Nov 16, 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 03, 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.
par JOHN R A J•
Apr 05, 2018
I was inspired to take Robert Wright's course Buddhism and Modern Psychology after reading the book he researched and wrote while teaching this course, with the provocative title Why Buddhism is True. I've read Wright's previous books The Moral Animal, NonZero and The Evolution of God. Wright's academic interests lie at the intersection between Darwinian evolutionary psychology, religion and moral philosophy. This course and his latest book offer convincing arguments for why scientific evidence supports both the Buddhist diagnosis of the "human predicament" and its prescriptions for coping with, if not exactly overcoming, the inevitable dissatisfaction and displeasure that we all experience. I highly recommend the course to anyone interested in this particular perspective and especially to the religious skeptics and empiricists out there.
par Joanne Q•
Dec 17, 2016
The content of the course is accessible for those newer to the study of Buddhism or psychology, at the same time offering new and intriguing ideas and resources for folks like myself who have some experience in both studies. Dr. Wright does a brilliant job of guiding the student through the materials using interview videos with experts from across disciplines. If any changes were to be made to this course, I would suggest incorporating other kinds of videos and adding a reference list of all the research referenced during the course (providing the research would be especially awesome - the Science of Happiness course does a brilliant job of this). Many thanks for the opportunity to learn from and dialogue with Dr. Wright and all his accomplished and interesting guests.
par Clifford L•
Feb 10, 2020
For the past 1-1/2 years, I take a weekly class on mindfulness meditation and try to practice it everyday. I have found that this course is the right course for me to take at my beginning stage to learn about Buddhism. The course has prompted me to study Buddhism even more deeply. The professor is excellent. He is very knowledgeable and does a good job of presenting very important Buddhist ideas and the modern scientific research to verify them. The only constructive criticism I have is that for some people, it might be better to read rather than to listen to his lectures. Maybe it's because I am more of a visual rather than an aural person. In any case, I heartily recommend this course if you are interested in a good introduction to Buddhism.
par Dorothy H•
Feb 04, 2016
This might be the best course I've ever taken anywhere! My opinion is based on deep personal interest in meditation and psychology so might be biased, but I also actually designed my own degree of Buddhism and Psychology decades ago and have taken a great many courses and have quite a bit of experience in both subjects. I have been meditating for almost 40 years and now meditate once every four hours. Hearing someone lecture so eloquently while incorporating the input of actual meditators and his own meditation experience as well as rigorous academic and scientific discussion was an absolute delight. Also, the professor is downright charming in his office hours segments. I would give this course 10 stars if I could!
Mar 29, 2020
This course is exceptional. It breaks down the fundamental concepts of Buddhism and supports them with modern science. A common sentiment in Buddhism is an openness to critique. It's scripture suggests that rather than taking the ideas at face value we try them out for ourselves. The Dalai Lama has said things like, "If science disproves reincarnation, I will stop teaching it." Dr. Wright takes the ideas of Buddhism and holds them up to the scrutiny of modern psychology. What you discover as the course goes along is that science backs up these concepts the historical Buddha went around teaching 2000 years ago. I found the course enlightening and it's something I think about years after having taken it.
par Sean M•
Nov 15, 2016
Outstanding course. I had been meditating for a year prior to taking this course and was just beginning to see the long-term benefits of the practice. I am not a spiritual person. My interest in religion goes only as far as it's impact on culture and society. I have been pursuing Buddhist philosophy and practice to the extent that it has shown substantive scientific benefits. I was really getting interested in the intersecting links between Buddhist thought and practice and the underlying science behind the results when this course came along. It was everything I hoped it would be. The material was relevant and thought - provoking and Professor Wright did an amazing job with its presentation.
par Yair D•
Dec 13, 2016
Very interesting topic and material (I especially liked the results presented from Psychology research)! The teaching is very good with good pacing and clear presentation of the material (I also liked Prof. Wright's somewhat dry sense of humor, personally).
The load is a bit demanding for a working person if you insist on doing all the extra reading and viewing the extra material (which I did anyway, because it was interesting and I am stubborn :) ) but it's only 6 weeks so you can pull through it, or just stay with the core.
