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Robert Wright has written a book that many people far beyond the Buddhist crowd want to get their hands on. Released in August 2017, Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment quickly became a New York Times bestseller and captured the attention of the mainstream media as well as “secular” readers interested in how meditation might help them interact with the modern world.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s web editor, Wendy Joan Biddlecombe, speaks with Wright about how evolutionary psychology supports what the Buddha taught us about suffering and not being satisfied in the present moment. In the talk, Wright explains why we haven’t evolved past difficult emotions such as anxiety and how mindfulness meditation can provide a way to work through—and maybe even free us from—them.

Wright also speaks about how the Buddhist ideas of interconnectedness and not-self can help us navigate a time of “fake news” and divisiveness.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

Related: Why Buddhism is True (and Why You Can Blame Natural Selection for Your Suffering)

This spring, Robert Wright teaches Beyond Tribalism: How Mindfulness Can Save the World, a six-week Tricycle Online Course about the psychology of tribalism and the ancient Buddhist tools that can make us happier and less reactive. To learn more and sign up, visit

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