The science of meditation

I like to watch Coursera courses while I’m eating lunch, especially on the weekends. I recently found one called “Buddhism and Modern Psychology”; it was previously titled “The Science of Meditation”. The course is taught by Robert Wright, an author who focuses on the intersection of evolutionary psychology and religion.

Alongside the course I’ve been reading Wright’s Why Buddhism is True, which covers much of the same ground. The Coursera readings reference that and other lectures that are worth hearing, such as Bhikkhu Bodhi’s talks on the dharma.

Wright’s book describes a number of silent meditation retreats he experienced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, about two and a half hours east of where I live. Oliver Burkeman talks about his experiences at the same center in his book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. I would love to go there some day.