Abbot’s Commentary: The Part of Science That Matters

by | May 26, 2024 | Buddhism for All

I see Buddhism and science as two ways of approaching wisdom. Buddhism studies suffering and the end of suffering. I would say that any aspect of science that studies this is also Buddhism. In general, however, science studies questions that the Buddha warned us are irrelevant. Whether that is astrophysics textbooks claiming that space is curved or an arcane Tibetan text claiming the world is flat, it is an unfortunate diversion of Buddhist methods.

Buddhism is the part of science that matters. Science is the part of Buddhism that doesn’t matter. Why would I be so strong in my language? Because science gives us enormous power, without giving us the wisdom or love to use that power skillfully.  Instead, we generally use the power we gain with science to serve our craving.  Craving is the source of suffering.  For this reason, science is the source of technologies that endanger life on earth.

Use the part of science that matters.  Use Buddhism to answer the only question that matters: how to resolve suffering.


  • Reflect on this post with Angela:
    • Listen deeply to the teachings expounded by the Buddha. Buddhism is about practice and cultivation. Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm gave an apt metaphor: looking at a menu is not the same as eating the actual food. In other words, if you do not apply the teachings to your life and only study Buddhism as theory, then the wondrous teachings of Buddhism will not reduce your suffering. Does it not seem like a waste to live your precious human life without awakening the innate qualities of joy, wisdom and compassion in your mind?
    • What reflections do you have from this article?

Soryu Forall

After 10 years of monastic training in Asia, Soryu founded the Monastic Academy and spent his life working to create just societies through teaching the Dharma. He has taught thousands of meditators one-on-one in intensive practice. He guides global leaders to conquer their minds. (Read Soryu's story)

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