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The most important thing that we can do to accelerate our spiritual growth is to come to here and now. Well you would have heard authors like Jai Krishnamurti, Ekhart Tolle ,etc. who talk about coming into awareness and the power of now.
But for most of us this concept of awareness is a vague concept. What do you mean by being aware? Some of us may think that it means stopping all thoughts and other may fell it is sitting silently and passively.
Coming into awareness means recognizing what is happening in the moment in our body, mind and surrounding environment. Lets start with breath , being aware of constant inflow and outflow of breath brings us into breath awareness. Being cognizant about sensations in body-felling of warmth, cold, tingling , pain, heaviness etc brings us into body awareness. Paying attention to constantly changing thoughts and emotions brings us to awareness of mind. Being aware of perceptions as sound, taste, smell, space etc bring us into awareness of perceptual fields.
Our awareness has two factions. The elements on which we pay active focus is called foreground. Let's say you are listening to some music.. Your full focus is on music and other sounds as of people chatting, fan running, traffic sounds are disregarded. In other words these sounds become background sounds. So the attention is on foreground and we donot pay attention to background. Awareness means dissolving the difference between background and foreground. Effortlessly paying attention to whatever manifests in conscious field without any preference or prejudice is what takes in awareness of the moment
Awareness has two aspects. Acknowledging what is happening in the moment and accepting it without trying to manipulate, push or cling to it. So awareness is choice less acceptance of whatsoever manifests in .the perceptual field.