notice the taste of the different components of the dish. If we receive a massage, let us go fully into the sensations that appear in our body. If we’re walking in a park, let us consciously enjoy the smell of the blossoming trees. That will bring us more and more in the present moment and closer to our self, the “I”.