“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky

I came across this one in the feed of someone who started following me on Twitter. Here’s a link to the original status update.

When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. ~ Buddha

This of course bears no resemblance to anything the Buddha’s recorded as having said.

With some Fake Buddha Quotes it’s possible to trace the origins to a bad translation or some other obvious misattribution (for example a quote appears in a book called “The Teaching of the Buddha,” is subsequently quoted and attributed “The Teaching …

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“In order to gain anything you must lose everything.”

Also seen as:

To gain heart you must lose everything. ~Buddha

I’m not entirely clear what this one’s trying to say, but the interesting thing is that it appears to be freshly minted. I’ve searched on Google for this quote with and without quotes, and haven’t found a trace of it. Usually these Fake Buddha Quotes have an extensive internet history, and often you can even find them in books. But this one seems to have no history. That makes it interesting, since it may have been newly minted or, perhaps, is so seriously garbled that a Google search doesn’t …

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“We’re the same as plants, trees, other people, the rain that falls. We consist of that [which] is around us, we’re the same as everything.”

“I saw it on Facebook; it must be a real Buddha quote!”

DesireeGrace posted the following on Twitter this morning:

We’re the same as plants, trees, other people, the rain that falls. We consist of that [which] is around us, we’re the same as everything.Buddha

This is so totally alien to the idiom the Buddha used — and the concepts he used — that I assumed Desiree had made some kind of slip in attributing it to the Buddha, especially with the word “Buddha” tacked on awkwardly at the end.

But I wrote to her and she replied:

@Bodhipaksa But …

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“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”

I came across this ripe Fake Buddha Quote today:

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground. ~Buddha

You’ll see this on Twitter, Facebook, and many web sites, as well as on incestuous and careless quotations sites like these:

Brainyquote.com
Quotesdaddy.com
Quotegarden.com

I call quotes sites “incestuous” because they appear to copy one another’s quotes quite relentlessly. Think about it: what’s the easiest way to build up your quotes site? Easy. Copy the quotes from another site. It’s easier than doing actual research involving primary text, or even reputable sources.

Anyone half-way familiar with the Pali canon will …

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“He is able who thinks he is able.”

Seeing a Fake Buddha Quote on Twitter is pretty much a daily occurrence, but this one retweeted by a Buddhist particularly struck me this morning:

He is able who thinks he is able. #Buddha

What interests me about this one is that it’s being passed on by people who have “Buddha” or “Buddhist” as part of their Twitter usernames, and yet it strikes me as being profoundly unBuddhist. I’m always open to correction, but the Buddha didn’t strike me as being an advocate of “positive thinking.” The Buddha’s actual position seemed to be more, it doesn’t matter what you think

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“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Spotted on Twitter:

The quote in question comes from “The Teaching of Buddha: The Buddhist Bible : A Compendium of Many Scriptures Translated from the Japanese,” published in 1934 by The Federation of All Young Buddhist Associations of Japan.

It’s in a section titled “Sacred Aphorisms,” many of which are recognizable as quotes from the Dhammapada. The Dhammapada quotes are unnumbered, which makes them tricky to …

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“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.”

Just spotted in the wild:

“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”
–Buddha

This seems to be from Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s “Voice of the Silence,” which has,

Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.

Blavatsky was a founder of Theosophy and in 1880 became one of the first westerners to convert to Buddhism. She was strongly interested in spiritualism, and accusations of fraud followed her her entire life. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that she was a talented charlatan, although she may have been a well-meaning …

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“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

I came across this on Twitter today, tweeted by Buddha_Bones:

“RT @Sharon_Phoenix “When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” ~Buddha”

This can be found in various books attributed to Jack Kornfield, the Buddha, and Shunryu Suzuki.

The quote is actually from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book,” page 5. I rather suspect he’s the originator of this quote since, like most of the quotes in that book, this one is not actually a quote from the Buddha.

In its full form in BLIB …

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“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

A Fake Buddha Quote courtesy of Jnanagarbha, who received it in his twitter feed:

"An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea. Buddha."

It’s actually fairly Buddhist in spirit, but in tone it’s very unlike any Buddhist scripture I’ve ever come across. Sure enough, it’s found attributed to the Buddha in any number of quotes sites, and it’s likewise listed in a number of books in Amazon. A little investigation, however, showed this to be a quote from page 47 of Edward de Bono’s book, …

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