"Q: How can you feel comfortable taking the time to make a pilgrimage like this? Third World people have more primary concerns, like filling their bellies. Your pilgrimage is possible only in a country where everyone gets to eat his fill. Only then are you able to sit around and think of transcendental bliss.
A: No one who understands people could say that the only concern of any person or group of people is filling their bellies. That's just a handy label that rabble-rousers use to identify "the Third World" as they call it. In fact, Third World people are people, not bellies and mouths. They think of birth and death, where they came from and where they are going. All people think about it. We just returned from a trip through Asia and we visited some backwater places, where the Third World lives. People there met the Buddhadharma with an overwhelmingly positive response, as strong and as enthusiastic as anywhere in the U.S.A. Why? Because Buddhism is the language of the heart. Everyone recognizes it. It transcends the simple concern for a full belly. Buddhism is our original home. The rest is superficial."