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.
Jan 03, 2018
par Peter C•
Jul 01, 2019
I liked it a lot. After a while, it occurred to me that modern psychology, a new and highly fad and change prone academic interest, has a lot of gall to judge a tradition that remains strong after 2500 years.
But I had to know enough about Buddhism and psychology to ask that question in the first place. And that's what I got from this course.
par Hasan E•
Aug 19, 2019
Some reference to existentialism could be helpful, I believe, in relation to Buddhist idea of breaking the bondage of Samsara (existentialist ideas on creating meaning for life, assuming responsibility for it, and rebelling against the status quo, would perhaps go hand-in-hand with Buddhist doctrine of the cessation for suffering. Besides, dependent arising and karma could have been tackled a bit more - the flow of consciousness from one life to the other without the necessity for a 'self' to be. That line of reasoning as a third alternative to Deistic religions and materialism, perhaps, is the brightest allure of Buddhist, and not Hinduist, doctrine of rebirth.
I loved Prof. Wright's personal and fun way of engaging with students (specifically during office hour videos). However, presentation in videos could sometimes easily get distracting (30 minutes of directly facing you and listening to you, sir, is a bit hard to sustain attention - enrichment with video materials or short clips could further the active interest of students imho).
I am so happy to have been part of this journey with you.
par june s•
Aug 26, 2019
I got the most from the beginning of this course. It seemed to develop a bias towards the modern science perspective in the middle weeks and I felt that it de-valued the Buddhist perspective near the end. I didn't get too much out of the office hours portion, but it was fun to see the instructor cite examples of course material and apply them to his dogs. It provided a less formal followup to the lectures. It would've been interesting to have the instructor have actual conversations with some of the students, rather than reply to their online questions and comments. That would have felt more interactive.
Overall, I really liked this course and would recommend it.
par Beatriz C•
Feb 07, 2019
good but not what i expected, too boring
par 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.
par Beatriz S•
Jul 06, 2017
Excellent! Pity there is no certificate for this course.
par Osman V•
Feb 10, 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.
par Marni S•
Oct 03, 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.
par 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.
par Corinne S•
Mar 08, 2016
The Professor is excellent. I enjoyed this course solely because of Professor Wright. If you have a positive outlook on Buddhism but do not know the ins and outs of the religion/practice I do not recommend this course. I have a totally different outlook on it now that I wish I didn't have. It is interesting information but the essays are in depth and difficult...and there is no chance to even purchase a certificate.
par Darleen M•
Jun 14, 2016
Loved the professor. Do not like essay questions.
par Terry C•
Nov 09, 2015
A bit thin on the psychology. References are not hard to find and post in Resources.
par 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.
Jan 13, 2016
par Julie C•
May 05, 2017
Seems to me the professor needs to study evolution a bit more or change his language a bit. For example, he said, "Evolution happens for a reason." I know what he meant- that the success of the organism is served by the results of gene mutation - but evolution is a RANDOM event. The success of an organism depends on its survival in the habitat, etc. but it does not depend on the mutation itself. The mutation confers a fighting advantage, perhaps, but it has no will of its own. There were many times the professor seems to be saying that evolution is somehow willful. I direct him to read Richard Dawkins on this subject. I had to read it twice before I got this point - we are inclined to believe that evolution is a lot like us - driven by some purpose - but, alas, no.
par Alice Z•
Jan 15, 2019
The basis of Buddhism is strop making excuses and that is what this course implicitly implies.
par Alfredo P•
Feb 18, 2016
Very very introductory. This course explores the Buddhist theory of suffering and liberation by comparing it to evolutionary psychological theories.
It is not a deep course on Buddhism - it lacks any substantive discussion of differences between Buddhist schools, of the difficulty of reconstructing the "historical" Buddha (a problem as difficult as reconstructing the "historical Christ"), of the fact that Buddhism as popularized in the West is actually quite different from any of the Asian forms of Buddhism, etc.
Also, evolutionary psychology is controversial in its own right - one criticism of it is that it creates "just-so" stories about the origins of mental processes that are impossible to verify (or falsify). These objections are well known, but are not confronted in the course.
A scholarly much sounder and deeper course is the one on Tibetan Buddhism from University of Virginia. It suffers from truly appalling presentation (the video lectures are some of the most boring I have ever watched), but the diversity of angles from which Buddhism is examined, and the depth of content are really outstanding.
par Sarah A S•
Jan 22, 2016
All lecture, no use of media
par Livia A•
Jun 15, 2016
Worst course I have ever seen on Coursera. Such a shame, as the subject is very exciting, and the 'lectures' in the first couple of weeks are a monotonous jabble.
Jan 16, 2017
par Michelle M C•
Dec 11, 2015
I am just not feeling this course. I have done up to week five and still am not hooked. Sorry!
par Elizabeth W•
Sep 06, 2016
Video after video of lengthy lecture with little variation. It's a long content dump with just two peer-reviewed assignments. If this is the best online Princeton can do, count me out.
par Johhn W•
Jan 17, 2017
I have a negative opinion of the structure of this course. It is not laid out in a format that I, a native English speaker, understood. The interviews and recorded lectures were not adequate or sufficiently rehearsed. The gentleman that drills his own cavities in his home workshop was most annoying and pointless. Looked at the ceiling Buddha 97% of his screen time.
The reading was too disjointed and the book on Mindfulness is really more commercial and repetitious that one would expect of a course in Coursera. Professor Wright is too laconic, phlegmatic and unengaging. I wrote the assignment for week three but there were no instructions on how to convert a document in textedit (Mac WP) to the course submission page so that was a total crash for me. I would never recommend this course to anyone.
par Aunatya m•
Apr 07, 2016
Smile on the face of professor is missing, otherwise 5 stars.