It has to be in the present moment because enlightenment is not something to be put off into the future while you perform all kinds of rituals and activities to “get there.” It has to be here and now because only here and now are timeless.
Sit still and feel how the power of the Universe is working through you. It is beating your heart, digesting your food, and working all your glands simultaneously, without your conscious choice. This is the power beyond your ego-mind. It is operating the entire planet and the cosmos on a grand scale. Getting in touch with this power, while feeling within the peace of the present moment, is enlightenment.
You may slip in and out of enlightenment if your ego-mind is running the show. That is why so many people seek meditation as a way to lessen the pull of the non-stop chattering mind. Don’t get discouraged. As you experience the deep-seated peace of the enlightened state, the ego-mind diminishes its grasp and becomes weaker and less compelling. Allow yourself to just feel the gentle serenity of your breath. Then put your intention on receiving, instead of seeking, enlightenment.