What I was trying to express is the idea that to study and venerate the Dhamma includes the study and veneration of the Buddha. It is his Dhamma that was unique, transformative, and revolutionary with respect to the Brahmanic culture in which he lived. So, this sense of Dhamma, for me, very much includes the words, attitudes and admonitions of this one man.
If that works for you
Further, to be focused singularly on the "Buddha that is the present moment" sounds to me a more Mahayana idea. We do know that so much of the Mahayana was created well past the Buddha's time, from schools literally creating a new brand out of whole cloth, and I'm guessing that a lot of what passes for Mahayana Buddhism these days would be unrecognizable to Gauatama and his disciples.
Its there in Theravada as well
http://www.buddhadasa.com/naturaltruth/ ... uage1.html
The first example is the word "Buddha." As you know, the word "Buddha" in everyday language refers to the historical Enlightened Being, Gotama Buddha. It refers to a physical man of flesh and bone who was born in India over two thousand years ago, died, and was cremated. This is the meaning of the word "Buddha" in everyday language.
Considered in terms of Dhamma lanugage, however, the word "Buddha" refers to the Truth which the historical Buddha realized and taught, namely the Dhamma itself.
We can use the word Buddha to refer to Gotama, the founder of what is now known as Buddhism, the historical sage who attained Parinibbana in India 2,500 years ago, the teacher of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, teachings from which we still benefit today. But when we take refuge in the Buddha, it doesn’t mean that we take refuge in some historical prophet, but in that which is wise in the universe, in our minds, that which is not separate from us but is more real than anything we can conceive with the mind or experience through the senses. Without any Buddha-wisdom in the universe, life for any length of time would be totally impossible; it is the Buddha-wisdom that protects. We call it Buddha-wisdom, other people can call it other things if they want, these are just words. We happen to use the words of our tradition. We’re not going to argue about Pali words, Sanskrit words, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English or any other, we’re just using the term Buddha-wisdom as a conventional symbol to help remind us to be wise, to be alert, to be awake.
If we meet the Buddha we are to kill the Buddha. But not literally. My prostrations are, in part, veneration of this man and what he developed in the face of so much opposition.
I do as well however I dont think of the Buddha as Siddharta