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The Neuro-mania conferences: an introduction

Neuro-mania as a way of knowledge: the debate on the limits of neuro-reduction

Questo contenuto è disponibile anche in Italiano.

The recent popularity of what we call "mindfulness" involves potentials as well as some risks.

Originally , the prospective of mindfulness derives and is based on the practice of awarenes-meditation – one of the main traditions in classical Buddhism – and on the Darhma vision embodied included in this kind of practice, as it happens in other contemplative traditions.

Mindfulness and the rules on which it is based want to offer, at first level, the practice of awareness-oriented meditation. This introduction, together with occidental scientific, furnishes a convenient mean, quite compatible with our culture and daily background.

These mindfulness- based programs, have proved to reach levels of liberation and therapy. In fact, it has been tested in clinics and psychosocial centers, either on patients with the most obvious pathological problems or others, with lighter symptoms. This method has proved to be effective when dealing with a human suffering condition, (Dukka), which can put us down like, for example: pervading lack of satisfaction, discomfort, stress, anguish, nervous breakdown, addiction…

This method, studied and verified through occidental methods, allowed to demonstrate the clinical and therapeutic efficiency of mindfulness-meditation; today, mindfulness-based interventions,(MBIs), turn out  to be admitted at international level for the treatment of somme pathologies, on the base of evidence.

At the same time, meditation practices have become object of research where neuroscience finds unique conditions to study the field of mind and conscience processes, considering that contemplative traditions lead to better our vision of human mind. On the other hand, scientific methods cannot supply a substitute of personal direct and intimate experience, which we can sense in this state of conscience named "silent mindfulness".

In short, merit and power of mindfulness prospective, seem to represent, overall, an open door particularly adapted to our daily style of life, shaped into the dimension of intuitive mindfulness.

Anyway, growing popularity is always matched with great risks, which could end up reducing the potentiality offered by the prospective of minfulness, or even betray and reverse it, as a parody totally opposed to the original prospective.

Some of the risks consist into spreading the voice that mindfulness is a "relaxing technique", an "emotional cure", leading to "well-being" and simple "psychological comfort"; that would mean a complete misunderstanding of the very essential meaning which is: getting in relation with one's own sufferance and understand its power to reach the truth.

An other risk is: a reductive  or scientist concept that confounds mindfulness with "therapeutic technique", and pretends to re-translate and frame it into an already known comportamental, cognitive, psychodynamic or neuroscientific concept. This would mean, reducing and forgetting the deep profound vision it emerges from.

And we must not forget, the risk of spreading around a sentimental and edifying vision or a comforting and defnsive approach to mindfulness which excludes putting oneself at stake.

It would be a mistake to forget the objective limits of this introduction to meditation through mindfulness, and consider it almost as a messianic, saving message, spreading the news around the world, as it were a solution to all evils; that could give someone the opportunity to become prophets and gain popularity.

In the course of these four days, we intend to face the questions raised by the actual diffusion of mindfulness, in the most straightforward and clear way; we'll instate a debate and a peaceful but rigorous approach. During these days, in Padova and Milan, we'll face the syndrome of "mindfulness-mania" and the above mentionned themes, through different points of view.

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