One Thing at a Time
Being conscious, being present in the now, really means being conscious and
being present to and with what you have chosen to pay attention to in any given moment. Again, "Every act that is an act of choice is sacred." Attention itself is a mysterious and sacred energy.
Energy, creative energy, follows the flow of attention. This means that anything or anyone we choose to focus on receives the energy of our consciousness and is stimulated by it (somewhat as the chlorophyll in a green leaf receiving the light of the sun is stimulated). Once stimulated by our consciousness, whatever we focus on tends to give back to us a yield of some kind, most often yield of the kind we focused on to begin with. This yield accrues within us human beings in the form of knowledge, wisdom, and feeling.
For example, we may choose to see how many different shades and hues of color there are in a peach. The peach itself before our very eyes will seem suddenly to become many-colored. We see a dozen or even more colors in it, whereas before we only saw "peach-colored."
In other words, there are as many different ways to be present in the now as there are aspects or dimensions of any given thing or person or moment to be conscious of.
What, then, is not being present in the now? Not being present and conscious in the now is
having chosen to focus in a certain way, but instead allowing the mind to do something else or to "go" or "be" somewhere else .
Not being present and conscious in the now may even mean never choosing at all, never having any focus. Never having any sense of the immensity and sacredness and mystery of life.
It may not be possible to be in full bright consciousness of anything or anyone in all possible ways at once, but it is possible to invite dramatic brightening of consciousness in one way at a time, and to do that is in itself marvelous.
As each new dimension of consciousness is being developed, every aspect that is already developed is experienced as a rich and subtle presence as well, in the background.