As I was walking home from work today, I was thinking about the difference between how life was for me before awakening and after awakening. So, here's a few thoughts that comes to mind.
There is always a sense of trying to improve things and make things better. I would be trying to ensure I have made time for my daily meditation and if I haven't, then I haven't looked after myself properly. There is always a sense of 'what can I do now, so that life can be lived more enjoyably'. If my mind wondered off into different thoughts, as soon as I snapped out of it, I would make an effort to be in the present moment. I had a sense I was doing things, like making decisions and walking and working. I was classifying things into good and bad all the time - a sense of 'I should be doing this' or 'I should not be doing that'. Then, I would try not to use the word 'should' as the word is supposed to be unhelpful, so I would artificially change the word to something else. I used to always be making plans about the future and how I want things to turn out.
After Awakening, although there is effort being made by this body, I am not making any effort at all, as I am Awareness. I can observe thoughts popping up in my mind, desire for this or that arising, but it isn't me doing any thinking. Right now, as I write this, I feel as if I am writing this, but at the same time, if I consider what is happening, I know that writing is happening. Thoughts are arising in my mind, and are being translated into words on a computer screen. I am not doing it at all. Awareness doesn't ever do anything - Awareness effortlessly shines on all experience. So I make no decision, no actions, do no right or wrong, light up everything I look at, I don't sleep or do I wake up. Yet, at the same time, everything looks the same and is very ordinary. I still get annoyed and irritated. I get bored and frustrated. I get angry and upset. And yet, I as in Awareness, am not touched by either of them. I know that the experience, no matter what the experience is, will pass away sooner or later anyway.
This happened to happen whilst listening to a song by John Wheeler, after listening to a talk by him. John Wheeler explains that there is a sense of being that is behind all experience. That sense of Beingness, of presence is who I am. I am not the thought 'I am'. In this presence, this beingness or awareness, everything arises. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions all arise in Awareness.