Question from Secondo:
Dear Deer Park Monastery Sangha,
In the book How to See, in the chapter “The Wisdom of Nondiscrimination”, I read:
”Classical science is based on the belief that there is an objective reality that exists independently of the mind. In Buddhism, however, there is mind and there are objects of mind, and they manifest at the same time; we can’t separate them. In quantum physics, scientists have begun to see that their mind affects the particle they are observing.”
I would be really grateful if you can help me clarify this deep insight into reality. I am able to understand this statement when an object of mind is a perception, a thought, or a feeling… Anyway, my understanding is nebulous.
My Best Regards,
Answer from Peggy Rowe-Ward:
This is a good question to take to your cushion. Establish your posture. Sit comfortably. Invite this question into your practice, then let it go. Sit for at least 10 minutes. Then see how the question has changed. Since this question was mailed in a bit ago, my hunch is that it has already changed. This is mind talking to mind—something that we do all the time. We sit so that we can return to the present moment, to return to present moment awareness, to the here and now.
Thay offered his own take on the well-known Descartes quote, “I think, therefore I am”. Thay’s version is, “I think, therefore I am not”. Thinking is normal and necessary. It is what we do with the thinking that is important.
In the third century, Rabbi Samuel ben Nahman said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” The physicists have discovered what we discover on our cushion in Buddhist practice. The way we believe is what we see. We are interconnected with our reality. This is not a belief, opinion, or idea. This is an experience. I invite you to experience these good questions. Enjoy your practice!