To be aware means to feel what is happening in the moment; to live in the present. The more fully we feel, the more aware we are. Awareness implies two seemingly mutually exclusive forces: involvement and detachment. The involvement is expressed by our willingness to feel whatever arises, the detachment by the fact that we take the stance of a mere witness, only noticing what is happening and letting it dissolve of its own accord, by our actually feeling it fully. Thus, awareness implies that we are open, alive and ready, without adding to or subtracting from what presents itself – and ultimately liberates itself.
Because everything only exists when noticed, awareness is the base of everything. For us, however, the journey of awareness begins very simply, by paying attention, with what the Buddha called proper mindfulness of body, breath and thoughts. In other words, awareness means that we feel and notice what is happening in the moment, and this includes attention to every detail in our day to day activities.
- Paula Horan