The Zen is nothing mysterious, and a real Zen practitioner never expects the marvels. It is why sometimes it is called the “Science of freedom”. One of the most well-known quotations from Buddha in “Diamond Sutra” said:” All the worldly phenomena are like a dream or bubble, like dew or lightning; this is the view we should have. “
What can the “continuous” light of a bulb tell us about the “fixed” forms we think? How can the electric current inspire us to face each moment of our living? What can the pixel image on television or computer remind us about “dependent-arising”? How can the transforming forms of water rouse us to understand the “reality of no-inherent self”?
Science is based on scientific instruments and experiments, and Zen practice depends on the right mindfulness and exact happening at the moment of now. Science can make progress along with right deduction, Zen practice must always stay with the right view. A scientist will always call in questions even on a former authority; a Zen practitioner will not just believe in what Buddha taught but realize his own enlightenment!
The outcome of scientific research can be partly the evidence of ultimate truth of Buddha’s realization. But it might also become the obstacle to comprehend the reality of truth. The Newton’s cradle in Zen master’s eyes can be a show of “Emptiness” (dependent-arising and no-inherent existence); but for a scientist, the limit of the scientific boundary will cause him to be stuck because of clinging to “ultimate phenomena”.
The goal of science is to learn more about the world and the universe and use the knowledge to serve life, but it can also become the burden or even disaster when there’s lack of wisdom and compassion! Hope more scientists can possess a Zen mind, which will broaden their discovery, without sacrificing the freedom.