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Mindfulness and Multiple Intelligences: 8 Ways to Pay Attention

How are you smart?

Let me count the ways.

Harvard professor Howard Gardner was the first to describe the concept of Multiple Intelligences. According to this widely-accepted theory, we are each born with a certain amount of intelligence in each of eight areas, and we have the potential to harness or develop each of these throughout our lives.

In 1983, Gardner first described seven intelligences: linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. He later added an eighth: naturalistic.

Nothing too earth-shaking about this. We all know gifted writers (using words), engineers (using numbers), artists (manipulating spaces), musicians (inspired by sound), athletes (using physical skills), counselors (understanding others), and biologists (passionate about nature).

But here's the one I find most interesting: intrapersonal. According to Gardner, someone with great intrapersonal intelligence enjoys spending time alone, likes being still in their own space, is especially adept at understanding themselves, and is inspired by contemplation.

Now, remember that each of us has at least a little of all eight kinds of intelligence, with one or two areas being the most dominant. Although we can increase our abilities in all areas, we are naturally attracted to certain activities. A person with dominant or developed intrapersonal intelligence is likely to be innately interested in silent contemplation and naturally drawn to meditation.

So....what about everybody else? If meditation comes easily to only a small percentage of the population, why is it that all approaches to mindfulness require sitting still and focusing inward?

If we use Multiple Intelligences theory as a way to recognize our different learning styles and natural tendencies, we see that there must be a number of ways to develop mindfulness without relying solely upon meditation.

Teachers around the globe are employing Multiple Intelligences theory in the classroom in order to prepare lessons that appeal to the learning styles of all types of students. The ultimate goal of learning specific material is the same no matter what, but this enlightened approach to teaching is inclusive and exhilarating.

If meditation fits only ONE of the eight intelligences (intrapersonal) we are missing out on seven other areas in which we can learn--and teach-- mindfulness! Being attached to a single approach is decidedly limiting and downright archaic.

If you find it difficult to get motivated to meditate, consider this: perhaps your particular combination of multiple intelligences would benefit from a different approach to mindfulness.

In other words, it's not you--it's the teacher! Or, more precisely, the teachings.

If meditation isn't working for you, take heart. There are seven other areas in which mindfulness training can inform, inspire and delight you.

That's what counts.

Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and powerful eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit http://www.MassageYourMind.com.

In The News:

Russia 'using 'hardcore propaganda against UK'
Sun, 16 Dec 2018 08:58:00 +0000
Latvia has raised concerns with Britain over what one diplomat described as "hardcore propaganda" against the UK and its allies aired by two Russian-language television channels that are registered in London.

Restaurant blast injures more than 40 in Japan
Sun, 16 Dec 2018 14:42:00 +0000
More than 40 people have been injured in an explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan.

Anti-migration protest turns violent in Brussels
Sun, 16 Dec 2018 13:40:00 +0000
Police have fired tear gas and water cannons at anti-migration protests at the European Commission in Brussels.

'Over my dead body': Giuliani rules out Mueller interview of Trump
Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:15:00 +0000
Rudy Giuliani has ruled out the possibility of US President Donald Trump being interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Sri Lanka reinstates ousted prime minister
Sun, 16 Dec 2018 07:36:00 +0000
Sri Lanka has reinstated ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, bringing closure to two months of political instability in the country.



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