Thich Nhat Hanh, revered Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist, dies at 95 | Vietnam

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist who rose to prominence as an opponent of the Vietnam warfare, has died aged 95 surrounded by his followers within the temple the place his religious journey started.

In an announcement on Twitter, the Worldwide Plum Village group of engaged Buddhism based by Thich Nhat Hanh stated “our beloved instructor handed away peacefully” on Saturday at Tu Hieu temple in Hue, Vietnam.

In a physique of labor 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 which left him unable to talk and returned to Vietnam to reside out his remaining days within the central metropolis of Hue, the traditional capital and his native land, 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 recurrently on the apply of mindfulness – figuring out and distancing oneself from sure ideas with out judgement – to the company world and his worldwide followers.

“You learn 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 all the time go collectively.”

Thich Nhat Hanh at the Non Nuoc pagoda near Hanoi in 2007.
Thich Nhat Hanh at the Non Nuoc pagoda close to Hanoi in 2007. {Photograph}: KHAM/Reuters

Born Nguyen Xuan Bao in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh was ordained as a monk as Vietnam’s revolutionary chief Ho Chi Minh was starting efforts to liberate the south-east 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 affix a rising Buddhist opposition to the US-Vietnam warfare, 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 all 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.”

In direction of the peak of the Vietnam warfare within the Nineteen Sixties he met civil rights chief Martin Luther King, 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 in the USA to fulfill King a 12 months earlier, the South Vietnamese authorities banned Thich Nhat Hanh from returning residence.

Fellow monk Haenim 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 beneath his branches together with his great instructing of mindfulness and compassion,” Haemin Sunim informed Reuters. “He was one of the crucial wonderful individuals I’ve ever met.”

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