3 Things You May Have Heard On The Name Of The Buddha, But He Never Said Them

The historical Buddha said many things in his long lifetime of teaching. But have you ever heard a supposed Buddha quote and wondered, Did he really say that?Monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a trained translator of the Buddha’s words, certainly has. Here he reveals three of many he’s found. See if you’re not surprised.

1. “Life is suffering.”

This is one of the Big Lies of Buddhism—a claim assumed to be true simply because it is repeated so often—both in popular books and academic books. The phrase “Life is suffering” is supposed to be a summary of the Buddha’s first noble truth, but the first noble truth simply lists the things in life that constitute suffering: “Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.” (Quotation from Samyutta Nikaya, The Grouped Discourses of the Buddha, 56.11)
Life, you’ll notice, isn’t on the list.
The other noble truths go on to show that there’s more to life than just suffering: There’s the origination of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of suffering as well.

2. “Past love is but a memory. Future love is but a dream. True love is in the here and now.” — The Buddha

I saw this on a card attached to the mirror in the bathroom of a home where I was teaching once. It’s so unrelated to anything the Buddha said that I have no idea of what the original inspiration might have been.

3. “There is no self.”

This is the other Big Lie. The one time the Buddha was asked point-blank if there is or isn’t a self, he refused to answer (Samyutta Nikaya 44.10). In Majjhima Nikaya (the “Middle-Length Discourses” of the Buddha) 2 he stated that the views “I have a self” and “I have no self” are both a thicket of views that leave you stuck in suffering. When the Buddha taught not-self (anatta) — as opposed to no self — he was recommending a strategy for overcoming attachment, a way of cutting through the mind’s tendency to cling to things by claiming them as “me” or “mine.”
The Buddha never said that “There is no separate self” either. He declined to get involved in the issue of whether any kind of self exists or doesn’t exist.
Source and courtesy : lionsroar.com
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