People are very familiar with stress right now due to how difficult things are in modern pandemic times. Many people are trying to cope with stress by using meditation practices. Buddhists have been doing this for thousands of years, but some people think of that as a religious practice. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Buddhism is different from religions because it is mostly about reflection and examining the human condition. Gotama Buddha’s teachings are not based on “belief”. There is no blind faith in its true nature and that is the beauty of it. We are to learn, practice, apply the right efforts to do what works.
The reason why Buddhism is more compatible with science than religions is that it educates us on the human condition of the mind. The original teachings of Gotama Buddha have nothing to do with blind faith or belief. In fact, The Buddha did not want us to believe things just because him or another teacher said it. He gave us practices, an instruction manual, a blueprint or a road map rather on how to navigate life. That is called the Eightfold Path. The teachings are rather simple and straightforward. People tend to make things more difficult than they are. The Buddha wanted us to try certain practices and discover what the truth is for ourselves. His teachings are meant to be practiced, not interpreted, so that you can independently observe the truth to acquire wisdom. When you learn these teachings, and then practice them, you will obtain “wisdom”. You will see the “truth” for yourself without having a “belief”. In this way, all can liberate the mind with teachings that allow us to acquire “wisdom”. The same wisdom that Gotama Buddha understood during his lifetime that leads to Enlightenment. Buddhism is the path to achieving a higher consciousness, a mind that is peaceful, calm, serene and content with joy, permanently.
Most people see science and religion as antagonistic in the western world, but things are much different with Buddhism. Buddhism is about learning, self-discovery, and approaching things with humility. One would not be wrong in saying that Buddhism is likely the most compatible religion to science. It is about understanding the impact of attachments, The Natural Laws of existence, impermanence, discontentedness and the suffering it causes.
Buddhism Itself is Subject to Impermanence
As stated earlier, Gotama Buddha’s teachings are rather simple and straightforward. People tend to make things more difficult than they are. Nearly everything is subject to impermanence. Impermanence is the first of three Universal Truths as taught by The Buddha. It teaches us that everything is impermanent except The Natural Laws (gravity, karma…) and the permanent mental state of Enlightenment.
The Buddha’s teachings are also impermanent. Over time the original teachings have formed into 10 different schools of thought. The closest lessons known to Earth on what The Buddha actually taught during his lifetime comes from the Theravada school. Other schools over 2,500 years have been impacted with time, unEnlightened beings, and philosophers change lessons around with their own words, interpretations and perceptions. Many have interjected their own geographic beliefs in some. This is why some schools have rites and rituals and perhaps show worship of Deities. None of that helps the human mind attain Enlightenment and is not what The Buddha taught. (This is part of the phenomena called, The Five Disappearances, as The Buddha predicted this would happen. The prophecy states that after the fifth disappearance a new Buddha will arise. The Buddha is quoted on his prediction to be 2500 years after his death in 483BCE. This puts the prophecy at the year 2017. in 2020 a global pandemic ensued. Supposedly, new Buddha’s arise when the world needs one. I think it is safe to say, this world is in need as it is full of greed and attachments, anger and hostility, and the unknowing of true reality. There is suffering across the globe and everyone’s minds are discontent. Those are facts.)
One school is not better than the other. But, If training your mind to be peaceful, calm, serene and content with joy, permanently with Enlightenment ais your goal, it is advised to seek a Teacher from the Theravada school in particular. Not many schools these days are producing Enlightened beings. Things are about to change.
Buddhist Teachings and Techniques Are Useful
Recently, scientists are even discovering just how useful Buddhist teachings and techniques can be. Meditation techniques have proven to be highly useful for those who are dealing with stress. Many scientists use Buddhist teachings and techniques to help people in modern times. Aside from the techniques being useful, the way that Buddhists think is similar to the way that scientists think.
Buddhists are taught to be skeptics, and they’re only supposed to accept teachings once they have found them to be true by examining evidence. This is pretty much the same as the scientific method. You test things, make observations, and then develop theories based on what you have seen. Many religions are incompatible with science, but Buddhism is far different.