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

5,293 ratings
1,807 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

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.

Oct 25, 2020

I thought this was a great introduction to both modern Buddhist thought and evolutionary psychology. Professor Wright is an excellent lecturer, and his office hours are informative as well as amusing.

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876 - 900 of 1,775 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Guy G

Dec 7, 2015

This class should be mandatory ofr every human being. You will learn a lot about yourself.

By Seema r

Jan 9, 2021

It was very enlightened course for me.Particular meditation section was very interesting.

By Blanka G C

Aug 23, 2020

I loved this course and I find professor Wright most charming and delightful :) take care

By Khelesh B

Jun 20, 2020

this is an amazing course and it is very useful to me and i am satisfied with this course

By Chris B

Jun 13, 2020

Exceptionally enlightening. Quality all the way from start to finish. Highly recommended.

By Abhiram

May 5, 2020

Now I am more aware of my thoughts and actions, and how to manage them for my betterment.

By Arne K

Oct 19, 2017

Thoughtprovoking, insightful, exciting and entertaining. A great lecture and performance.

By soumaya h

Jan 22, 2016

very interesting course, I just started finished week1, I am excited to continue the rest

By Atala R

Aug 19, 2020

I absolutely loved this course, it is interesting and it is imparted by a great teacher.

By Chantal F

Jul 3, 2020

Loved this course. Very insightful and Professor Wright did a wonderful job!! Thank you.

By Naif R

Aug 1, 2019

Thank you Mr. "Bob" and coursera for this amazing course, very practical and scientific.

By 缪婷焰

May 26, 2017

I like this course very much! It inspires me in so many perspectives. Highly recommend!

By Agnes.D

Feb 29, 2016

very good introduction to Buddhism and psychology. I especially like the interview part.

By Iona

Feb 1, 2016

I am loving this course and it is giving me tons of new insight into life and the world!


Oct 7, 2015

This course introduced me to my current school of Buddhism and that has changed my life.

By Sol E

Jun 23, 2020

It was a life changing experience!! I have no words to thank Professor Robert Wright!!!

By Chelsea C

May 12, 2018

Such a useful and inspiring course. Thanks for Dr. Wright's patient and clear teaching.

By Carrie C L H

Nov 15, 2017

I really like this course. The topic is fascinating and the lessons are well presented.

By Rosa M

Oct 30, 2017

Great course!! I have learned a lot about how modern psychology support Buddhist ideas.

By Fiona H

Sep 30, 2017

Loved this course. Interesting and entertaining. "Office Hours" were a great pleasure.

By Rosemary K

Mar 3, 2021

Good introduction to understanding meditation from a Buddhist and science perspective.

By priyaa s

Oct 23, 2020

Wonderful conurse ,get to learn lot of things about perspective of budhdha's teachings

By Andres R

Oct 20, 2020

Excellent way to understanding the union between West science and ancestral knowlegde

By Jason S

Feb 15, 2017

This is one of the best courses I've taken. Interesting, fast paced and life changing.

By Natalia F

Dec 3, 2016

I would recommend this course to everyone who is interested in Buddhism and Psychology