Being mindful – minding – taking care

Take care

It may be useful to open-up another strand of meaning of the words mind, mindful and minding.

Mindful meditation involves developing an open, non-reactive, non-attached awareness. To ‘be mindful’ is to be present, awake and in harmony with the temporary, insubstantial and contingent nature of existence.

But it is also worth remembering that ‘to mind’ also means to be engaged, concerned – to care – as in when we say, ‘please mind my baby’, ‘mind where you’re going’, or, ‘yes, I do mind when you use that tone of voice’.

‘Taking care’ is to look after – to care for oneself, others and the world around us. As in when we say, ‘please take care of yourself’, or, ‘please take care of the book I’ve lent you.’

We also use the exclamation, ‘take care’! – meaning, be alert, vigilant and prepared for what may occur. We are asking someone to be attentive to the changing circumstances and to be ready to deal with any contingency.

All these meanings are bound up in the phrase ‘being mindful’.