(2) How to start learning about Buddhism? | How scientific is Buddhism?

Credit: Liza Matthews & Zephyr (Science Photo Library)

Buddhism in Contemporary Society

Based on the discussion in the previous article, Buddhism is often regarded as either a religion or a cultural tradition. Recently, there has been more scientific research on Buddhism, especially from psychological and neuroscientific perspectives.

Practices like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and how Buddhist teachings could help improve our well-being have come into the spotlight amid the surging need and growing awareness in society in mental health areas like stress management and reduction.

Challenges of Scientific Research on Buddhism

In an article titled “The Science of the Mind and the Science of the Brain” in the “Lion’s Roar” magazine, His Holiness the Dalai Lama discussed the challenges in studying and researching Buddhism scientifically.

Modern science and research relies on objective methodologies of observation and experiment, while Buddhism deals with the subjectivity of human mind, consciousness and reality. Thus, it is complex and difficult to bridge these two approaches. In other words, by modern science, we are by far no able to logicize and formulize Buddhism, a study of mind and consciousness, like classical Physics formulas to explain causal effects in our experiential world.

Stages of Development in Buddhism – Psychology, Philosophy, Yoga

Three Stages of Buddhism Development

From the Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment commonly agreed in around 500 BCE, there had been many changes and stages of development in the content and way of teachings by the Buddha,

Let’s explore more about the 3 stages of Buddha’s teaching i.e. the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma in the next article.

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