Awareness is a bridge, beginning, on one end, with our perception of things. This bridge spans a valley of separation from our direct experience. Separation occurs when we ignore, judge, deny or wish to change some aspect of our circumstance. And I say separation for when clouds of delusion infiltrate and permeate our mind-space, realm of emotions, and physical plane, we cover up the true nature of things as they are.
When a feelings arises, feel it; when a thought bubbles up, acknowledge it; when circumstance demands action, act. Presence is quite effortless, really, its the discipline—the cultivation of habit in body-mind complex—that's effort.
To be with this, just as this, takes no "work" at all, other than merely to see—to open one's eyes. To train oneself through dedicated, habitual action, over and over again, this is the fruitful effort of practice. Then, and only then, can the bridge of awareness transport us from clouded perception to awakened being. To be enlightened simply means to be "awake," no longer in the dark as to the meaning of existence. And this is not some riddle or koan, it really is as simple as it sounds. To be awake is to see what we're seeing, experience what we're experiencing, feel what we're feeling, yet observe this as unbiased observer; to witness a momentary arising (thought, sensation, feeling or emotion), without identifying AS that, or solidifying this sensory data as anything other than temporary bodily sensation; here one moment and gone the next.
You are not your thoughts, you are not your body, then what are you? You are here, you are now, so WAKE UP from your slumber. That is our encouragement, our life's purpose—simply to wake up, here and now. Pursue this and end myriad lifetimes of suffering, for yourself, for all beings.