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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Buddhism and Modern Psychology by Princeton University

5,345 ratings
1,822 reviews

About the Course

The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology? This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attention to some highly counterintuitive doctrines: that the self doesn’t exist, and that much of perceived reality is in some sense illusory. Do these claims, radical as they sound, make a certain kind of sense in light of modern psychology? And what are the implications of all this for how we should live our lives? Can meditation make us not just happier, but better people? All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews

Nov 15, 2015

I have been practicing meditation for two years already.In so far I have attended all Deepak Chopra meditation experiences which I found very helpful but not as helpful this course provided me so far.

Mar 2, 2016

Engaging content and excellent pace. While the level is introductory (I'd have liked a bit more depth), I would expect this from a lower-division/breadth course—and even more so from a MOOC like this.

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226 - 250 of 1,791 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By shanmugam

Jun 8, 2020

Loved the course. I felt that it was a great western perspective of eastern doctrines. Loved the way the professor handles the course. I think he did a great job trying to fit this ancient doctrine into the logic and rationality that we build in the modern times. Strongly recommend it as a course that opens you up to understanding your mind .

By miguel f c v

May 11, 2020

I liked the focus of the course as it allowed me to better understand the way the mind works from both a scientific and a Buddhist point of view. Professor Wright demonstrates a great knowledge of the topics covered and complemented it very well with the interviews and documents provided to the students. I am very grateful for this experience

By Ashish K

Jan 9, 2018

This course was an eye-opener. The professor, in addition to being humble, has a great sense of humor. That makes digesting the concepts that much more easier. The Lessons are designed in consumable chunks. Don't miss the office hours as they are the most fun.

If you are serious about improving your life, take this course feel the difference!


Jul 21, 2020

Thank you very much, Professor, and Coursera for this course. It has been very enriching to go through these lectures with great information and reflections about Buddhism and modern science links and supports. Wish you all the best in your work and projects, and I hope I can keep in touch with each of you.

Thank you again.

All the best


By Juan D G M

Nov 24, 2015

Excellent course, easy to follow, very interesting. The videos are short enough to make a little progress every day or every now and then, without having to dedicate hours to one session. This course really helped me get interested in Buddhism, confirmed many thoughts I already had on meditation and made me discover new sides to it as well.

By Taylor H

Jun 16, 2020

Robert Wright was an amazing professor who took the time to answer everyones questions, and was very open to different perspectives and ways of thinking. He also had a lot of great guests on as well. His dogs, Frasier and Milo during office hours were so fun, and all of Mr. Wright's examples were easy to resinate with. Loved this course!

By Maura M

Feb 23, 2018

Very enjoyable and interesting course. The course was mentioned in Dr. Wright's book,

“Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment”, and am glad I signed up for it. The interviews in the course videos were very useful, as were the readings and Dr. Wright's commentaries. I highly recommend the course.

By Chrystall J

Aug 6, 2020

This was an excellent course. I worked through this course and Positive Psychology from UPENN at the same time and think the courses really complement one another. I enjoyed the suggested readings and have a list of books to read. I also enjoyed the assignments along the way that allowed us to check our understanding of the material.

By Susanne W

Feb 23, 2019

An intriguing and interesting look at the parallels between modern evolutionary theory of the mind and Buddhist concepts from thousands of years ago. Dr. Wright is knowledgeable, entertaining and provides valuable insight and examples to enforce the concepts of the course. Truly a delightful, thought-provoking look at the human mind.

By Dr. R S

Jul 10, 2020

Good Evening Sir/Madam,

Greetings of the Day!

It is requested to your goodself, that I have completed the Buddhism and Modern Psychology earlier. I need Certificate of this Course, if you please provide me this course certificate it will help me to earn a job. My humble request to you please help me I am a unemployed youth.

thank you.

By Richie P

Nov 19, 2019

This is a wonderful course that takes on the grand philosophy of Buddhism through mostly an evolutionary psychology lens. It covers several principles of Buddhism at relatively quick pace yet thorough in the time frame. I would recommend some basic information about psychology and Buddhism to really be able to thrive in this course.

