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The Tibetan term for this is rang rig, our natural capacity for reflection and self-awareness. We can be aware of the processes of knowing, perceiving, or thinking as they are happening. Mindful awareness, as is described in the four foundations of mindfulness, can be a close awareness of present experience arising and ceasing. Awareness can also be aware of the essential background quality of the mind, natural clarity. Awareness is more intimate than regular knowing. It has a quality of fully pervading, of directly touching an experience, not just labeling or noting it. Awareness is crucial for this course because while the other attributes are automatic or naturally present, awareness can be trained, developed, and strengthened.

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