“Everything that happens to us is the result of what we ourselves have thought, said, or done. We alone are responsible for our lives.”

This one appears to come in part from a book by Venerable Master Chin Kung, called “Changing Destiny: Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons.” The first edition seems to have been printed in 1999.

The book contains a glossary which in turn contains the following entry:

causality (also know as cause and effect). Everything that happens to us is the result of what we have thought, said, or done. What we undergo in this lifetime are the consequences of what we had done in our previous lifetimes, while what we do now will determine what we undergo in our future



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“Silence is an empty space. Space is the home of the awakened mind.”

I wish I could find an original source for this quote, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to. I’m 100% sure that this does not come from any Buddhist scripture, but is of very recent vintage.

I’ve found it in a couple of books, but the oldest of these is a self-published work called “Inspiration to Mankind,” by Bendalam Krishna Rao . This book is a collection of quotes attributed to the Buddha — many of them fake. There is no publication date in the book itself, but based on information in Google Books and Archive.org I believe it was …

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“Love the whole world as a mother loves her only child.”

This one was brought to my attention recently as a quote I haven’t written up. My correspondent was very suspicious of it, and in a way he was right: it’s not at all typical of how the early scriptures quote the Buddha.

It was however from a sutta (Buddhist scriptural discourse) that I know very well, although I’d characterize it as a good paraphrase rather than an actual quote.

It’s from the Karaniya Metta Sutta:

Just as with her own life
A mother shields from hurt
Her own son, her only child,
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.



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“What’s done to the children is done to society”

On the grounds of style and content this is certainly not by the Buddha.

I don’t know the actual origins at the moment, but it looks like a variant on “What’s done to children, they will do to society,” which is usually attributed to Karl Menninger, an American psychiatrist who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

Menninger is often cited as having said this, but so far I haven’t been able to confirm that he actually did. The earliest reference I’ve found is in a 1979 book by Barbara Rowe, called “The Book of Quotes.”…

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Spotted in the wild!

Someone wrote to me today to let me know that they’d received a copy of the book from Parallax. I was surprised, since the release date is Nov 6. Hopefully this means I’ll have a copy in my hands soon.

If you don’t have yours, you can order it from:

The excitement is building!

I just received this email from Amazon…

Do pre-order! Even if I say so myself “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha” is a great read, and would make a fantastic holiday gift.

You can pre-order “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha!” from:

“The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make our own life peaceful.”

This one is also found as “The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make your own life peaceful.”

This is one I hadn’t ever come across until it was sent to me, but it seems it’s fairly comment and is even found in a few books.

I’m not disputing the meaning of this quote at all, and neither would the Buddha. But it’s not the kind of thing that the Buddha said.

It’s yet another quote from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” (page 87).

Although many people have assumed from the title that …

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“Fan mail”

If you’re still on the fence about buying my book on Fake Buddha Quotes, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha, which you can order here, check out the following comments from fans of this blog!

“You are a bit of a dick.” Regan Calhoun.

“The replies this guy gives prove he’s very far away from enlightenment, and he should give up the appropriated Buddhist moniker and go join the debate team at community college.” Anonymous

“After your death you definitely suffer in the hell. 10,000% sure about that.” Cherith Iran

“Your words are spurred by hatred. I feel …

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“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

I found this one on the Facebook page of a South Jersey Buddhist group. Most of the Buddha quotes they have shared are fake. It seems that some people are preferentially drawn to the fake stuff, probably because it’s more literary and pithy than the actual Buddhist scriptures tend to be.

So this one’s not really the style the Buddha (or at least the early scriptures) used. And I can’t think of anything closely resembling this message, although I’ll continue thinking about that.

The earliest I’ve found this quote so far is from 1982, although there it’s “If you do …

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“It is better to do nothing, than to do what is wrong. For whatever you do, you do to yourself.”

I just came across this one on Facebook, on the page of a Buddhist community in New Jersey.

Most of the quotes I saw on their page were fake. Unfortunately this is rather common. It seems that many contemporary Buddhists aren’t very familiar with their own scriptures and don’t recognize when quotes are strikingly different in style and content from canonical teachings.

Most Buddhists seem content to rely on books by modern Buddhist authors. These often provide excellent guidance in life, but really we should be going back to the earliest sources so that we can develop a feel for …

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