“We offer Thich our powerful collective energy”: People Around the World Hope for Fast Recovery for Renowned Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh

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    “Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to [Nhat Hanh]. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer [Thich] our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.” [1]

    — Statement from Plum Village monastery in France

    Buddhists and well-wishers around the world continue to send healing wishes to the great teacher and peace-activist Thich Nhat Hanh. In an official announcement from Village Des Pruniers to Village Practice Centers and all Sangha’s worldwide, his followers stated:

    “With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014 Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.”


    Great Zen Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, known around the world as a peace activist, was admitted to hospital due to brain hemorrhaging. Buddhists around the world send him healing wishes.
    Great Zen Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, known around the world as a peace activist, was admitted to hospital due to brain hemorrhaging. Buddhists around the world send him healing wishes.


    The statement continues, thankfully, to announce that Thay “is still very responsive” and concludes “full recovery may be possible.”

    Plum Village indicated that Thay’s health had been fragile in recent months due to advanced age. The wellspring of goodwill unites all Buddhists, peace activists and people around the world in sending supportive thoughts and good wishes to the great teacher, known affectionately as Thay.

    Buddhist Sanghas everywhere are dedicating healing practices, meditation practices and support—far beyond the already extensive Plum Village network.

    Buddha Weekly joins in urging Buddhists around the world to think of Thay, to dedicate some practice time, meditation or good wishes for Thay’s recovery.


    Thay on a return visit to Vietnam in 2007—always the humble monk and outspoken peace activist.
    Thay on a return visit to Vietnam in 2007—always the humble monk and outspoken peace activist.


    About Thay

    For those few who do not know Thay by reputation, Thich Nhat Hanh is best known, perhaps, to non-Buddhists as a peace activist. He famously nominated Martin Luther King for a Nobel Peace Prize, and was in turn nominated himself for his work internationally in promoting peace and tolerance. He is an exile from his home Vietnam.

    He is known to Buddhists around the world as a great Zen teacher, who published more than 100 well-respected and approachable books. His writings on mindfulness and meditation are studied by non-Buddhists. His works on Emptiness are perhaps the most approachable on a very deep topic, the inevitable “first read” for anyone contemplating the extraordinary Diamond Sutra. Many books such as Living Buddha, Living Christ are bestsellers. He is well known as the creator of the terms, “Engaged Buddhism” and “Inter Being.”


    Thay wrote over 100 books, among the most popular authors on Buddhist topics. He taught retreats around the world. Here, he leads a retreat in Cologne.
    Thay wrote over 100 books, among the most popular authors on Buddhist topics. He taught retreats around the world. Here, he leads a retreat in Cologne.


    Born in 1926 in Central Vietnam, he entered a monastery at the age of 16. He is now recognized as a Dharmacharya and the spiritual head of Tu Hieu Temple. He led non-violent peace efforts in Vietnam, taught as a lecturer at Columbia University, lead a symposium at Cornell University, and taught extensively on themes of tolerance, peace and mindfulness. He was instrumental in encouraging Martin Luther King Jr to publicly denounce the Vietnam War.

    Thay Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

    Dr. King nominated Thay for the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize, writing “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.” [2]

    Teachings on Emptiness

    Amongst Buddhists of any tradition, Thay’s writings on Emptiness remain one of the best introductions to the vast topic. Explaining the concept with beautiful, easily-comprehended metaphors, and a new term he coined and beautifully expounded on—Inter Being—his teachings are seminal amongst the Zen Buddhist community, and often referred to by Buddhists of all traditions.


    Thich Nhat Hanh Alms round.
    Thich Nhat Hanh during an alms round.


