Buddhist teacher S.N. Goenka describes Buddhadharma as a &#39;pure science of mind and matter&#39;. He claims Buddhism uses precise, analytical philosophical and psychological terminology and reasoning. Goenka&#39;s presentation describes Buddhism not so much as belief in a body of unverifiable dogmas, but an active, impartial, objective investigation of things as they are.
What is generally accepted in Buddhism is that effects arise from causation. From his very first discourse onwards, the Buddha explains the reality of things in terms of cause and effect. The existence of misery and suffering in any given individual is due to the presence of causes. One way to describe the Buddhist eightfold path is a turning towards the reality of things as they are right now and understanding reality directly, although it is debated the degree to which these investigations are metaphysical or epistemological.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has written the following on Buddhism and science "In Buddhism there are two kinds of truth: conventional truth (S: samvti-satya C: ) and ultimate truth (S: param±rtha-satya, C: ). In the framework of the conventional truth, Buddhists speak of being and non-being, birth and death, coming and going, inside and outside, one and many, etc and the Buddhist teaching and practice based on this framework helps reduce suffering, and bring more harmony and happiness. In the framework of the ultimate truth, the teaching transcends notions of being and non-being, birth and death, coming and going, inside and outside, one and many, etc and the teaching and practice based on this insight help practitioners liberate themselves from discrimination, fear, and touch nirvana, the ultimate reality. Buddhists see no conflict between the two kinds of truth and are free to make good use of both frameworks.
Classical science, as seen in Newtons theories, is built upon a framework reflecting everyday experience, in which material objects have an individual existence, and can be located in time and space. Quantum physics provides a framework for understanding how nature operates on subatomic scales, but differs completely from classical science, because in this framework, there is no such thing as empty space, and the position of an object and its momentum cannot simultaneously be precisely determined. Elementary particles fluctuate in and out of existence, and do not really exist but have only a tendency to exist.
Classical science seems to reflect the conventional truth and quantum physics seems to be on its way to discover the absolute truth, trying very hard to discard notions such as being and non-being, inside and outside, sameness and otherness, etc. At the same time, scientists are trying to find out the relationship between the two kinds of truth represented by the two kinds of science, because both can be tested and applied in life.
In science, a theory should be tested in several ways before it can be accepted by the scientific community. The Buddha also recommended, in the K±l±ma Stra1, that any teaching and insight given by any teacher should be tested by our own experience before it can be accepted as the truth. Real insight, or right view (S: samyag-di, C: ), has the capacity to liberate, and to bring peace and happiness. The findings of science are also insight; they can be applied in technology, but can be applied also to our daily behavior to improve the quality of our life and happiness. Buddhists and scientists can share with each other their ways of studying and practice and can profit from each others insights and experience.
The practice of mindfulness and concentration always brings insight. It can help both Buddhists and scientists. Insights transmitted by realized practitioners like the Buddhas and bodhisattvas can be a source of inspiration and support for both Buddhist practitioners and scientists, and scientific tests can help Buddhist practitioners understand better and have more confidence in the insight they receive from their ancestral teachers. It is our belief that in this 21st Century, Buddhism and science can go hand in hand to promote more insight for us all and bring more liberation, reducing discrimination, separation, fear, anger, and despair in the world."
1 Aguttara Nikaya 3.65