Why Buddhism Is True

Why Buddhism Is True

The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment

Book - 2017
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New York Times Bestseller
From one of America's greatest minds, a journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness.

Robert Wright famously explained in The Moral Animal how evolution shaped the human brain. The mind is designed to often delude us, he argued, about ourselves and about the world. And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain.

But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety, depression, anger, and greed, what do we do? Wright locates the answer in Buddhism, which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are only discovering now. Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly--and proposes that seeing the world more clearly, through meditation, will make us better, happier people.

In Why Buddhism is True , Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true--which is to say, a way out of our delusion--but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
ISBN: 9781439195451
Characteristics: xii, 321 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 06, 2019


" Science, in its displacement of traditionally religious worldviews, is sometimes said to have brought on the 'disenchantment' of the world, draining it of magic. . . .Batchelor says meditative practice can lead to the 're-enchantment' of the world, and I know what he means. After that first retreat, I felt like I was living in a zone of enchantment, a place of wonder and preternatural beauty. No, that's not the same as entering a zone that is magically impervioust to causation...one source of the enchantment was that I was spending less time reacting, less time having my buttons pushed, and more time observing--which, as a bonus, allowed more time for thoughtful responses to things. I assume living in the unconditioned would be great, but living in the less conditioned can be pretty great, too."

Dec 30, 2018

The author articulates science (Evolutionary Psychology) based evidence, convincing arguments with personal experience about the Four Noble Truths and his path of getting enlightened. He has gone further on his path since finishing giving his course available on Coursera. It was a great course. So is this sequel.

Oct 14, 2018

I found this book to be a huge disappointment. Basically there's nothing new in this book that I have not heard before but what I did hear over and over was all about the author.... Himself, himself, himself and me, me ,me.
His writing is on such an infantile scale that I could not get through it. The opening of the book is about the movie The Matrix as an example of an altered reality... And it goes downhill from there on.

Aug 24, 2018

Using everyday contemporary language, the author explained complex principles in Buddhist philosophy. Even more useful than that, though, he explained the foundational ideas and even the words that are used to explain those principles. I highly recommend this book as an important step en route to clarity.

Nov 20, 2017

A book about the science and philosophy of meditation is not going to be easy reading so I braced myself for a tough read. However, Robert Wright's "Why Buddhism is True," is a fairly understandable account of the art and science of meditation. What makes the book understandable is that Wright is down-to-earth. He associates with us the readers and laughs at himself. He does no took down on us and has an attitude of "If I can do this you can." Thus, the difficult subject becomes easy. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to getting down on the cushion. I may not find enlightenment but I expect to become happier and a better human being.

Oct 22, 2017

With 39 holds on 16 copies (across 3 formats), this book clearly speaks to a lot of people here in Central Oregon! I just listened to a great conversation with the author by Tricycle magazine, and was so inspired and educated by it I came straight here to check the book out. Looking forward to his full exploration of scientific spirituality and evolutionary psychology's contributions to mindfulness practice.

That great interview:


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