Sam's comment...my present is your future....matches my own. (gee what a surprise!)
well, sort of...
Sifu's comment is more of a description of an expanded mental state (as a cause), as opposed to a physical skill or skill set (i.e the effect / outcome on an opponent) , although it [awareness] will increase your physical skill. it's a description of the result of advanced awareness, which can be applied to your shen fa (body method).
the expanded awareness allows you to notice change sooner, monitor more variables and adjust.
if we compare using mindfulness to improve your shen fa to a fire, adding more fuel / wood (mindfulness) results in more flame, but wood itself is not the flame in the same way that awareness is not the shen fa itself.
most people train their shen fa into a reflexive kind of habit, which is a very different approach than what Sifu is advocating.
from an ILC point of view, our skill on touch is dependent on mindfulness, but mindfulness itself is independent of the skill, which is why meditation is such an important part of the ILC training process.