Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist, lifeless at 95


Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist who within the Nineteen Sixties got here to prominence as an opponent of the Vietnam Battle, died on Saturday surrounded by his followers within the temple the place his religious journey started. He was 95.

“The Worldwide Plum Village Group of Engaged Buddhism proclaims that our beloved instructor Thich Nhat Hanh handed away peacefully at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on twenty second January, 2022, on the age of 95,” an announcement on his official Twitter account stated.

In an impressive physique of works and public appearances spanning a long time, Thich Nhat Hanh spoke in mild but highly effective tones of the necessity to “stroll as if you’re kissing the earth along with your ft.”

He suffered a stroke in 2014 that left him unable to talk, and he returned to Vietnam to dwell out his last days within the central metropolis of Hue, the traditional capital and his homeland, after spending a lot of his grownup life in exile.

As a pioneer of Buddhism within the West, he fashioned the “Plum Village” monastery in France and spoke frequently on the follow of mindfulness — figuring out and distancing oneself from sure ideas with out judgment — to the company world and his worldwide followers.

“You discover ways to endure. If you know the way to endure, you endure a lot, a lot much less. After which you know the way to make good use of struggling to create pleasure and happiness,” he stated in a 2013 lecture.

“The artwork of happiness and the artwork of struggling at all times go collectively.”

Born Nguyen Xuan Bao in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh was ordained a monk as trendy Vietnam’s founding revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh, led efforts to liberate the Southeast Asian nation from its French colonial rulers.

Thich Nhat Hanh, who spoke seven languages, lectured at Princeton and Columbia universities in the USA within the early Nineteen Sixties. He returned to Vietnam in 1963 to hitch a rising Buddhist opposition to the U.S.-Vietnam Battle, demonstrated by self-immolation protests by a number of monks.

“I noticed communists and anti-communists killing and destroying one another as a result of both sides believed that they had a monopoly on the reality,” he wrote in 1975. “My voice was drowned out by the bombs, mortars and shouting.”

‘Apostle of peace and non-violence’

Towards the peak of the Vietnam Battle within the Nineteen Sixties, he met civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr., whom he persuaded to talk out in opposition to the battle.

King referred to as Thich Nhat Hanh “an apostle of peace and non-violence” and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I don’t personally know of anybody extra worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this mild Buddhist monk from Vietnam,” King wrote in his nomination letter.

Whereas within the U.S. to satisfy King a yr earlier, the South Vietnamese authorities banned Thich Nhat Hanh from returning house.

Fellow monk Haemin Sunim, who as soon as acted as Thich Nhat Hanh’s translator throughout a visit to South Korea, stated the Zen grasp was calm, attentive and loving.

“He was like a big pine tree, permitting many individuals to relaxation below his branches together with his great educating of mindfulness and compassion,” Haemin Sunim informed Reuters.

Thich Nhat Hanh is proven throughout a procession for these killed on each side of the Vietnam Battle, in Hanoi in April 2007. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Pictures)

“He was one of the wonderful individuals I’ve ever met.”

Thich Nhat Hanh’s works and promotion of the concept of mindfulness and meditation have loved a renewed reputation because the world reels from the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed greater than one million individuals and upended each day life.

“Hope is essential, as a result of it could possibly make the current second more easy to bear,” Thich Nhat Hanh wrote. “If we consider that tomorrow will probably be higher, we will bear a hardship immediately.

“Should you can chorus from hoping, you possibly can deliver your self totally into the current second and uncover the enjoyment that’s already right here.”

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