Awareness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in our lives, a way of taking charge of our lives, a way of doing something for ourselves that no one else will, or can, do for us — systematically and consciously working with the challenges and demands of everyday life.
The goal of awareness practice is to gain a first-hand understanding of the way things are, without reliance on the opinions or theories of others — to have a direct, intimate experience, one which gives rise to that deep sense of calm that comes from knowing something for oneself, beyond any doubt.
This is a general principle: attachment and addiction are not metaphysical problems. They're tactical ones. We're attached to things and actions, not because of what we think they are, but because of what we think they can do for our happiness.
If we keep overestimating the pleasure and underestimating the pain they bring, we stay attached to them regardless of what, in an ultimate sense, we understand them to be.
Because the problem is tactical, the solution has to be tactical as well.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Integrity of Emptiness