This from the teachings of Ajahn Chah:
Where is the Buddha? We may think the Buddha has been and gone, but the Buddha is the Dhamma, the Truth. Some people like to say, “Oh, if I was born in the time of the Buddha I would go to Nibbana.” Here, stupid people talk like this. The Buddha is still here. The Buddha is truth. Regardless of whoever is born or dies, the truth is still here. The truth never departs from the world, it’s there all the time. Whether a Buddha is born or not, whether someone knows it or not, the truth is still there.
So we should get close to the Buddha, we should come within and find the Dhamma. When we reach the Dhamma we will reach the Buddha; seeing the Dhamma we will see the Buddha, and all doubts will dissolve.
To give a comparison, it’s like teacher Choo. At first he wasn’t a teacher, he was just Mr. Choo. When he studied and passed the necessary grades he became a teacher, and became known as teacher Choo. How did he become a teacher? Through studying the required subjects, thus allowing Mr. Choo to become teacher Choo. When teacher Choo dies, the study to become a teacher still remains, and whoever studies it will become a teacher. That course of study to become a teacher doesn’t disappear anywhere, just like the Truth, the knowing of which enabled the Buddha to become the Buddha.
So the Buddha is still here. Whoever practises and sees the Dhamma sees the Buddha. These days people have got it all wrong, they don’t know where the Buddha is. They say, “If I was born in the time of the Buddha I would have become a disciple of his and become enlightened.” That’s just foolishness.
As much as I love and respect Ajahn Chah, I don't think what he said related at all to what I said. Unless, of course, this was not directed to me, but to address what he says a little bit: Without "A
Buddha" there is no Dharma, and to believe the Dharma exists eternally is to deny the need for Maitreya later when the Dharma is gone. There's plenty of cycles in which the Dharma is completely gone from the world, and that's when Pratyekabuddha arise along with the Samyaksambuddha. This is why there is actually a need for a
Buddha, and to understand that Gautama Buddha did exist allows for the Dharma to continue to exist for a while longer. His disciples can still disseminate and understand the Dharma and we have access to the Dharma.
When Ajahn Chah says about teacher Choo that would be the moment when I would ask if, in the times of earlier human development, we do not know what the teachings of most ancient civilizations are how can we claim these teachings will last forever? Most of them (those disseminated by oral traditions) are gone, and we are completely ignorant of what they taught. Writing has only existed for 5,000 some odd years, and that is all the documentation we have of all history. The rest is a mystery. We don't know what civilizations were like and much of history has been lost. As will the Dharma one day. Does that mean that the natural laws will change and the Dharma will be completely different? I don't know that yet, because the future isn't yet knowable, but it's certainly possible.