I received a few emails about my article entitled The Importance of Focus. People wanted to know more about consciousness. From a martial arts perspective, first view my article "My thoughts on martial arts". Done that? Good.
Your consciousness is the information you have obtained from your senses. When we absorb an experience, it is compared with previous memories of experience. When two or more experiences match, they form a belief. Also, if a single experience is of serious significance, it can also create or change beliefs. We have very little conscious control over this process, and the beliefs we learn can seriously prevent us from moving forward in our lives.
When our beliefs are at odds with our environment, we experience fear, anger, hate, jealousy etc. It is possible to unplug yourself from this by reducing the input from your senses, memory and imagination.
This altered state of consciousness is called Meditation. When done correctly, you attain a deep sense of peace and relaxation. However, it is when you plug back into your senses and memories that you start to observe your reactions. You start to realise that it is not the outside world that upsets you - it is you who upsets yourself. From that realisation comes the foundation upon which to build profound and lasting change.