Buddhism and Science 

-Rangrig Yeshey Dorji, BA student from Bhutan

Due to the kindness and noble vision of H.H the Dalai Lama and the contemporary Buddhist masters that followed his path, the dialogue between the two traditions have sparked great interest and curiosity in many people from all walks of life. Buddhism is finally getting the attention and interest it deserves, as scientists and the modern world are eventually getting to know about the significant potential benefits of Buddhist practices. However, just as science cannot be reduced to a certain method and technology, Buddhism too has numerous aspects to it that it can be difficult to categorize it as either as religion, philosophy or contemplative method. So, the risk lies in decontextualizing Buddhist practices and teachings to better suit their own needs, and therefore, this novel presentation of science as equivalent to Buddhism is problematic on so many levels. Science may be beneficial for Buddhists in understanding the relationship and significance of mental and physical phenomena, however, at least for Buddhists, science can never come up with a higher version of reality than shunyata which was taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago, and even more likely so, they do not even require a higher truth. Science undeniably plays a major role in the field of knowledge and improving human lives, but by no means can it come up with a novel discovery regarding the nature of reality that the Buddhists do not already know. Nonetheless, through these interactions, science indirectly demonstrates how vast and special Buddha dharma actually is, and if one participates in these dialogues with a positive mindset, one’s appreciation and conviction towards the dharma will only strengthen. 

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