The Chinese character for “mindfulness” is nian. It is a combination of two separate characters, each with its own meaning. The top part of the character means “now” and the bottom part of the character means “heart” or “mind”. Literally, the combined character means the act of experiencing the present moment with your heart. So mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness of what is occurring in and around us. By being present and mindful of the present moment, we can accept what is at that moment as it is, allowing change to happen naturally, without struggle, without the usual resistance and judgment that cause us to suffer more.
Thich Nhat Hahn and Dr Lilian Cheung, Savor