An Art is something that requires a great deal of practice in order to master. Like martial arts, or the art of cooking, or playing the guitar, or painting. Most arts require thousands of hours of bumbling, effortful practice in order to reach a point where truly great work can be created from an effortless, intuitive, inspirational flow state.
The art of consciousness can be practiced too. The first time you strum a beautiful perfect chord on a guitar you get a deep felt sense of what mastery must be like - to be able to play like that all the time. It inspires you to keep going. I’ll attempt to give the same felt sense for consciousness itself, which for most of us is a very abstract term.
Close your eyes and imagine you are fast asleep and lost in a dream. Next imagine the experience of realizing that you are dreaming. If you’ve ever practiced lucid dreaming you know exactly what this feels like, but even if you haven’t just imagine. Pay very close attention to the exact instant where you snap to awareness. Feel what changed in that instant and what it feels like in your body.
Or try this. Imagine you are on the couch after a long day of work, watching TV, zoning out. Hours pass without you noticing. Then something happens that causes you to snap to awareness. Suddenly you are aware of the whole room, of the couch you are sitting on, the TV in front of you, the time on the clock. Pay particular attention to that instant of awareness and what it feels like in your body.
That feeling is the direction of practice for consciousness itself. It is an increased clarity and awareness of the fullness and richness of the moment.
There are many ways to practice consciousness. One of the purest is meditation, but you can practice in all moments of life, in the way you actually spend your time each day. When practicing any art form you are developing an increased consciousness in that realm. When playing an instrument you become more aware of the subtle tones and overtones, the subtle changes caused my micro adjustments of your hands or your breath. When wine tasting you notice increasingly subtle complexities of bouquet and taste.
Generalizing, what I’m talking about is increasing awareness of all the subtle experiences happening in the present moment. Practice when working, playing, fighting, fucking. Sober or intoxicated. Consciousness can be practiced in all moments. Even while sleeping.
Why practice the art of consciousness? Because it is fundamentally who we are. We are consciousness expressed in the form of human beings, living life. Why not live as fully as possible?