I use the words "awareness" and "mindfulness" along with meditation when teaching. All words are only concepts that are pointers, attempting to describe "something".
Mindfulness allows us to be more conscious of what is unfolding in the moment. Meditation is a practice that develops and heightens our capacity to be mindful. From mindfulness and meditation we can connect into our "true nature" that can be described as "awareness" that is timeless, has no centre or boundary and doesn't come or go. Thinking is NOT our "true nature".
Thoughts are continually and habitually generated within us along with reactions to these thoughts with more thought, feeling and bodily tension. All of this mostly happens unconsciously and it keeps us trapped in our conditioning. Mindfulness of "what is" allows these patterns of conditioning to be examined consciously. The practice of meditation is a very powerful tool for this inquiry. What can then be revealed as we consciously release and move beyond our conditioning is an inner space that has a fullness of "awareness" but is empty of substance. This is freedom. Freedom is effortless "awareness" but effort is required to examine unconscious conditioning and reaction. Mindfulness and meditation leads to "stillness of being", and "stillness" is an absolute requirement to be able to rest in and as "awareness", that which is our "true nature".
Aruna runs meditation sessions and one day urban retreats at One Heart Yoga & Meditation @ the Abbotsford Convent. He also runs Weekend Meditation & Mindfulness Retreats in Healesville, Victoria.