The great teacher, Bodhisattva and scholar, Thich Nhat Hanh — who shook the world with his message of peace — has passed away at 95, “at his home in the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam”, announced by Plum Village.
“The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism announces that our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95.”
Always ready with a smile and a kind word, the great Zen master wrote numerous best-selling books.
Thich Nhat Han: Beloved around the World
Beloved by many around the world, the great man of peace will live on in our hearts, a genuine Bodhisattva who brought love and compassion to our world.
“Prolific author, poet, teacher and peace activist,” writes the New York Times.
He famously encouraged what he called “engaged Buddhism” — the activities of peace and a Bodhisattva in daily living.
Examples of his “engaged Buddhist” living in real life practice — from the Plum Village website:
“In recent years Thich Nhat Hanh led events for members of US Congress and for parliamentarians in the UK, Ireland, India, and Thailand. He has addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne and UNESCO in Paris, calling for specific steps to reverse the cycle of violence, war and global warming. On his visit to the US in 2013 he led high-profile mindfulness events at Google, The World Bank, and the Harvard School of Medicine.”
Previous features in Buddha Weekly on the great teacher:
- The Emptiness of Prayer—Who Do We Pray To? “You and the Buddha are not separate realities.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
- Pali Sutta for Our Age: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Book Review of a Classic
- Thich Nhat Hanh’s Translation: The Sutra on the Eight Realizations of the Great Beings “Torches That Help Light My Path”
- Movie: Walk With Me — Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village on the Big Screen: “Mindfulness is to always arrive in the here and now.”
- “You and the Buddha are not separate realities. You are in the Buddha and the Buddha is in you.” Thich Nhat Hanh
- Thich Nhat Hanh, the Great Buddhist Peacemaker, Honoured with Catholic Peace Award, recipient of the 2015 Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.
- “We offer Thich our powerful collective energy”: People Around the World Hope for Fast Recovery for Renowned Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh
The Life Story of Thich Nhat Hanh
To read a wonderful life story of the great teacher, see his biography on the Plum Village website:
“Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, renowned for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. A gentle, humble monk, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called him “an Apostle of peace and nonviolence” when nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Exiled from his native Vietnam for almost four decades, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer bringing Buddhism and mindfulness to the West, and establishing an engaged Buddhist community for the 21st Century….”
From the biography: “Under Thich Nhat Hanh’s spiritual leadership Plum Village has grown from a small rural farmstead to what is now the West’s largest and most active Buddhist monastery, with over 200 resident monastics and over 10,000 visitors every year, who come from around the world to learn “the art of mindful living.”
Plum Village welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths at retreats where they can learn practices such as walking meditation, sitting meditation, eating meditation, total relaxation, working meditation and stopping, smiling, and breathing mindfully. These are all ancient Buddhist practices, the essence of which Thich Nhat Hanh has distilled and developed to be easily and powerfully applied to the challenges and difficulties of our times.
In the last twenty years over 100,000 people have made a commitment to follow Thich Nhat Hanh’s modernized code of universal global ethics in their daily life, known as “The Five Mindfulness Trainings.”
Great Buddhist Teacher and Author
I have personally read almost all of Thich Nhat Hanh’s amazing books. Every single one of them deserves a space on the Buddhist’s library shelf (or Kindle library). He not only had a brilliant way with words, he conveyed a serene sense of love and compassion in every paragraph. His translations of Sutras are among the best anywhere. His books are also hands-on practical, not just spiritual wisdom.
Some of my favorites — including my absolute favorite “Awakening of the Heart” include (these are Amazon links):
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries>> (a MUST read for any Buddhist)
Another must-read: The Other Shore: A New Translation of the Heart Sutra with Commentaries>>
- Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh: 365 days of practical, powerful teachings from the beloved Zen teacher>>
- The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology>>
- Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames>>
- Transformation & Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness >>
- No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering>>
- Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm>>
Note: The above is from my personal reading list and are affiliate links (you don’t pay more, but BW may have a small commission). You can also lookup his entire library of publications (vastly larger than this list) at his author page on Amazon>>
Walk With Me: Movie
A wonderful tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh’s great life was a recent film “Walk With Me”:
View the trailer:
Produced by West End Films, and filmed over three years on location at Plum Village in France, and other locations, Walk with me, the movie, promises to give glimpses into life with teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the most respected spiritual leaders in the world today. Once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Thay, as he is affectionally called by his followers and friends, is famous for clarity of thought. The Zen monk’s many books are popular in the west, among the best teachings in Mindfulness and spirituality. His descriptions and lessons in Emptiness and Oneness are widely quoted — considered among the best illustrations of the difficult concept.
The movie appears to also follow the lives of monks and nuns in Plum Village, with rare glimpses into teaching sessions and meditation sessions.
Transcript of Trailer
Narrator: I knew early on that finding truth is not the same as finding happiness. You aspire to see the truth, but once you have see it you cannot avoid [suffering], otherwise you have seen nothing at all.
Text: Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh: There is a song we like to sing. “I have arrived. I am home.”
Text: Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
Thich Nhat Hanh: Mindfulness is to always arrive in the here and the now.You have been running a lot, but you have not arrived.
Text: Followed by millions
A monk: We have taken a vow to not have any personal possessions. So, we don’t have money. We don’t have personal possessions. We don’t have a bank account.
Another voice: We are all raised in chaos…
Text: “One of the most influential spiritual leaders of our times.” — Oprah Winfrey
Thich Nhat Hanh: So, the practice of mindfulness helps us to live our lives deeply. That way, we will not waste our life.
Text: “A moving and wonderful film — a great work full of love.” — Alejandro G. Inarritu
Voice: Is your life controlled by someone else?
Monk: You know Yoda in Star Wars? (Cuts to image of Thich Nhat Hanh contemplating, smiling.) A little bit like that.
Child’s voice: I have a doggie. The doggie died… I feel so sad. (We see the child standing by Thich Nhat Hanh, who answers her…)
Thich Nhat Hanh: You look into the sky and you see a beautiful cloud. The cloud has become the rain. And when you drink your tea, you can see your cloud in your tea.
(The girl smiles, understanding the metaphor of Oneness.)
Text: “Mindfulness has gone mainstream.” — New York Time
Thich Nhat Hanh: The past is no longer there. The future is not yet there. There’s only the present moment.
Text: Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
 Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master and Political Reformer, Dies at 95,
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Author | Buddha Weekly
Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.