I got out of this course with many interesting ideas to think about, and with 2 books I from which I read some chapters that I would very much like to go on and read completely.
par Kevin B•
Dec 17, 2016
I got a lot out of this course. While the curriculum was by necessity very condensed, I thought that Dr. Wright did an impressive job of organizing the progression of concepts and including key information. The interviews he conducted with guest speakers in each of the lectures were helpful, and relevant to the topics being discussed. I also appreciated the supplementary reading materials included with each week's lesson. Most of all, I enjoyed Dr. Wright, who has a very relaxed, common sensical approach to what he's discussing. I would recommend this class to anyone who has interest in the topic and also to anyone who wants to learn from a very knowledgeable and effective teacher.
par Alberto G C•
Jan 11, 2016
Very delightful course as it is more than well taught and full of interesting data, opinions and experiments. The videos are very helpful and provide us of a large names to look for and read about. The resources are pretty enough and interesting. Office hours have been a discover: great questions from students and "being at home chatting with Robert" feeling all around.
I appreciate so much Robert´s enthusiasm and above all, his natural and funny way to explain course concepts with his dogs or with his attachments to dark chocolate or powdered sugar doughnuts.
Many thanks to Robert and to all the technical stuff for providing us this course with all the work they had done.
par Nighat M•
Jul 07, 2017
This is a wonderful course, both in terms of well-organized content, office hours and reference materials and in terms of insights it provides into a Buddhist way of life. I also enjoy the interviews Prof Wright conducts on Meaningoflife.tve.
I have benefited tremendously from regularly listening to the lectures and the reading materials assigned for this course, and have recommended it to several friends. Prof Wright is a great teacher, and I love his elegant, understated sense of humor.
I haven't been active on the discussion forum or FB. Nor have I been able to submit the first assignment yet, but this does not mean I am not following the course diligently.
par Mariam A•
Oct 17, 2017
Excellent course! I had the chance of taking it around the same time Prof. Wright's book, Why Buddhism is True, hit the shelves, so I enjoyed reading several interviews about the book and the subject of this course in mainstream Buddhist online magazines and publications. It was really interesting to put it all in perspective and read the critiques' opinion pieces too. The course itself is very well organized, the structure is clear, with many references, good examples, even anecdotes. Dr Wright's teaching style is lighthearted and enjoyable, yet very clear and on point. If you have an interest in evolutionary psychology and Buddhism, don't miss this course.
par Mark L•
May 27, 2019
Four and a half stars!
I enjoyed this course and learned a lot from it. As a meditator, someone who has an interest in science and pshchology as well as buddhism, I found the course enlightening and was particularly interested in some of the parallels drawn between the buddhism and modern psychology. This course provides insight into the workings of the mind. Points for improvement are amending the time requirements as the additional resource section took hours to complete rather than the 10 minutes or so alloted. I liked Robert style and the way he shares his thinking process, but sometimes felt he could have got to the point a bit quicker than he does.
par Brittany H•
Apr 04, 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed the content of this course, and writing the two written assessments. Peer reviewing assessments was a new experience, but I enjoyed reading other peoples views and thoughts and research. I was able to take my learnings and not only use it in my personal and professional life but also able to review it in terms to the similarity it has to my own culture and has really encouraged a break-through perspective to my outlook. Highly recommend - although I personally prefer self-directed research, and struggled to walk some of the video lectures, they were filled with information and were a great insight to support my own research. 10/10
par Madras A R K•
Oct 23, 2017
I found this course a lot of learning and great deal of fun. Prof. Wright's method of teaching allows us to come up with our own ideas and insights from our experiences and journey. I found the extra suggested readings, more importantly the video discussions (one hour long with Bhikku Bodhi, Prof Kurzban) meaningful and augmented the learning substantially. I am planning to enroll in Vipasana for 10 days in Igatpuri, India.
Also the last two weeks I was in Myanmar and met with Therevada Monks. The country follows the teachings of the Buddha quite in a pure form. Most kids go through being a 'novice'. Most come out. But that grounding seems to help.
par David D•
Nov 26, 2015
I really enjoyed this course which was novel to combine some of the essential Buddhist teaching with what modern psychology could support and interpret. I would say, even if you studied psychology and read some Buddhist writers, that Dr. Wright delivers a professional and engaging course that will give one food for thought as well as making clear some esoteric Buddhist concepts one may struggle with. It's refreshing to find similarities between what science and the Buddha postulate regarding the self, attachment and that the assigning of form/feelings to our environment may cause unhappiness/dissatisfaction. Great course and well presented!
par Olivia G•
Feb 07, 2016
I have never encountered a discussion of the first two noble truths that made so much sense to me. Having studied biology and discovered that science could not give me the answers I was seeking, I explored many different thought avenues. I am not a Buddhist, but I can identify with Buddhist thought. But what I absolutely agree with is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama says about the necessary collaboration between Buddhism and science. I think it is the only way for humanity to go to the next level and I think all spiritual and scientific directions should participate in the dialogue.
