why buddhism is true

I learned about Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment through a Fresh Air podcast (embedded below). The interesting thesis is that mindfulness meditation is the antidote for a lot of what is wrong with the human condition, such as always wanting more than we have, and then not being happy when we get it. You argue that a modern meditation practice could achieve these goals without the religious angle, but the author’s thesis is that the Buddhists correctly diagnosed the human condition thousands of years ago (however old Buddhism is, I was a little too lazy to look it up).

The only thing that makes me wary of Buddhism, but this applies to almost all religions, is that a social elite can use it to encourage people to accept things the way they are rather than envision a better future and be willing to fight for it. Then again, maybe part of the human condition is a fundamental conflict between being happy in the moment and being unsatisfied with the way things are and willing to fight for a better future. Perhaps the middle ground is to take some time each day to reflect on all the things that are good about the moment we find ourselves in. I personally like to also take a little time to nurture that deep down flame of anger about the way certain things are, because it motivates me to want to change them. If everyone just exists peacefully in the moment all the time, nothing will ever change.

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