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

5,192 ratings
1,753 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.

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.

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1676 - 1700 of 1,722 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Osman V

Feb 9, 2017

Great lectures. I really enjoy discovering the world of the teacher and friends. I'll give it 3 stars since it doesn't arrive at an awe inspiring conclusion or life changing experience as somebody interesting into these subject would expect. The part where our own importance is challenge is enlightening. Cheers to the good professor.

By James B

Mar 24, 2016

An interesting class but left me wanting more. I realize that this is an overview but the field of secular Buddhism seems very shallow. After going through this class and reading three of Steven Batchelor's books I have the distint feeling that I may have reached the end of the subject.

By Triana B

Jun 15, 2020

The course is somewhat interesting, unfortunately the way to provide the information is disengaging. Even though the professor clearly posses a lot of knowledge, he has a hard time landing the information.

By German G S

May 4, 2020

Very interesting material, however, I found that the lectures are sometimes difficult to follow due to the lack of visual slides or schemes. It would help tremendously to the lectures imo!

By Deleted A

Dec 13, 2016

The beginning is well prepared, interesting and informative, the end is undercooked, subjective and repetitive. Be it 2 separate courses, I would rate them 5 and 2.

By Marni S

Oct 2, 2016

I enjoyed the course material and the idea behind linking Buddhist concepts with psychology; I just found some of the videos a little dry.

By Abhishek S

May 25, 2020

The contents are in too much details if compared to the other courses of coursera,,only thing it should be made little precise

By Krishna S

Apr 17, 2020

Good course. It was informative and gave me information from the perspective of Evolutionary Psychology

By Emil

Feb 4, 2021

Strange course or maybe I find it strange, because I am not a buddhist.

By Pavankumar B

Mar 22, 2020

A unique course that has encouraged a fresh approach to theology.


May 26, 2020

Could provide certificate. As of now no certificate provided

By Riya B

Sep 13, 2020

There is no certificate for this course so don't join in

By Beatriz S

Jul 6, 2017

Excellent! Pity there is no certificate for this course.

By Darleen M

Jun 13, 2016

Loved the professor. Do not like essay questions.

By Beatriz C

Feb 7, 2019

good but not what i expected, too boring

By Kamala .

Oct 4, 2020

Nice course more information its give

By Srinivasan

Apr 29, 2020

Actually i have learnt most

By Francisco J L M

Apr 23, 2020


By Жураева М

Aug 28, 2020


By Guillermina E E A

Jul 14, 2020

I finished the Buddhism and Modern Psychology course, I liked it but it has no certificate. However, I think that they should grant a proof of studies or diploma, even if it is not official, due to the effort and time invested.

I was excited that Princeton University offers the course, in fact it was one of the reasons why I signed up.

I would have liked to be able to say that I did these studies with the support of the knowledge offered by the University. Believe me, otherwise it's like I've read books and wikipedia.

By Georgiana S

Oct 23, 2020

There is no diploma at the end of the course! You invest your time for nothing! If I wanted ONLY information about Buddhism I would have read A BOOK! But I wanted A COURSE! With a DIPLOMA at the end! Please create a diploma for this course, there are LOTS of other people complaining on the forums about this too.

By Jo P

Nov 16, 2016

I was attracted to this course because it offered the science behind Buddhism and I am studying neuro-science. I have abandoned it as it is yet an other exposition of Buddhism. Neglible science, neglible evidence - just stuff I already knew from non-scientific Buddhist sources.

By Andrea P R C

Apr 5, 2020

Los cuestionarios estan en ingles por lo que es difícil resolver aunque el curso tienen subtítulos y la resolución de dudas me pareció muy informal debido a los perros que muestra y habla de ellos


May 6, 2020



By Natalia S A

May 23, 2020

Abandono el curso porque el contenido está muy basado en opiniones del profesor pero no brinda mucho contenido teórico.