When you feel you have nothing to belong to and have no identity, that is when you have a chance to break through to your true home.

| Fall 2018

  • I have a home nobody can take away from me.
    Photo by Flicker/DUC
  • If you remove the cloud from the flower, the flower cannot be there. And if you look deeply you see the sunshine.
    Photo by Getty Images/Andersboman

Dear Sangha, yesterday I spoke about home, true home. I told you that I have a home nobody can take away from me, no matter where I go. One time when I was in Washington, D.C., the State Department informed me that my passport was no longer valid. They did that so I could not speak publically on behalf of the victims of the war. People in Washington, D.C., urged me to go into hiding, because I risked deportation and jail. I did not go into hiding. I was forced to seek political asylum in France, and I obtained a travel document called an apatride; the English word for a person with this document is “expatriate.” With this document, you can ask for a visa to go to European countries who have signed the Geneva Convention. But for countries like Canada and the United States of America, where you must have a visa, it is very difficult to ask for a visa when you do not have a country. You are without fatherland, motherland.

But because I do not have a country of my own, I had the opportunity to find my true home. This is very important. It is because I did not belong to any particular country that I made an effort to break through, and I got my true home.

My dear friends, if you have the feeling you do not belong to any country, to any geographical spot, to any cultural heritage, to any particular ethnic group — for example when you go to Japan you don’t feel that Japan accepts you, when you go back to America you don’t feel that America is your home, when you go to Africa, you don’t think that you are an African, when you go back to the United States of America you don’t feel that you are accepted; when you feel you have nothing to belong to, you have no identity, that is when you have a chance to break through to your true home. That was my case.

My true home is not limited to any spot, any place — geographically speaking, ethnically speaking, culturally speaking — although there may be some cultural preference, some ethnic preference, some geographical preference. Sometimes you like snow and very cold weather. Sometimes you like to be in a place where there is a lot of sunshine. You may have a preference, but you do not discriminate. All belongs to you.

There is absolutely no discrimination in your true home. At times you may prefer something, but you do not discriminate against anything in terms of geography, ethnicity, or culture, because everything may be beautiful, every place may be beautiful. And you do not just have one portion of it, you have the totality of it. You are free to enjoy everything.

Suppose you love oranges and consider oranges to be your favorite fruit. Still nothing prevents you from enjoying other kinds of fruits like mango, kiwi, or even durian. [Laughter] It would be a pity if you were committed to eating only one kind of fruit. You are free, and you can enjoy every kind of fruit. And it would be a pity if you committed only to one spiritual heritage, like only Christianity or Buddhism. Because there are beautiful things to enjoy in each spiritual heritage.

10/22/2018 11:24:12 AM

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