The Phenomena of scientific research comprise the structure of material things, changes of their movement, their mutual influence and transformations, and, as a result of these changes, their various quantitative relationships. At best, those phenomena may be said to be within the scope of a small part of the “Dharma of Matter vis-à-vis Time, Space, Speed, Graduation, etc.” under the category of “Dharmas of Non-Associated Mental Activities”, (see the Sastra on One Hundred Divisions of Mental Qualities) but have not touched the Dharmas of Mind and Mental Associates of Buddhism at all. Comparatively speaking, the Dharma of Matter is considerably more stagnant than the Dharma of Mind; in the sequence of its arising and passing out, thought undergoes changes so quickly and so suddenly that it is far more difficult to be aware of such changes than material transformations. Although the research of matter is comparatively easy and simple, yet scientists, by and large, cannot make a study of material transformations either separately or as a whole. If a change of a thing (A) is affected by several cause, B, C, D etc., they keep only B for research but leave out C, D, etc. altogether; in this way, the cause-and-effect relationships based on the transformations of A and B phenomena may be deduced and perceived. For example, the intensity of electric current is influenced by the voltage of electric pressure and resistance. In order to understand the relationship between electric current and pressure, the electric resistance must be kept stable without change; to understand the relationship between electric current and resistance, the electric pressure also should remain unchanged. From this, it can be seen that inasmuch as it is impossible for scientists to do their research of all phenomenal changes simultaneously, what they can best do is to simplify those complicated objects as much as possible.

The method of simplifying the research objects is also adopted by Buddhism. However, in Buddhism, the objects of research include not only material things but also the phenomena of matter and mind combined, furthermore, as the transformations of the latter are far more complex than those of the former, it is all the more necessary that Buddhism should resort to the scientific method of simplification. By the popular Dharma of Reciting Buddha, one concentrates intensively on reciting “Namo Amitabha” with unperturbed mind. Ch’an Buddhism asks us to look with undivided attention into a nonsensical and totally inexplicable question, e.g. “What is the Fundamental Face before one is born?” Likewise, other meditational practices also stress one-pointed concentration, as does the Reciting Method. Once advanced meditation is realized, the mind would be as calm as subsiding waves or would brighten up like a mirror, and then one would be able to see the reality of everything, but if one sees with a perplexed mind, then it would be a different picture altogether. A perturbed mind, like turbulent wave, can never perceive truth.

While it may do well to apply simplification method to material things, to extend its application to living beings, however, is entirely a different matter, because to research the multifarious physiological and psychological reactions would surely entail considerable difficulties. Though Anatomy enables us to know the functioning of every organism of the body, nevertheless, it is a study of a dead body, and not the body of a living being. Moreover, in the research work, apart from the complex material elements of the body, its numerous mental components should be reckoned with as well. However, as long as that being is alive, it is physically impossible to bring those material elements and mental components, or any one of them, to a halt for research of their causal relationships. If the research objects cannot be simplified, the phenomena of matter and mind combined would not be correctly perceive at all. Under the circumstances, scientists can only turn to Buddhism and its way of cultivating Meditation and Wisdom, for an answer.