Author Topic: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'  (Read 11713 times)

Ensapa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4124
    • Email
'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« on: January 15, 2013, 10:34:33 AM »
The Dalai Lama is echoing the words of Albert Einstein that Buddhism teaches things that are scientifically true. this is something nice to share about.

Quote
'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
TNN Jan 10, 2013



VARANASI, India -- "Buddhism has become an area of interest for scientists for they feel that the teachings and principles of Buddhism are scientifically very true," said the Dalai Lama while addressing a congregation at Central University of Tibetan Studies at Sarnath on Wednesday.
He said that he will be meeting scientists in Delhi to discuss the same from January 14 to January 17.

Notably, around 30,000 people have arrived in Varanasi to attend the four-day discourse by the Dalai Lama in Sarnath which began on Monday. Buddhist monks and nuns, monks from Himalayan region, Tibetans from different parts India and Tibet, and people of various other religious faiths were present to listen to the Nobel peace prize winner.

Meanwhile, the entire premises of Sarnath remained packed with Buddhist devotees and followers of Dalai Lama even on Wednesday. Despite the chilly and frosty conditions, devotees took their seats in time at the Kalchakra Mandap, CUTS.

Before the beginning of the discourse, devotees were given bread and salted tea as breakfast. Panna Mistri, a native of Bodh Gaya who has got expertise in preparing the salted tea informed, "The tea is prepared by boiling milk with a little water. Butter and salt are added to the content, followed by tea water.

Around 6000 litres of tea is prepared each time." Besides, the kitchen is also preparing around loaves of 21,000 bread for the devotees.

Tibetan food and local delicacies were also selling on the roads leading to the varsity.



Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 02:15:43 PM »
According to Bhikkhu Vinayarakkhita from Sri Lanka, "science is rational in its approach and so too should spirituality." For him, religion is a moral science. Buddhism is referred to as a science of the mind and Buddhist teachings are proven to be scientifically true.

Albert Einstein said that "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology covering both the natural and the spiritual; it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity."

One of the tests based on which we can have a cosmic religion is that "religion must be in accordance with science. Religion, if it is not in accordance with science, is bound to lose its respect and therefore become the subject of ridicule. When that happens, not only does religion lose its force as a governing principle of life, it might in the course of time disintegrate and even lapse. In other words, for religion to function as the guiding principle of society, it must be in accord with reason, which is merely another name for science."

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 02:20:02 PM »
Albert Einstein, the father of modern science, once said, "Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame; and if there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be BUDDHISM."

Tenzin K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 835
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 04:29:45 PM »
Science is the cornerstone of the European-American culture that has transformed the entire globe over the last few centuries. Buddhism is a deeply rooted religious tradition of Asia, now emerging as a powerful global voice. Science and Buddhism both address the nature of human experience, but in quite different ways. Science elaborates and refines a collection of interconnected theories, facts, procedures, and equipment, constituting an ever more powerful tool for working with and in the world. Buddhism focusses more on the mind and how our way of thinking affects our experience.
Both science and Buddhism show how everyday appearances arise from underlying structures. By understanding these structures one gains new freedom, to choose among alternatives by working effectively with the cause and effect relations. Science has given us great power to understand and change the world. But this power has also let us create new and bigger problems for ourselves. Without examining how the dynamics of mind underlies our experience, it might seem that the evolutionary path of science and technology is a matter beyond our choice or responsibility. But the profound insights of Buddhism reveal that our perceptions and actions arise in habitual self-reinforcing cycles, and the methods taught in the Buddhist tradition enable us to intervene in these cycles.

Science and technology in some form or other, which is to say some way of thinking about and working with the world, are a fundamental dimension of human existence. Modern science has blossomed by driving the refinement of ideas through public debate grounded in clear evidence. Buddhism shows the dynamics underlying any such evolving pattern of experience, and provides tools to open these patterns to boundless freedom and joy.

What a great thing that scientist are able to meet up and have a session with the great Buddhist teacher. Buddhism is not just a religious but getting more acceptance as a true teaching of life that even scientist would agree with.

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 04:11:54 PM »
From the beginning, the Buddha's teachings were always open to scientific thinking. One reason why the teaching can easily be embraced by the scientific spirit is that the Buddha never encouraged rigid, dogmatic belief. The Buddha never claimed that his teachings were based on faith or divine revelation. On the contrary, they allowed great flexibility and freedom of thought.

The second reason is that the scientific spirit can be found in the Buddha's approach to spiritual truth.  The Buddha's method for discovering and testing spiritual truth is very similar to that of the scientist. The scientist observes the external world objectively and would establish a theory only after conducting many successful experiments.

