Our Mind is the Window to Our Well-being
by Venerable Kwang Sheng
Since the 19th century, Buddhism has increasingly been associated with science. Buddhism shares with science a common commitment to unveil the truth about the world, drawing sharp discrepancy between the way things appear, and the way they really are.
One of my Master’s teachers, Venerable Master Taixu once commented, “In general, what is a gain to science is a loss to religion. Those religions with doctrines of gods and souls fundamentally lack the stability of truth and are easily shaken. But Buddhism benefits from the discoveries of science. The more science progresses, the clearer Buddhism becomes, for Buddhism explains the truth concerning the universe… Science helps us to understand Buddhism by offering suitable analogies.”
The recent discussion on the compatibility between Buddhism and science has made inroads to focus on the various types of meditation, particularly mindfulness meditation, and their relations to neuroscience and psychotherapy.
There is increasing scientific evidence to show that Buddhist meditation bestows numerous health benefits. The use of mindfulness psychotherapy has been demonstrated by countless studies to be successful and effective in treating various mental disorders, attesting to the efficacy and timelessness of the Buddha’s teaching of mindfulness and compassion.
Even though the teachings were given more than 2550 years ago, today’s scientific investigation is affirming their practicality in cultivating mental resilience, with some scholars considering Buddhist meditation to be an “inner science,” or a “science of the mind”.
Truly as the Buddha expounded in the Dhammapada, the mind is the forerunner of all mental phenomena, and the window to our well-being and happiness.
If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts,
suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts,
happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.