Please bear with me while I throw a lot of words/pointers your way (as is my tendency to do).
One must be careful not to take words that are written or spoken by me or anyone else as being true, even if they feel true - that would turn 'pointers' into another concept which is simply absorbed into one's identity structure; they would just be more beliefs that the ego carries. For awakening to happen what one does is to see what words, ideas, and beliefs arise in, and what they arise in is awareness - You.
Awareness is so ordinary and so simple that it seldom gets noticed, but without awareness nothing could exist. What is usually noticed is what changes. The mind is drawn to change because it doesn't quite believe that all the answers are right here right now. But answers can't be here, reasons the mind, so it looks to the future to when things will change from what they are right now. So ego/mind seeks, and by so doing it creates time. It fantasizes about the future and projects into it what has been learned from the past - this creates anticipation, expectation, and fear as the underlying themes for whatever storyline the mind has created. Or the ego dwells upon the past with its storylines of regret, wistfulness, opportunity missed, or whatever. In both cases the present moment has been missed, which is unfortunate because the present moment, now, is all there is. Mind, however, is always looking for more, and looking for more implies that what's here now isn't enough.
Instead of looking for more, simply notice what's already here. As you notice what's here also notice when the ego/mind comes into play to comment/label/judge what's here; those tendencies take you out of conscious awareness of the present moment because those things are of the past. When you 'catch' yourself in the midst of commenting, labelling, and judging you have automatically returned to the present moment. The more often you catch yourself being out of presence the more stable presence becomes. This has the effect of revealing more clearly just what awareness is.
Now, please allow me to make a suggestion which may be helpful in revealing the simplicity of awareness. In my last post I suggested listening to Stillness Speaks while sitting quietly. There were several reasons I did that: Stillnesss Speaks doesn't have a lot of words, a lot of explanations in it. There isn't a lot for the mind to absorb all at once because it is broken down into small pieces. It has frequent pauses built into it to allow the mind to think about what has been said, and more importantly, to rest in awareness itself. At first, the mind will it will think about what it hears. With repeated listening the concepts will be understood more clearly and when that happens the mind won't have much to 'do' anymore. At some point while listening you will notice that all there is is listening (especially noticeable during the gaps Tolle inserts between his spoken ideas), and no longer any internal grappling with the concepts. In other words, the ego/mind has dropped out leaving nothing but awareness in which listening is happening. There are words/sounds but no 'me' who is attaching anything to those words/sounds.
Once you recognize just what awareness is you will notice it literally everywhere (it MUST be everywhere!). With whatever is seen there is an awareness illuminating it - the usual case, though, is that there is an internal comment/judgment/label attached to what has been seen (coming from the past), and it is this which obscures awareness. So when you catch yourself doing those things (and it's not a separate you/ego who does this but awareness itself) there will be a simple and effortless return to 'seeing' itself. This is the return to presence, to now, to awareness, to 'what is.'
The same holds true for everything else: touching, tasting, smelling. These are always happening anyway, but again, they tend to have an overlay of mental comment along with them that comes from ego/mind. Over the course of 'time' this recognition of 'what is' by You/awareness deepens and becomes more stable.
(By the way, just notice that as you are reading these words there are other things that are illuminated by awareness but aren't being attended to by ego/mind: the hum of the computer, the sounds of the tv/radio in the background, objects on the periphery of your vision, the smell of dinner cooking, the taste of the gum you are chewing, the sense of the fingers upon the keyboard. If not for awareness none of that could be known. Pure awareness/You makes all of these things possible. And as attention is put upon these words notice that with all else that is occuring there is no commentary of ego/mind attached to them - they are simply here now).
Then the realization hits you: that the you that you believed was you doesn't really exist; it never did and it never will. That you/ego is now directly and clearly seen to be nothing but ideas which were held in the mind. When those ideas are witnessed as they arise it is realized that they are not real (in the sense that they come and go). That what IS real is the awareness that is illuminating those ideas of self and other. If there is no 'little me', as Tolle puts it, there can be no 'other.'
So no ego, no thoughts, no mission, no striving to change my surroundings or others around me or even me. To just "be", to just "revel" in it.
Ego and thought are not real, they are temporary appearances arising in awareness. The only one who would attempt to change oneself or their surroundings is ego. There is no mission, because that is something the ficticious ego has created as well.
You will notice that when you are in presence (as presence) none of those things exist, but what will be here is awareness. When there is the simple resting within this natural state of awareness there is simply 'beingness.' There is no reveling in it - there is just awareness. That awareness is You.
When this is seen as being true, then the 'apparent me' goes about its life as before, but with the knowing that this 'apparent me' is not real. Everything is then seen as a play, an arising within awareness.
Wow - what a lot of words! Now, forget everything I wrote and rest in beingness