I just finished "Why Buddhism is True" by Robert Wright. The book discusses how evolutionary psychology reinforces many of the naturalistic elements of Buddhism. As a species, we have evolved to seek pleasure and avoid pain and that pleasure is short-lived. This aligns well with Buddha's experiential findings of taṇhā and dukkha. The book also goes into the modular concept of the mind which I had never learned about. Modules have a certain purpose and get our attention using feelings which then create thoughts. There is no executive in charge of all of these modules which leads to the observation that thoughts think themselves. Meditation can help see feelings more clearly and understand them until they lose their power to take over the mind. The book also has clear descriptions of how to think about not-self and emptiness along with the author's personal stories related to experiencing glimpses of these concepts. I really enjoyed the book and it gave me new things to work on in my own practice. For example, inspecting the feelings that are triggering thoughts can help see them more clearly, reduce (and remove) the filter that gets applied because of those feelings, and see the world more clearly.
Next up on my reading list is Buddha's Brain, the practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom.
Eric is a traveller, hacker, and experimenter who is currently researching how to become a happier, calmer, and more compassionate human being.