Using this approach almost 2600 years ago, the Buddha observed the inner world with detachment and encouraged his disciples not to accept any teaching until they had critically investigated and personally verified its truth. The Buddha never claimed that his experience of enlightenment was exclusive to him. Thus, in his approach to Truth, the Buddha was as analytical as the present day scientist. He established a practical, scientific method for reaching the Ultimate Truth and the experience of enlightenment. (from "What Do Buddhists Believe")

Positive Change

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 05:02:39 PM »
I had come across this article recently which I think is appropriate to share on this thread. It clearly illustrates the dynamics between Buddhism and Science:

Buddhism and Science
Can Science and Buddhism Agree?

By Barbara O'Brien, About.com Guide

Arri Eisen is a professor at Emery University who has traveled to Dharamsala, India, to teach science to Tibetan Buddhist monks. He writes about his experiences at Religion Dispatches. In "Teaching the Dalai Lama's Monks: Better Religion Through Science," Eisen writes that a monk told him “I am studying modern science because I believe it can help me understand my Buddhism better. It was a statement, Eisen says, that turned his worldview on its head.

In an earlier article, "Creationism v. Integrationism," Eisen brought up the famous remark of His Holiness the Dalai Lama about science and sutras:

"Buddhism turns modern Judeo-Christian ideas on their heads. In Buddhism, experience and reasoning come first, and then scripture. As we wandered down the path of broken rock fragments, Dhondup told me that when he encounters something that disagrees with his beliefs, he tests the new idea with logical evidence and approaches, and then if it holds up, he accepts it. This is what the Dalai Lama means when he says that if modern science presents good evidence that a Buddhist idea is wrong, he will accept the modern science (he gives the example of the Earth moving around the sun, which runs counter to Buddhist scripture)."

Western non-Buddhists react to His Holiness's attitude toward science and scripture as if it were some kind of revolutionary breakthrough. But within Buddhism, it isn't all that revolutionary.

The Role of the Sutras

For the most part, Buddhists do not relate to the sutras in the same way people of the Abrahamic religions relate to the Bible, the Torah, or the Quran. The sutras are not the revealed words of a God who cannot be questioned, nor are they compilations of claims about the physical or spiritual worlds to be accepted on faith. Rather, they are pointers to an ineffable reality beyond the reach of ordinary cognition and senses.

Although one may have faith that the sutras are pointing to truth, merely "believing in" what they say is of no particular value. The religious practice of Buddhism is not based on fidelity to doctrines, but on the very personal, very intimate process of realizing the truth of the doctrines for oneself. It is realization, not belief, that is transformative.

The sutras do sometimes speak of the physical world, but they do so to clarify spiritual teaching. For example, the early Pali texts describe the physical world as being made up of Four Great Elements - solidity, fluidity, heat, and motion. What do we make of that today?

I sometimes do reflect on how early Buddhists might have understood the physical world based on the "science" of their time. But "believing in" the Four Great Elements is never the point, and I know of no way that knowledge of modern earth science or physics would conflict with the teachings. Most of us, I suspect, in our own heads automatically interpret and "update" the ancient texts to match our knowledge of earth science. The nature of what we are trying to understand does not depend on believing in Four Great Elements rather than atoms and molecules.

The Role of Science

Indeed, if there is an article of faith among many present-day Buddhists, it's that the more science discovers, the better scientific knowledge harmonizes with Buddhism. For example, it appears that teachings on evolution and ecology - that nothing is immutable; that life forms exist, adapt and change because they are conditioned by environment and other life forms - fits nicely with the Buddha's teaching on Dependent Origination.

Many of us also are intrigued by contemporary study into the nature of consciousness and how our brains work to create an idea of "self," in light of Buddhist teaching on anatta. Nope, there's no ghost in the machine, so to speak, and we're OK with that.

I do worry a bit about interpreting 2,000-year-old mystical texts as quantum mechanics, which seems to be something of a fad. I'm not saying that's incorrect -- I don't know quantum mechanics from spinach, so I wouldn't know -- but without advanced knowledge of physics and Buddhism such a pursuit could result in junk science and, well, junk Buddhism. I understand there are a few advanced physicists who also practice Buddhism who have turned their attention to this issue, and I will leave it to them to figure out the physics-dharma connection and whether making it is useful. In the meantime, the rest of us probably would do well not to attach to it.

