To rest or abide as awareness means to feel what awareness feels like. Of course, awareness is not itself a feeling, but it elicits a particular feeling tone or presence. It is a bit like asking someone what the sun feels like on their skin. The sun is not itself a feeling but it gives off warmth that you can feel.
In the same manner, awareness elicits subtle feeling tones in and around the body that are sometimes called presence, openness, stillness, silence, or intimacy. To abide as awareness means to take note of these subtle feeling tones of awareness, to rest in the feeling and experience of them. This can draw you more deeply into the core of your being, the realization of which can only come by grace, which means spontaneously.
Yes, and it’s the first step. As this becomes more familiar and a new habit, there is another step: notice that these feelings are sensations, and also notice which images and words are associated with it. Then, we can recognize more clearly that everything is already resting as awareness, independent of content and independent of any particular feeling.