“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”

And so we continue with our investigation of the quotes that Google offers up as the first result in searches for “Buddha quotes on friendship.” The top page contains ten quotes, every single damn one of which is fake.

At first glance, I thought “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul” would be the kind of thing that’s so blandly sweet that I’d have no chance of finding its actual origins.

But it actually turned out to be rather …

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“A true friend’s silence hurts more than an enemy’s rough words.”

This is another of the quotes on the page that currently ranks top on Google for “Buddha quotes on friendship.” All ten of the quotes on that page are fake. And they appear in Google’s “featured snippet,” which presents the quotes at the top of Google’s results page without you having to visit the page.

And to make things worse,  although the exposé that I wrote is now appearing on Google, they text they’re showing is the fake quotes rather than the real ones I offered!



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“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

This is yet another of the quotes I found in the site that currently ranks highest on Google for “Buddha quotes on friendship.” All ten of the quotes on that web page are fake. I’m working my way through all ten, although it’s going to take a while.

This one is often attributed to Helen Keller, presumably because she was blind, and there’s a natural association between darkness and blindness. The quote was even used in an experiential …

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“Many people will walk in and out of your life. But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

This is another of the ten quotes that I recently found in a page that had the top ranking on Google for a search on Buddha quotes on friendship. All ten of the quotes in the page were fake, Hallmark-y stuff.

This one is often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but mysteriously she doesn’t seem to have been quoted saying this until 1999 or so, which was more than 35 years after her death. Since none of the people …

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“A friend is someone who knows everything about your life and still loves you.”

This is another of the fake quotes I found in a web page of supposed “Buddha quotes about friendship. All of the quotes on the page were fake. And the page ranked number 1 on Google for “Buddha quotes on friendship,” which is rather sad.

I’ve already dealt with the first of the quotes, “Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace.”  Now it’s time for the second, “A friend is someone who knows everything about your life and still loves you.”



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“Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace.”

I recently happened to do a search on Google for “Buddha Quotes on Friendship” and was perturbed to find that the top result was on a quotes website page that entirely consisted of fake quotes. Not only that, but Google had pulled information from that site and listed it in their “featured snippets,” which is a little information panel at the top of the results.

This is a major Google fail, since they pride themselves on the quality …

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“If you know both your enemy and yourself, you can win every battle without jeopardy”

Paul, a contact on the discussion board at SuttaCentral.net, sent me this one. He was on the United States VA (Veterans Administration) website looking at their anger management course, and right on the first page he saw the quote that’s in the image above. He was instantly suspicious, and rightly so.

The quote is actually from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (III, 31), which in Lionel Giles’ translation is “Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, …

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“Those whom summer’s heat tortures yearn for the full moon of autumn…”

The following has appeared a number of times on the internet, and a few times in printed books, attributed to the Buddha:

Those whom summer’s heat tortures yearn for the full moon of autumn
Without even fearing the idea
That a hundred days of their life will then have passed forever.

It doesn’t seem to have made it into any of the quotation sites yet.

It originates in Mathieu Ricard’s book, “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill.”

Ricard is a very famous monk who is well-known for his levels of happiness, which have been measured, using various …

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“The First Free Women” as literary fraud

I recently posted the message below (which I’ve edited lightly) on a forum for members of the Triratna Buddhist Order, which I’m a part of. It offers more thoughts on a literary fraud that’s being perpetrated by Shambhala Publications, the largest publisher of Buddhist books in the west, and suggests a few courses of action.


A lot of people in Triratna — especially women — are very excited by Matty Weingast’s book, “The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns,” which was published early last year by Shambhala Publications, and now seems to be gaining great popularity.…

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An open letter to Nikko Odiseos, president of Shambhala Publications

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following letter was written to protest the way in which the book, “The First Free Women,” was inaccurately presented by Shambhala Publications as a translation of a Buddhist scripture (the Therigatha), when in fact it was a book of original poetry, loosely inspired by the early Buddhist nuns whose poems are collected in that work.

As as result of this protest (not just the letter here, but the work of many individuals, Shambhala has agreed to withdraw the book from sale and to republish it in a firm that makes it clear the book is an

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