"I think Buddhism should open the door of psychology and healing to penetrate more easily into the Western world. As far as religion is concerned, the West already has plenty of belief in a supernatural being. It's not by the law of faith that you should enter the spiritual territory of the West, because the West has plenty of this."This is a particularly revealing quote about Buddhism, not just because it addresses the West's general sense about Buddhism being 'just another religion,' but in the unique way Buddhism is perceived by its practitioners and how it works as a methodology to a) assist in the study of human psychology and b) help relieve and remedy common psychological and emotional problems.
When asked how Western thought can contribute to Buddhism, Nhat Hanh answered, "democracy and science." He writes,
"Personally, learning about science has helped me to understand Buddhism more deeply. I agree with Einstein that if there is a religion that can go along with science, it is Buddhism. That is because Buddhism has the spirit of nonattachment to rules. You may have a view that you consider to be the truth, but if you cling to it, then that is the end of your free inquiring. You have to be aware that with the practice of looking deeply, you may see things more clearly. That is why you should not be so dogmatic about what you have found; you have to be ready to release your view in order to get a higher insight. That is very exciting."Source: The Best Buddhist Writing 2007, ed. Melvin McLeod.