While meditating today, I realized that we don't really have awareness in our lives. By awareness, I mean that there is so much happening in us and around us that we don't even have in our conscious mind. For example, at this very moment, there are so many noises around us, there are so many objects lying around us, there are so many thoughts going on inside us.

Despite all this information around us, we are so lost in either the task at hand, or in our minds that we lack awareness in our lives. Because we do not really have awareness in our lives, we are not aware of the vivid images that we have in our dreams.

The reason I found for this lack of awareness is that we don't really take breaks in our lives. We have learnt ever since our childhood that we need to constantly be doing something. We need to optimize our time that we have. We need to be productive all the time and either think something or do something that pushes us forward in life.

Our minds have become so adapted to be running all the time that we don't really take breaks to notice the things around us. Not only that, we don't even stop to notice what we are thinking. We don't stop to analyze how we are feeling during the day.

This lack of awareness in our lives is one of the most important reason that we should meditate. While meditating, we train our mind to stop doing anything and just notice things around us. We train our mind to notice the sounds, the smells, the sense of touch, our thoughts and so many things. By meditating, we can be sure that our awareness will also increase.

An effective way to ensure that we are aware in our life is what I call - "Awareness Breaks". At regular intervals in our day to day life, we can schedule what one or two minute breaks. By interrupting our regular patterns and introducing regular breaks every few hours, we train our mind to take breaks.

During this small one minute break, just sit back and DON'T do anything. Just relax, stretch your body, take a deep breath and notice the things around you. Realize what you are doing, notice what you are thinking, have a look around and notice your environment. See the colors of objects around you, look at the ceiling because you rarely do that. May be just close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you.

Doing just this simple exercise that literally takes one minute every few hours will boost your awareness in life. If you find it tough to have awareness breaks automatically at first, use your smartphone to set alarms for every one hour or two hours. When this alarm rings, try to stop whatever you are doing and just be aware.

One of the purposes of Meditation is to train your mind to not wander aimlessly. We can do that by stopping our minds when it wanders and training it to be aware. A great way to do that is "Awareness Breaks"!