Developing Four Kinds of Intelligence for Optimal Mental Health and Balance
A Mindfulness Workshop
Dr. B. Alan Wallace
The principal meaning of “mindfulness” in English stems from the verb “to mind,” as in “bearing in mind” (e.g. “children, mind your manners,” and “mind what I say”). This meaning coincides closely with the traditional meaning of the corresponding terms in Asian contemplative traditions that we translate as “mindfulness.” In this workshop we shall explore ways of applying mindfulness to the cultivation of four kinds of intelligence that deeply influence our daily lives, and by developing them, we can enhance our health and discover an ever-deepening sense of well-being. The first kind of intelligence is conative, a term unfamiliar to many people, but its meaning is simple: it refers to our desires, aspirations, values, and intentions. To a large extent, these determine the course of our lives, and by developing conative intelligence we learn how to make wise decisions that truly benefit ourselves and others. The second kind of intelligence is attentional. How we direct our attention plays an enormous role in determining our sense of who we are and the world around us, and the cultivation of attentional intelligence—the ability to focus our attention with calmness and clarity—leads to optimal performance in everything we do. The third kind of intelligence is cognitive. This is developed through clear, discerning mindfulness so that we come to see reality as it is, rather than confusing it with our own projections or failing to see things because of our cognitive biases. The fourth kind of intelligence is emotional, and this is cultivated by developing greater awareness of our emotions and what triggers them, and by maintaining an inner calm and open-heartedness through all the vicissitudes of life.
This four-day workshop will be held on the afternoons of 16 to 19 January 2019 (Wednesday to Saturday), 2 – 5 pm, at the NUHS Tower Block, Level 8, Rooms T08-03 and T08-04.