If you look up BE in the dictionary, you will find among the definitions: To exist, to happen, to be true, to be situated, and to be present (as in roll call). I couldn’t find anything about awareness as it is used in the 1971 book Remember, Be Here Now by Ram Dass. His book is considered to be a manual for making the transition to a spiritual lifestyle. I read it a couple of years after it was published, so I don’t remember a lot of details—just the sense that it rang true and was very helpful. I and fellow members of our meditation group often chided each other to, “Be Here Now,” meaning ‘to bring our attention to the present moment.’ (Or to quit whining, depending on the situation.:)
Ahhh, those were the days. Though we have gone our separate ways for the most part, we’re all still aware of what ‘being in the moment’ entails: Let go of the past, fear not the future and focus on what is happening right here, right now. Thirty-nine years later there are many more books on the subject and I believe therapists commonly introduce their patients to the concept, too. Mine often said to me, “But you’re okay in this moment, right?” To which I once retorted, “Yes, dang it! How can I worry if I have to keep saying I’m okay right now?”:)
I learned to ask myself, “What’s happening right now? “whenever I felt fear or confusion. I stopped, looked slowly around, and acknowledged everything I could see. I learned to take slow, deep breaths, which causes more oxygen to be carried to the brain, having a calming effect. I learned I didn’t have to trigger the adrenalin rush of a person trapped in an alley by a giant tiger when I made mistakes, or dropped things, or forgot something or ‘misbehaved.’ I repeated to myself over and over, “I don’t have to be perfect; I don’t have to be perfect.”
The thing is, we can’t ever just be, or be in this moment, with our awareness all present and accounted for (not on work or money or family problems), if we don’t calm ourselves down. Inspiration and solutions come in the space of ‘right now,’ so if our attention is in the past or the future, it’s very hard to know what to do. Prayer and meditation are means to an end, to make the connection with our higher selves, the God-seed within. That’s BEing!