There’s a Chinese saying: “to sharpen the axe will not waste the time of cutting firewood.” It means that to spend some time to sharpen the axe will enhance the efficiency of cutting firewood. Awareness can make our mind become sharper, to read things more clearly, to help us make wiser decisions and stay with peace and ease.
The awareness we are talking about has several characteristics:
1 awareness of the process from mental formation to physical action, it does not just stay on the surface of the forms.
2 keeps clear mind on “it is just what it is” without adding our imagination or expectation…
3 keeps awareness equally to “good” things or “bad” things, to “kind” thinking or “evil” thinking, so that it is more possible to recognize the reality of things and transform “evil” into “kind”.
4 the awareness is just a neutral mindfulness, it can stay with anything.
5 the right awareness will cultivate a broader, brighter and more sincere mind.
Just like walking to a destination, if we find the right way, we must keep going continuously until arriving at the destination. It is also like drilling the wood to make fire, we must keep doing it constantly without pause. But in the beginning, it is easy to forget awareness and fall into the “inertia” of habitual mental and physical forms. What we can do is to encourage ourselves to recover the awareness right now and remember to keep the awareness in the future. Don’t feel too sorry or frustrated if you lose the awareness, just recover the awareness as much as you can. It is just another habit to be cultivated. Before we feel or gain any benefit from the awareness, we have to be patient with continuous practice. As we all know, a change in quality always depends on an increase in quantity.
The awareness is always there, it is waiting for you to wake it up:)