‘Why Buddhism Is True’ Explores Links Between Evolutionary Biology And Meditation : Shots

“There’s a kind of a bridge between cognitive therapy and Buddhist practice in evolutionary psychology,” says author Robert Wright.

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Veronica Grech/Getty Images

“There’s a kind of a bridge between cognitive therapy and Buddhist practice in evolutionary psychology,” says author Robert Wright.

Veronica Grech/Getty Images

Are human beings hard-wired to be perpetually dissatisfied? Author Robert Wright, who teaches about the interface of evolutionary biology and religion, thinks so.

Wright points out that evolution rewards people for seeking out pleasure rather than pain, which helps ensure that human beings are frequently unsatisfied: “We are condemned to always want things to be a little different, always want a little more,” he says. “We’re not designed by natural selection to be happy.”

But all is not lost. In his new book, Why Buddhism is True, Wright makes the case that some Buddhist practices can help humans overcome the biological pull towards dissatisfaction.

“I think of mindfulness meditation as almost a rebellion against natural selection,” he says. “Natural selection is the process that created us. It gave us our values. It sets our agenda, and Buddhism says, ‘We don’t have to play this game.’ “

Interview Highlights

On how natural selection is at odds with the Buddhist notion that pleasure is fleeting

This was in the Buddha’s first sermon after his…

Read the full article from the Source…

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