Chevron Left
Back to Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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

4.8
stars
5,052 ratings
1,698 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

VC
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.

CV
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.

Filter by:

201 - 225 of 1,667 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Jung H L

Apr 5, 2020

Simply an excellent course! I'd like to thank everyone involved, specially Dr. Wrights and colleagues, in the creation of the content and the team of Coursera and Princeton University to facilitate this knowledge to of us for free in these times of need. I will definitely honour your time, resources and generosity by referring and sharing the course.

By Diana P

Apr 5, 2017

I found this course very insightful and Dr. Robert Wright explained the lessons very clearly. I learned Buddhist principles that I now see myself applying to my daily life, making me a more mindful and thoughtful person. The office hours at the end of each week's lecture were also very entertaining and insightful. Highly recommend taking this course.

By una

May 28, 2020

Honestly, one of the most interesting things I have listen in long time. I started course just to see whats it about, but it absolutely grasped me in. Very informative, great different views from different people in field, great assignments, and lovely light humour in office hours to lighten up rather difficult subject. Truly great course. Thank you

By Jean H

Feb 19, 2016

Delightfully straightforward and easy to understand presentation on Buddhism and how Buddhist ideas on self and suffering intersect with current ideas in the field of psychology, particularly evolutionary psychology. The only thing I found odd is that Robert Wright seemed to put enlightenment in the league of something unobtainable for most people.

By Benoit B

Jun 30, 2019

Exciting! Very good and condensed course. A rich and deep summary of all studies done and shared by Robert Wright about evolutionary psychology and Buddhism. My personal output of this MOOC is really great, I learned a lot and it changes the way I think and conceive the world. I recommended to my best friends, found of philosophy and spirituality.

By Daniel M C

Apr 2, 2018

This is a very interesting topic, or combination of topics. Whether you're coming from psychology, evolution, Buddhism, or meditation, you'll get interesting new insights and interconnections. The lecturer and guest lecturers are excellent. This isn't a flashy new-age MOOC with lots of digital wizardry, but more of a traditional university course.

By Sridevi R

Jul 12, 2020

I enjoyed Prof Wright's deep and accurate analysis of the Buddha's position on morality, human mind, consciousness and learning from him the positions of evolutionary psychology - a new subject for me. Fascinating journey, it gave me a deeper understanding of the Buddhist psychology which I had been studying for a while. Thank you Prof Wright.

By HUANG Y

Dec 12, 2016

This course lends scientific support to Buddha's views about human mind, self, meditation, and builds a helpful connection between Buddhism and evolutionary psychology. It expands my knowledge of both Buddhism and psychology. Thanks to Mr Wright's efforts in preparing and sharing this course around the world and his great insights and teaching.

By Doug F

Jan 10, 2018

Excellent course, I learned a lot about Buddhism and evolutionary psychology. The lectures were informative and entertaining. The course was well targeted to people like me, who are starting with a very limited knowledge of Buddhism. And yet we got into more advanced topics as well. Good use of short video interviews with experts in the field.

By MARIA D C L C G

Jul 13, 2020

He concluido el curso ´Buddhism and Modern Psychology´Agradezco la oportunidad gratuita. ha sido un curso muy interesante que bien puede explicar los porqués de muchos de nuestros aspectos.

Agradezco especialmente a Robert Wright y a todos los entrevistados que dieron claridad a este curso.

Muchas Gracias

María del Carmen Lourdes Celorio Gaytán

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!

By MARTIN P

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

Martin

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.