Why Buddhism Is True

  • by Robert Wright
  • Narrated by Fred Sanders
  • 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 discovering only 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 listeners 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.

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What the Critics Say

"I have been waiting all my life for a readable, lucid explanation of Buddhism by a tough-minded, skeptical intellect. Here it is. This is a scientific and spiritual voyage unlike any I have taken before." (Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and best-selling author of Authentic Happiness)
"This is exactly the book that so many of us are looking for. Writing with his characteristic wit, brilliance, and tenderhearted skepticism, Robert Wright tells us everything we need to know about the science, practice, and power of Buddhism." (Susan Cain, best-selling author of Quiet)
"Robert Wright brings his sharp wit and love of analysis to good purpose, making a compelling case for the nuts and bolts of how meditation actually works. This book will be useful for all of us, from experienced meditators to hardened skeptics who are wondering what all the fuss is about." (Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and best-selling author of Real Happiness)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Accessible Bridge To Buddhist Liberation

What did you love best about Why Buddhism Is True?

Really thoughtful rendering of break throughs in the process of acquiring various forms of attachment, relinquishing that attachment even fractionally, and how that affects consciousness.


What other book might you compare Why Buddhism Is True to and why?

Not really compareable to other books I've read because mine are mostly Buddhist masters or near-masters. "Why" is one of the best intros I've seen.


Which scene was your favorite?

First breakthrough. Mine occurred 3 days into a 5 day retreat in 1990. His 5 days into a 7 day retreat in 2003. We both seemed to bottom out, then experienced the nuclear blast of that first tiny bit of release of attachment... it wasn't enlightenment but it was being literally FILLED with LIGHT.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

One of the hardest things to do is render mindfulness meditation so that a non-meditator can get a glimpse of liberation. Wright uses descriptions that seem accessible to a broad Western audience.


Any additional comments?

Coming from a 27 year practice, many retreats including two 30-day silent retreats, my assessment of this book may be overly optimistic. I can verify everything i heard.

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- B. Hynum

Clear Explanation of How the Mind Works

Most books on Buddhism teach you how to drive; this book is like having Click and Clack lift the hood of the car and explain very clearly why the engine works. I think it may be one of the most helpful books I've ever read. The clarity with which emotions are explained is amazing. The author convinced me of the effectiveness of mindfulness. He is always careful to say where the science is uncertain or where the Buddhism is not grounded in science. I think I can now read other Buddhism texts, like the Suttas, with a framework for understanding that I did not have before. The author has a conversational, self-depreciating, and personal style of writing that I like. Narration is good.
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- George

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-08-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio