This is the concept of present moment awareness. To be mindfull is to be present in the moment which is here now. This must be the second step for the student of enlightenment.
Consider this...The past does not exist...The only thing that exists of the past are your personal memories,your personal perspective of a past event or situation. The past is gone and does not exist. The future is just a dream, or desire, or a hope or even possible dread. But still does not exist.
Watch your mind like you watch children at play. See how it moves from past to future like it is playing a game. All the while robbing you of the only real moment of time that truly exists. How often do you find your self reliving the past? How this person did you wrong, how things should have been, or reliving that perfect evening long ago that you might believe could never come about again.
Or fearing the future, What will happen at work today,is the government going to collapse,what if I go broke,,,or How awesome will my vacation be, I can't wait, this weekend will be so fun, I can't wait for my hot date.
But still all the while you are being robbed of your present moment because you are not there. You are in the past or in the future which does not exist.
See the present moment in a different way. You are not moving through space and time, it is moving through you. You appear to move but everywhere you go there you are. The present moment is like a movie where the scene is always changing.
problems and regrets cannot arise if you are here now, fear of the future or unbridled desire have no impact on you if you are here now. And here now is the only place where life can be lived.
When you talk to some one, talk to them. When you do your work, do your work. When you play , just play. Be mindfull of what you are doing, be there, all of you. Being mindfull is concentrating on what you are doing or not doing. When you do nothing just be with your self and enjoy your beingness.
practice training your mind to be in the here and now. when it wonders call it back. If you miss this moment it will be gone for ever. the past or the future cannot affect you if you are here now.
Look at it this way, if your mind is not here now, it is no where. Its up to you to cultivate present moment awareness within your self. And believe me it is well worth the effort. Practice being in and with the moment and you will actually feel like you are living your life.
To me this is the second step toward being a consciously aware person. Imagine being in the present moment where you accept things as they are and refuse to judge. You might like it so much you would want to stay for a while.
Practice monitering your labeling and judging thoughts. Practice complete mindfullness. Keep your mind full with what is going on right than and there. And you will go far..
Step 2 in the journey of a 1,000 miles ( wow, You have just taken a complete stride)