The Realm of True Seeing

It's a mistake, I think, to "sell" Buddhism to a skeptical public by playing up its apparent agreements with science, as I have seen some Buddhists try to do. This plays into an idea that Buddhism must be validated by science to be "true," which is not at all the case. I think we would do well to remember that Buddhism does not require validation by science any more than science requires validation by Buddhism. After all, the historical Buddha realized enlightenment without knowledge of string theory.

Zen teacher John Daido Loori said, "When science goes deeper than the superficial qualities -- and these days science does go much deeper -- it remains constrained to a study of the aggregates. From tree morphology -- trunk, bark, branches, leaves, fruit, seeds -- we dip into tree chemistry, then tree physics; from molecules of cellulose to atoms, electrons, protons." However, "When the true eye functions, it goes beyond looking and enters the realm of seeing. Looking speaks to what things are. Seeing reveals what else things are, the hidden aspect of reality, the reality of a rock, a tree, a mountain, a dog or a person."

For the most part the disciplines of science and Buddhism work on entirely different planes that touch each other only lightly. I can't imagine how science and Buddhism could conflict with each other significantly even if they tried. At the same time, there's no reason science and Buddhism can't peacefully co-exist and even, sometimes, illuminate each other. His Holiness the Dalai Lama seems to have seen the possibilities of such illumination.

http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/science.htm

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 06:29:12 AM »
Have you heard of Dr Brian Weiss? He is the author of the book, "Many Lives, Many Masters" along with a series of other books which surround the topic of reincarnation. What's really compelling is that Dr Brian Weiss is a professional hypno-therapist that has no interest in spirituality until he started his research in hypnosis of various people. After coming so many evidences of past life memories, he said he was compelled to believe in it. Hence, he had been writing books and promoting what he had discovered during his research.

Dr Brian Weiss

With one of his subjects, he ventured into a deeper memory from a different life. The subject was able to divulge intimate details about a person who lived faraway that the subject had never visited. As Dr Brian researched further, he notice this pattern and on many occasions, the subjects was even speaking in foreign languages that the subject never learnt in this life. These are some of the more compelling evidence of previous lives. Today, past life regression is a valid and legitimate field of scientific study.

There are numerous YouTube videos of Dr Brian Weiss talking and here's just one:-
Brian Weiss: Past-Life Regression Session


buddhalovely

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • Email
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 03:57:20 AM »
It's a mistake, I think, to "sell" Buddhism to a skeptical public by playing up its apparent agreements with science, as I have seen some Buddhists try to do. This plays into an idea that Buddhism must be validated by science to be "true," which is not at all the case. I think we would do well to remember that Buddhism does not require validation by science any more than science requires validation by Buddhism. After all, the historical Buddha realized enlightenment without knowledge of string theory.

For the most part the disciplines of science and Buddhism work on entirely different planes that touch each other only lightly. I can't imagine how science and Buddhism could conflict with each other significantly even if they tried. At the same time, there's no reason science and Buddhism can't peacefully co-exist and even, sometimes, illuminate each other. His Holiness the Dalai Lama seems to have seen the possibilities of such illumination.

RedLantern

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 04:35:59 PM »
It is the role of the scientist to uncover the secrets of nature and use what is discovered to improve our way of life.A wise scientist knows how to keep an open mind,choosing to believe that anything is possible unless there is absolute proof to the contrary.
Buddhism,like the American Constitution allows for change,logic and science.One must understand that religion's were ancient man's attempt to explain science and nature.
Example,the teachings on evolution and ecology-that nothing is immutable,that life forms exist,adapt and change because they are conditioned by environment and other life forms.
Also ,the Buddha,long before science existed,would ask his disciples to always ask and question what he taught,to see it for themselves.

apprenticehealer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: 'Buddhist teachings scientifically true'
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 06:54:56 AM »
Why must Buddhism, or any religion for that matter, need science's quantification and ' seal of approval '?

How does one scientifically prove one's experiences , feelings and emotions ?  And even if science could prove a person's mind and emotions, there are other schools of thoughts who will disprove 'the findings' anyway .
For years, scientists have done tests and researches on the meditative mind ; by attaching and hooking up all these electronic gadgets on monks in meditations, in the labs , in cold freezing mountains, under all different environmental conditions - and the only conclusion they can agree on is : when these monks are in the samadhi state of meditation , their heartbeats fall , blood pressure drop, each inhalation and exhalation of breath is long and deep and the brain is almost in a semi conscious state.
But the scientist cannot prove what the monks are experiencing in the minds. There is definitely a change in the monks biology but what about the mind ?

Buddhism is a philosophy and a guide to live one's life to eventually gain Enlightenment. It does not take rocket science to become a good person - not to harm any living beings but to serve and benefit others.