Mindfulness meditation is the seventh step of the Noble Eightfold Path, a psycho-educational program for liberation from physical and psychic pain and suffering developed over 2,500 years ago by Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince known as the Buddha. Mindfulness has been described in "The Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness" of Gautama. This form of meditation consists of learning to become aware of the breath, the body and the ability to observe the contents of the mind. The method of mindfulness-oriented meditation (MOM) developed by the authors consists of eight weekly sessions, each involving three parts: the first 30 minutes are devoted to the presentation of a relevant issue for mindfulness; the middle 30 minutes concerns the practice of mindfulness (10 minutes of attention to the breath, 10 minutes of contemplation of the body, 10 minutes of observation of the mind); at the end of the meditation about 60 minutes are dedicated to the discussion of any difficulties and achievements. The MOM training has been employed by the authors in 7 published experimental researches and in 5 other studies currently in progress. After an introductory session on mindfulness meditation and on the MOM method, in the second part of the article we will discuss the main results obtained from the neuropsychological and clinical studies on the effects of mindfulness-oriented meditation.
Keywords: Meditation, mindfulness, neuropsychology, psychopathology