I wanted to take a post-Thanksgiving break from politics and current events this week to talk to Robert Wright. He's written some of the best books on religion and evolutionary psychology, includingÂ Non-ZeroÂ andÂ The Evolution of God.Â
His latest book isÂ Why Buddhism is True,Â and itâs fantastic. Iâm interested in mindfulness, and so have read a lot of books on the subject. This isnât like those. Itâs a not a how-to guide, or an argument for meditationâs health benefits. Itâs a deep dive into theories of the mind, informed both by Wrightâs scientific background and his study and practice of Buddhism. Itâs about how our minds evolved to keep us alive, not to keep us happy or satisfied â and what can be done about it.
There is practical advice in this podcast, too. Wright beautifully describes what happens when he reaches what he calls "meditative depths,â what itâs like to go on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, and why a mindful outlook doesnât lead to complacency or neutrality. But whether youâre interested in meditation or not, you should be interested in how your mind works, and on that, Wright has a lot to say thatâs worth hearing.Â
What is Life? / Mind and MatterÂ by Erwin SchrÃ¶dinger
Mindfulness in Plain EnglishÂ by Bhante Gunaratan
What the Buddha TaughtÂ byÂ Walpola RahulaÂ