Quality of life is an experience in the present moment. It is not in the past or the future, which are quantitative measures.
Just as we do with the past and the future, we view the present through the lens of time. The past may cover vast swathes of time, the future we imagine maybe even more prominent, but we do not equate the present with more than a few seconds or moments. When we relate it with time, it becomes hard to hold onto the present moment. One second we are in the present, and the next second we are not.
The true essence of the present is not related to time. It is beyond the mind
We may be able to better understand the present through the lens of awareness. Mind and awareness are inversely related. The deeper we go into the mind, through attachment and identification, less is the awareness. Conversely, the more aware we become, the less is our involvement with the mind.
The art of life is learning how to balance both mind and awareness. The mind and its abilities help in interacting with the world. Awareness is essential for deepening the meaning and quality of life.
It is easier to become aware of our suffering than to become aware that we are happy. With suffering, there is a distinct separation between two — the source and the awareness of pain. However, through attachment to the false self that suffers, the mind takes center stage, and there is deep involvement experience of suffering.
Awareness can remain independent of the mind, and there is no requirement that we participate in the activities of the mind. It is almost like having two tracks inside of us. Part of our being is on the track of the mind as an involved participant. The other is on the path of awareness, watching the mind, but uninvolved.
Being conscious of the movements of the mind but not becoming part of that movement is like watching moving clouds in the sky against the backdrop of the changeless blue depth. Similarly, we can witness the changing mind-matter in the form of thoughts on the screen of empty inner space.
The more we practice, the quality of the experience of life changes from the continual movement of thoughts in the mind space to a more static area in which our awareness settles.