Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist, dead at 95 | CBC News


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 Conflict, died on Saturday surrounded by his followers within the temple the place his religious journey started. He was 95.

“The Worldwide Plum Village Neighborhood 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 mentioned.

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

He suffered a stroke in 2014 that left him unable to talk, and he returned to Vietnam to dwell out his remaining 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 commonly on the observe 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 understand how to endure, you endure a lot, a lot much less. After which you understand how to make good use of struggling to create pleasure and happiness,” he mentioned in a 2013 lecture.

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

Born Nguyen Xuan Bao in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh was ordained a monk as fashionable 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 america within the early Nineteen Sixties. He returned to Vietnam in 1963 to hitch a rising Buddhist opposition to the U.S.-Vietnam Conflict, 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 Conflict within the Nineteen Sixties, he met civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr., whom he persuaded to talk out towards the battle.

King known 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 light Buddhist monk from Vietnam,” King wrote in his nomination letter.

Whereas within the U.S. to satisfy King a 12 months 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, mentioned the Zen grasp was calm, attentive and loving.

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

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

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

Thich Nhat Hanh’s works and promotion of the thought of mindfulness and meditation have loved a renewed recognition because the world reels from the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed greater than 1,000,000 individuals and upended every day life.

“Hope is vital, as a result of it may well make the current second more easy to bear,” Thich Nhat Hanh wrote. “If we imagine that tomorrow will probably be higher, we are able to bear a hardship immediately.

“Should you can chorus from hoping, you’ll be able to deliver your self fully into the current second and uncover the enjoyment that’s already right here.”


Leave a Comment