I am looking forward to the rest of the course.
par Juan L N•
Oct 22, 2017
What a great course! It may sound a bit dry or tedious but Robert, the instructor, makes it very exciting and above all hilarious. I'm not sure if he's aware of it but he's a really funny guy. The course strikes a good balance between the seemingly abstract ideas of Buddhism and the learning and insights from psychology. The course starts off quite basic and gradually builds up solid pieces of (sometimes sophisticated) proof/insights that logically answers the question if Buddhism can be considered a (naturalistic) religion. Highly recommended if you're interested in the topic of meditation/mindfulness with a light spiritual touch!
par Ann S•
Jun 28, 2016
Loved this course. It was a lot of fun. The Prof. really cares about the subject and how his students contribute to his own understanding of it. (He takes a lot of time reading students' comments and replying to them during "office hours.") He also reaches out to experts in both psychology and Buddhism and shows you his dialogue with them. Finally, the guiding questions for the assignments are a good challenge and the instructions for structuring the paper very clear. I didn't have time to write the papers but will as soon as I've the time. Bonus: you get to meet his dogs, and they're awesome.
Jun 15, 2017
I've taken more than 10 courses on coursera, edx and udacity and this is the one course that I love most so far! I've read a few books on meditation and evolution by now and I have to say I learned from this professor more than any other people on these two subjects. And let's not forget it's actually a course on buddhism. So thank you so much for this course! One big aha moment for me for example is "evolution doesn't care about whether we're happy but it does care that we care about we're being happy. And that's how evolution 'designed' us to do its bidding." That's so mind blowing.
par Susanne W•
Feb 10, 2019
A very informative and intriguing course that draws clear parallels between evolutionary psychology and the concepts behind Buddhism. Robert Wright's lectures offer thought provoking ideas and combine them with vivid, everyday examples to aid understanding of each concept on the deepest levels. . His personal experience, knowledge and enjoyment of the topic at hand are evident in each lecture and he is a joy to learn from. I also enjoyed hearing from the other experts he interviewed throughout the course in this very interesting field of study.
Thank you for a great course!
par Dharav S•
Jan 12, 2017
I personally believe this course should be taught in residential campuses and colleges all around the world. The course does introduce Buddhist ideas, but more importantly, it helps us realize our flaws in a Darwinian setting. It is more about Darwin and evolution than it is about Buddhism. It helps us understand why people sometimes are vicious, irrational or why we act in ways that we don't associate with us. I would recommend the course to everyone I know, and any one who is reading this: just finish the course in one small video at a time and put all of this in practice!
par Tom S•
Nov 18, 2015
I admit to being a novice when it comes to Buddhist thought, but I've followed Robert Wright's work since reading The Moral Animal many years ago. I found the course to be a wonderful introduction to Buddhist thought, but more importantly an inventive and thoughtful attempt to connect that worldview and its prescriptions to current thinking in western psychology. Whether you're interested in evolutionary psychology, neuroscience or mindfulness - or better yet, all three - I think you'll find this course well worth your time. Mr. Wright is a wonderful writer and teacher.
par Kristina R•
Jun 23, 2016
Professor Wright is very engaging and knowledgeable! He breaks down Buddhism in an intellectual manner that does not demean the spirituality of it, but also does not adhere to it. This makes the course both educational and easy to digest, for anyone with an aversion to spiritual matters (which you will learn in this course may be a source of suffering...). I am only on the 2nd week of lessons and can't wait to see this through to the end! In an unattached appreciative manner of course... haha. Thanks to everyone that put forth the effort to design and share this course!
par Ricardo A•
Feb 25, 2019
It is a pleasant and amusing introduction to Buddhism and Modern Psychology. This course focuses on meditation as a way of trying to reduce the impact of unproductive patterns of thinking. I find it an interesting and worthwhile course. Mr Wright proposes interesting theories based on natural selections. The central points in the course is how our modern life presents us with stimuli that were useful in our prehistoric environment but which cause us to overreact. Meditation makes us realize this and temper down or eliminate our responses and bring peace to our mind.
Sep 19, 2016
I loved this course, the professor is very clear at explaining and giving different points of view of the theories. Personally it was a huge help because of the situation I was in when I enrolled in the course and I think having a different view of the world and ourselves is incredibly useful and positive, This course helps attain just that so I highly recommend it for someone who wants to test a little their ideas and perceptions of the world and themselves because its not just a theoretically course because it has science and experiments that help support ideas.