According to great masters like Lao Tzu or Buddha, most of us move through our lives like sleepwalkers. Never really present in what we are doing, never fully alert to our environment, and not even aware of what motivates us to do and say the things we do.
At the same time, all of us have experienced moments of awareness―or awakening, to use another―in extraordinary circumstances. On the road, in a sudden and unexpected accident, time seems to stop and one is suddenly aware of every movement, every sound, every thought. Or in moments that touch us deeply―welcoming a new baby into the world for the first time, or being with someone at the moment of death.