Awareness is our teacher.
A Buddhist zen master was once asked how he defined zen. His reply was sharp:
When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, sleep.
The more awareness we can bring to our lives the more we’re able to see that we can shape our lives. When we apply awareness, the past doesn’t have to dictate our future; we can push outside of our comfort zone, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, the path ahead is ours to create.
We need a sense of awareness in all aspects of our being. Think about physical awareness, mental awareness, and spiritual awareness. It takes great discipline to maintain total awareness in your daily life.
That’s why the practice of meditation is so important. The aim of meditation is precisely that; full awareness and being in the here and now.
I’m a person who is easily distracted and my mind is quick to drift off into dreams and possibilities. Rather than looking at what I can do in the future, it also sometimes dwells on the past, regrets and all. The here and now thus gets squeezed out leading to me living either in the past or in the future.
Such a state of living is not at all healthy. There’s regrets from the past, anxiety about achieving future dreams, and a lot of time wasted by not being fully focused on the present and working hard towards achieving preset goals in a serene fashion.
The question then is obvious: How do we cultivate awareness?
I am using the Calm app (available on iPhone and Android, as well as a web version) to meditate as often as possible. My aim is to meditate in some form on a daily basis. I can easily recommend this app as a way to make significant changes to your life and well-being. Another popular meditation app is Headspace. Both are good, just give them a try and see which style suits you best.