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Jan 22, 2022 / 15:28

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh passes away

His powerful teachings and bestselling writings on the art of mindfulness have reached an audience of millions, from Europe to Asia to the Americas.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, peace activist, and founder of the Plum Village Tradition community, passed away at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam on Jan 22, at the age of 95.

 

The Buddhist monk, who influences global peace and inspires Engaged Buddhism and appreciation of motherhood, died right at the place he was ordained 80 years ago.

Learners globally will commemorate the monk’s life and legacy with five days of practice and ceremonies broadcast live from Hue, Vietnam and Plum Village, France, starting on January 22, according to the Plum Village Tradition.

There will also be in-person and live ceremonies hosted by Deer Park Monastery, California, and other practice centers in the tradition, as well as recitations of the Five and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. The commemoration will also be held in Magnolia Grove Monastery (Mississippi), Blue Cliff Monastery (New York), EIAB (Germany), Maison de l’Inspir’ and Healing Spring (Paris), Thai Plum Village (Thailand), Australia: Nhap Luu (near Melbourne) and Mountain Spring Monastery (near Sydney), and AIAB at Lotus Pond Temple (Hong Kong).

Born in Thua Thien-Hue, central Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh’s life is dedicated to spreading globally his own philosophy of meditation and compassion on retreats, in public talks, through his books and online teachings, or simply through the story of his incredible life.

Being referred to as the “father of mindfulness”, he pioneered the concept of mindfulness in the West, bringing the followers to hundreds of millions worldwide.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 120 books in Vietnamese, English, and French about memoirs, journals, children’s books, with some most favorite namely Being Peace (2005), Peace Is Every Step (1992), How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials) 2014, The Miracle of Mindfulness (1999), The Art of Power (2008), True Love (Loving is being there) 2011, The Art of Communicating (2014).

Following the death of his mother, Thich Nhat Hanh turned his spiritual practice to researching and applying concrete methods to relieve suffering and despair. Written during his time at Princeton in 1962, “A Rose for your Pocket” (Bong Hong cai ao) is a deeply felt text in praise of motherhood, and the importance of cherishing what people have in the present moment (dṛṣṭadharmasukhavihāra). It captured Thich Nhat Hanh’s “first blossoms of awakening”, and immediately became a bestseller in Vietnam, inspiring an annual “Rose Festival” on Mother’s Day, now an integral part of Vietnamese Buddhist culture.

 Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the spiritual leader of Tibet the 14th Dalai Lama in 2006. 

The Vietnamese Buddhist monk, scholar, poet, artist, peace activist, and prolific author, is a global spiritual leader, loved and revered around the world. His powerful teachings and bestselling writings on the art of mindfulness have reached an audience of millions, from Europe to Asia to the Americas.

He is the man Martin Luther King called “an apostle of peace and non-violence” when nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and who was described by The New York Times as “second only to the Dalai Lama” among Buddhist leaders influential in the West.

After decades abroad, the monk returned to Vietnam in 2018 with an aspiration to live in his homeland until death. He told his monks and nuns not to build costly tombs or memorials but cremate him to bring him close to learners worldwide.  

Venerable Dr Thich Nhat Tu from the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha said “Let’s stop and spend a minute of silence, remembering the venerable, compassionate and wise Teacher for his merits and great contributions to the Vietnamese Buddhism and Buddhism around the world.”

His death causes loss to learners worldwide who are grateful for his philosophy that helps light up their days, considering him their spiritual father and his teachings and writings have sustained them with kindness and love.

“Meditation is not to escape from society but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness we know what to do and what not to do to help,” said the monk.

 Thich Nhat Hanh's philosophy: peace for people and the world.