Buddhism and Modern Psychology – Princeton University – Ongoing
You can register for this course from Princeton Here
Mindfulness and meditation have become buzz words in the USA today. Most people realize that mindfulness and meditation are somehow linked to Buddhism, but they are not sure how. In the Free University course from Princeton University, Buddhism will be explored not as a religion but in the ways that it pertains to the understanding of the human mind.
Video Credit Robin Wright – publicly available on YouTube
For those of us who are interested in mindfulness and meditation but who do not want to change our religious beliefs, this course is good news. I am thrilled to have discovered this course.
- Western Buddhism is not the same as that in most of Asia
- Western Buddhists were not born into Buddhism but decided to adopt its principles of mindfulness and meditation later in life.
- Generally speaking, Western Buddhists do not worship the Buddhist deities and do not believe in reincarnation
- Western Buddhists are more interested in understanding how the mind works and why people suffer.
- Western Buddhists subscribe more to religion in the way that William James described it.
- Buddhists believe that fundamental truths exist but that the mind prevents the person from seeing those truths.
- Buddhists believe that we are happier when we harmoniously adjust ourselves so that we live in accordance with these fundamental truths.
- Modern psychology is essentially aligned with the Buddhist tenet that inner happiness comes as a result of a similar harmonious adjustment.
- Modern psychology would include the theory of natural selection.
- There is evidence that our delusions are a result of evolutionary natural selection [survival?]
- We do have the ability to change, even though our minds have been engineered by natural selection.
- Meditation is a way to change the mind’s natural programming