Being here now means being mindfully aware, accepting things as they are, cognizant of what has gone before, and having a sense of what may result from anything that happens in the present.
To be mindfully aware is not conceptual, it is not a reflecting on or thinking about something. It is being present in the way you might be when experiencing the flow of a fully engaged activity like dancing, playing a sport you are really good at, concentrated speaking, reading or writing, or watching a totally engrossing movie.
The be here now message is to avoid being stuck in the past, bound to reactive living, regret and anchoring on past accomplishments or failures, and to avoid being attached to a picture of the future that may or may not come about.
To avoid being distracted by these thoughts about the past or future, cultivate the mindfulness that recognizes them. Choose to either indulge them or to let them go. For example, thoughts of a future event can be useful and lead to the planning that will make the event come about and be successful. The thinking and the planning are in the now. Alternatively, one can recognize the thoughts and then decide that in the next moment it is best to be free of anything but the calm sense of peace that comes from returning to observing your breath, repeating your mantra, or just being present.
Be Here Now
For those who wish to live effectively in the material world, rest in the present moment. Train the mind to be aware of all thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, concepts and of consciousness itself. Understand the past well enough to not be bound by any of its residual effects. Image and plan the future and act skillfully to positively influence it.
Let go of simplistic beliefs and the techniques used to bypass what you dislike and cling to what pleases you. These may lead to a feeling of momentary happiness by denying reality, but long term, they cause more harm than good. Take on the work of being truly here now. Do not suppress your emotions, your attachments, and all the other things that distract you. Experience them fully, mindfully aware moment to moment. Use their energy as a wake-up alarm and to fuel positive action.
Accept the paradox that to be here now means to embrace the past and future while realizing that they are both real and unreal. That realization goes beyond intellectual understanding. It is the essence of being here now.
As the Third Zen Patriarch said, "To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality. To assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality."
Let go of the need to “understand it” to fully understand it.
Be here now and you are both without past, present or future, and on solid ground for moving forward, ready for anything.