By Fabio N

Apr 5, 2016

Great overview of Buddhist philosophy and recent psychology research. Professor Wright invites several religious and academic figures to draw paralallels between the two in a very investigative, and curious way.

I recommend watching all the interviews and taking detailed notes as they are particulary useful in doing the assignments.

By Mohammed J A

Oct 8, 2020

This course highlights the most interesting experiments within the field of psychology, discussing the implications of those studies for our understanding of the human mind and human behavior. We will explore the brain and some of the cognitive abilities it supports like memory, learning, attention, perception and consciousness.

By mathi v

May 11, 2020

I really enjoyed the course, it made me think of a lot of things. I started looking for more information and I just can't get enough. And Professor Wright was very good at presenting and linking the ideas. I'm sure not everybody will agree with me. To these people I wish happy mindfull meditation. They will get there, in time.

By Adam S C

Jul 15, 2016

Illuminating very interesting connections between modern psychology and the philosophy of buddhism. The essentialist interpretation the buddhist concept of emptiness was novel to me.

Very lucid and pedagogical lecturer. Sometimes it was a bit repetitive and slow, but since one can watch in 1.5x speed it didn't really bother me.

By Giselle T

Sep 1, 2020

This course opened the door to the path of the Buddha, which I am now following. This course is very complete in its presentation of sometimes difficult concepts, thanks to Prof. Wright´s organization of course materials, personal interpretations and anecdotes, and invited speakers. This course is such a gift to all of us!

By Anabela C

Jul 22, 2019

It is an excellent course, where not only concepts are learned but it leads you to think in a different way, to see things differently and you learn in each video, in each work. It is very well organized and Professor Robert Wright is perfect to lead the course. Thank you very much to everyone who made this course possible!

By Deborah B

Sep 3, 2017

Wonderfully constructed, engaging course. Loved the length of each lecture, the added videos with experts in each field, and resources. Instructions for essays and peer review were clear and easy to use. Questions for the essays were thought provoking and helped consolidate provided course material. THANKS! I learned a lot!

By Erich C

Dec 17, 2016

Awesome course given by a very charismatic instructor, with the curious participation of his 2 furred sidekicks. The contents of this course are very useful for our everyday life, by helping us increase our awareness of mental processess. Also very useful for people who are willing to start meditating and improving welfare.

By Cristina M

Dec 14, 2020

No pasa el tiempo por esta enseñanza y, aunque el profesor Wright ha publicado un excelente libro derivado de este curso, sigue siendo genial atender a sus videos, entrevistas, materiales y al intenso y continuo intercambio entre alumnos y tutores vía blog, faceboock, etc. Me ha enseñado mucho y lo he disfrutado. Gracias!

By Megha W H

Nov 14, 2016

This course has been a learning process that has strengthened myself / non- self, and I have understood the workings of my Modular mind, so now I'm taking full charge over it and with the help of mindfulness meditation, I'm already experiencing success. Thank you Prof. Robert wright and all the participating Professionals.

By Juergen B

Jun 3, 2019

Brilliantly presented. I am in no way spiritual and love the scientic evidence presented. This course has brought spirituality closer to me. There are a lot of questions science raises and combining two so seemingly different camps as Buddhist spirituality with "hard" science offers new answers or at least new viewpoints.

By p.manicka s

May 1, 2017

This is a fantastic course for anyone interested in Buddhism and gives an entirely different perspective on anatta and sunyata. Dr.Wright has taken lot of pain and the course material (audio, video, text, web links) is excellent. The mentors in the forum are very good and did a wonderful job in moderating the discussions.


Jun 4, 2018

The course on Buddhism and Modern Psychology was most interesting. I have been able to apply the knowledge gained in this course and incorporate it into my everyday life.

I believe that anyone even slightly interested in either Buddhism and/or Modern Psychology would find this course to be very valuable and enlightening.

By Jessica J

May 4, 2020

Professor Wright is straightforward, funny, and curious -- all important qualities a great professor should have! His deep personal interest in Buddhism and its relation to evolutionary psychology is what makes this course special and so well done. I highly recommend engaging in this course. Thank you, Professor Wright!