During the Heian period (794-1192), a season of peace and tranquility blossomed in feudal Japan. From this time of Zen, we get the word “aware” (pronounced ah-wah-ray). Aware does not easily translate into English. In modern Japanese, aware literally means “miserable,” but the original meaning is more subtle. In the Zen tradition, aware is a sensitivity to the sadness of impermanence. This sadness feels like a longing for something far away. . .
Aware is listening to the ocean in a seashell.
Aware is watching sunshine on aspen leaves.
Aware is finding photographs of old friends.
Aware is realizing that someday all the people I love will be gone.
Aware is a call to action, and a reason to embrace this moment.