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.
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.
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.
par Anna P M•
Oct 19, 2016
Overall, the course has been very satisfying and it has provided me with precious knowledge concerning not only psychology and Buddhism in particular but also religion, philosophy and the way science can creatively interact with them. The lectures were almost always very easy to follow and Dr. Wright explained all concepts in a very clear and interesting way. I would maybe decrease the length of certain video lectures though. It is totally recommendable to anyone wanting to discover new perspectives that are based on really up to date facts.
par Daniel S•
Jun 17, 2016
Prof. Wright provides students with an insightful range of knowledge which is bound to impact the way you see the world. I congratulate the professor, the teaching/research assistants, my colleagues and Coursera as a platform for making this a truly enriching experience. I registered for this course not knowing what to expect and it is revealing to see how an online class has provided me a way to see the world anew, bridging differences between the East and the West, the ancient and the modern, and the humanities and the sciences. Thank you!
par Tamer D A•
Jan 21, 2018
Buddhist principles and values have come to the attention of all scholars in all ages since its inception thousands of years ago.
Wright has an academic approach to Buddhism and treats his sources impartially and with the requisite profundity needed in this field. Wright has briliantly structured the course to be accesible for all while demanding submissions and participations from students hailing from a wide-range of backgrounds.
Wright´s good sense of humor brings new light to Buddhism.
Thank you Coursera and Mr Wright at Princeton.
par Jay L•
Nov 13, 2015
Intellectually challenging yet clearly explained, this is the best class I have taken through Coursera. Dr. Wright is an insightful lecturer and provides a look at both Buddhism and modern psychology in a straight forward way clearing both subjects of unnecessary cultural clutter and jargon. As both subjects are analyzed in a logical, compelling manner, it becomes evident how their relationship informs us about the human situation through our evolutionary past and in our crisis ridden modern world. Very thought provoking and inspiring.
par Harika B•
Apr 08, 2018
I loved this course. It certainly changed my life understanding how mindfulness can help me lead a happier and healthier life. It also helped me benefit from my meditation practice more because understanding the why of what you are doing is so powerful. Now I m trying to prepare a course to help my students meet these ideas, just simplifying them as they are quite academic. Thanks a million to Robert Wright and everyone who contributed to this course. I will spread the ideas and hopefully this will help make the world a better place.
par Rajendran V•
Dec 11, 2017
A great course evaluating the Buddhist teachings from the evolutionary psychology point of view. For those who are following a Buddhist way of life this will be a very good course which will fill in many gaps and the confirmation that the Buddhist teachings are true from a scientific perspective as well. For those of you totally new to the Buddhist teachings, the topics presented may be a bit difficult to follow but if you really dig in and do some background study, then the course will be very interesting.
par Caroline B•
Jul 26, 2017
It was an incredible journey through two of my greatest passions, buddhism and modern psychology. Robert Wright see the links between them, that I've been searching for a long time. I can now wrap my mind around many things I wanted to understand better. It will help me greatly as a person and as a therapist. Thank you a thousand times ! And thanks to all the sudents giving life to the discussions and evaluating the essays. Special thanks to Milo and Frasier for bringing a touch of humor in the delightful office hours^^.