The purpose of awareness, or mindfulness, is to give presence to what is already occurring in the mind, which obviously has to be in the present, not in the past or future. Past and future too are actually thoughts of the present, arising in the here and now with meanings of past and future.
And when awareness is given to the mind, one could not help but notice in due time, that what he or she is being aware of has always occurred in the mind, never leaving it. In other words, nothing left the mind, not even something or someone that we think is causing our distress or happiness that is seemingly “out there”. The something or someone is actually the result of the mind’s ability of conceptual projection, making what is actually in the mind seems to be out of the mind, as in “out there”.
Soon when one is able to skilfully watch the mind, what comes up obvious to one’s experience is the rampant nature of resistance – the inability to accept what is. It becomes obvious that there is nothing one can run away from, since it has never left the mind, but due to the ignorance in this fact, one tries to reject it by making meaning out of it. Resistance comes in many forms, which the mind has mastered over time when the earlier ways did not work or does not anymore thus new methods are continuously being created ignorantly to fix the pain one thinks can be avoided resulting in the many facades of resistance which the mind uses to escape an inescapable pain.
In reality, the whole thing about resistance is paradoxical by nature. Nothing is painful in the mind, except the arising of not wanting, in other words, clinging on to not accepting. The not wanting, or resistance, is what causes the pain, not what is in the mind. It may sound strange, but that is exactly what it is when one starts to see how the mind works. Take for example, anger. Anger, by itself, is just an aspect of the mind. It arises due to one not seeing that the idea lodged in the mind is merely an idea and cannot be clung or held onto. Hence when another opposing idea that seems to be coming from the outside world meets with the idea in the mind, conflict arises and it is in this conflict that pain is born. Conflict is merely the inability to accept another idea because the very idea which one holds on, to him, seems right and with that the meaning of another being “wrong” arose in the mind. Hence the arising of anger, as a pain in the mind.
If one is mindful, and able to recognize anger as a product of opposing ideas, and with right mindedness, accepts how this is the nature of the mind works, one will see anger disappearing in his presence. Logically explained, anger arises from not acceptance and to bring in acceptance is to nullify anger. Of course, if one wishes to be angry there is no reason to accept the fact that anger springs from his own meanings.
The next round when any upset arise, be it in the form of jealousy, aversion, worry, depression etc, recognize it as it is, as if giving it a voice in the mind. It is like, “I am accepting you exactly as you are – giving you the space to be what you are” and then observe what happens to it. “Recognize it as it is” here is to mean accepting the upset without trying to resist it. You will be surprised by what turns up only if you are to accept the mind, and not to fool it by trying to fix up the pain.