     Thay’s Writings

    Thay is one of the most prolific Buddhist and peace activist writers. His writings and books include:

    • Vietnam: Lotus in a sea of fire. New York, Hill and Wang. 1967.
    • Being Peace, Parallax Press, 1987, ISBN 0-938077-00-7
    • The Sun My Heart, Parallax Press, 1988, ISBN 0-938077-12-0
    • Our Appointment with Life: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone , Parallax Press, 1990, ISBN 1-935209-79-5
    • The Miracle of Mindfulness, Rider Books, 1991, ISBN 978-0-7126-4787-8
    • Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha, Parallax Press, 1991, ISBN 81-216-0675-6
    • Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Bantam reissue, 1992, ISBN 0-553-35139-7
    • The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion, Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra, Parallax Press, 1992, ISBN 0-938077-51-1
    • Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living, Parallax Press, 1992, ISBN 0-938077-57-0
    • Hermitage Among the Clouds, Parallax Press, 1993, ISBN 0-938077-56-2
    • Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice, Three Leaves, 1994, ISBN 0-385-47561-6
    • Cultivating The Mind Of Love, Full Circle, 1996, ISBN 81-216-0676-4
    • The Heart Of Understanding, Full Circle, 1997, ISBN 81-216-0703-5
    • Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, Full Circle, 1997, ISBN 81-216-0696-9
    • Living Buddha, Living Christ, Riverhead Trade, 1997, ISBN 1-57322-568-1
    • True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, Shambhala, 1997, ISBN 1-59030-404-7
    • Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966, Riverhead Trade, 1999, ISBN 1-57322-796-X
    • Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, Riverhead Books, 1999, ISBN 1-57322-145-7
    • The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Broadway Books, 1999, ISBN 0-7679-0369-2
    • Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism, Parallax Press 3rd edition, 1999, ISBN 1-888375-08-6
    • The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation, Beacon Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8070-1239-4 (Vietnamese: Phép lạ c̉ua sư t̉inh thưc).
    • The Raft Is Not the Shore: Conversations Toward a Buddhist/Christian Awareness, Daniel Berrigan (Co-author), Orbis Books, 2000, ISBN 1-57075-344-X
    • The Path of Emancipation: Talks from a 21-Day Mindfulness Retreat, Unified Buddhist Church, 2000, ISBN 81-7621-189-3
    • A Pebble in Your Pocket, Full Circle, 2001, ISBN 81-7621-188-5
    • Essential Writings, Robert Ellsberg (Editor), Orbis Books, 2001, ISBN 1-57075-370-9
    • Anger, Riverhead Trade, 2002, ISBN 1-57322-937-7
    • Be Free Where You Are, Parallax Press, 2002, ISBN 1-888375-23-X
    • No Death, No Fear, Riverhead Trade reissue, 2003, ISBN 1-57322-333-6
    • Touching the Earth: Intimate Conversations with the Buddha, Parallax Press, 2004, ISBN 1-888375-41-8
    • Teachings on Love, Full Circle, 2005, ISBN 81-7621-167-2
    • Understanding Our Mind, HarperCollins, 2006, ISBN 978-81-7223-796-7
    • Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go. Waking Up to Who You Are. Commentaries on the teachings of Master Linji, Parallax Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-888375-72-5
    • Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment, Parallax Press, 2007, ISBN 1-888375-75-2
    • The Art of Power, HarperOne, 2007, ISBN 0-06-124234-9
    • Under the Banyan Tree, Full Circle, 2008, ISBN 81-7621-175-3
    • Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. HarperOne. 2010. ISBN 978-0-06-169769-2.
    • Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child, Parallax Press, 2010, ISBN 1-935209-64-7
    • You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, Parallax Press, ISBN 978-1-59030-675-8,
    • The Novice: A Story of True Love, Unified Buddhist Church, 2011, ISBN 978-0-06-200583-0
    • Works by or about Thích Nhất Hạnh in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
    • Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, Shambhala Publications, 2011, ISBN 978-1-59030-926-1
    • The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh, Shambhala Pocket Classics, 2012, ISBN 978-1-59030-936-0
    • The Art of Communicating, HarperOne, 2013, ISBN 978-0-06-222467-5
    • Blooming of a Lotus,Beacon, 2009, ISBN 9780807012383


    [1] Plum Village Mindfulness Practice Centre website.

    [2] King, Martin Luther, Jr. (letter) (January 25, 1967). “Nomination of Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize”. Archived on the Hartford Web Publishing website. Retrieved 13 September 2010.

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    Josephine Nolan

    Author | Buddha Weekly

    Josephine Nolan is an editor and contributing feature writer for several online publications, including EDI Weekly and Buddha Weekly.

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