The Info List - Thich Nhat Hanh

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THíCH NHấT HạNH (/ˈtɪk ˈnjʌt ˈhʌn/ ; Vietnamese: ( listen ); born as NGUYễN XUâN BảO on October 11, 1926) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist .

Thích Nhất Hạnh lives in Plum Village
Plum Village
in southwest France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He coined the term " Engaged Buddhism " in his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire . After a long term of exile , he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam
in 2005.

Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English . He is active in the peace movement , promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict and he also refrains from animal product consumption as a means of nonviolence towards non-human animals.


* 1 Biography

* 1.1 During the Vietnam
War * 1.2 Establishing the Order of Interbeing * 1.3 Return to Vietnam
* 1.4 Other * 1.5 Health

* 2 Approach * 3 Names applied to him * 4 Awards and honors * 5 Writings * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links


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Born as Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Nhất Hạnh was born in the city of Huế in Central Vietnam
in 1926. At the age of 16 he entered the monastery at Từ Hiếu Temple near Huế , Vietnam
, where his primary teacher was Zen
Master Thanh Quý Chân Thật. A graduate of Báo Quốc Buddhist Academy in Central Vietnam, Thích Nhất Hạnh received training in Vietnamese traditions of Mahayana Buddhism, as well as Vietnamese Thiền
Vietnamese Thiền
, and was ordained as a monk in 1949.

In 1956 Nhất Hạnh was named editor-in-chief of Vietnamese Buddhism, the periodical of the Unified Vietnam
Buddhist Association (Vietnamese : Giáo Hội Phật Giáo Việt Nam Thống Nhất). In the following years he founded Lá Bối Press, the Vạn Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon , and the School of Youth for Social Service (SYSS); a neutral corps of Buddhist peaceworkers who went into rural areas to establish schools, build healthcare clinics, and help rebuild villages.

Nhất Hạnh is now recognized as a dharmacharya (teacher), and as the spiritual head of the Từ Hiếu Pagoda
and associated monasteries. On May 1, 1966 at Từ Hiếu Temple, he received the "lamp transmission," making him a dharmacharya, from Zen
Master Chân Thật.


In 1960 Nhất Hạnh went to the US to teach comparative religion at Princeton University , and was subsequently appointed lecturer in Buddhism at Columbia University
Columbia University
. By then he had gained fluency in French , Chinese , Sanskrit
, Pali
, Japanese and English , in addition to his native Vietnamese . In 1963, he returned to Vietnam
to aid his fellow monks in their non-violent peace efforts.

Nhất Hạnh taught Buddhist psychology and prajnaparamita literature at Vạn Hanh Buddhist University, a private institution that taught Buddhist studies, Vietnamese culture, and languages. At a meeting in April 1965, Vạn Hanh Union students issued a Call for Peace statement. It declared: "It is time for North and South Vietnam to find a way to stop the war and help all Vietnamese people live peacefully and with mutual respect." Nhất Hạnh left for the U.S. shortly afterwards, leaving Chân Không in charge of the SYSS. Vạn Hạnh University was taken over by one of the Chancellors who wished to sever ties with Thich Nhất Hạnh and the SYSS, accusing Chân Không of being a communist . From that point the SYSS struggled to raise funds and faced attacks on its members. The SYSS persisted in their relief efforts without taking sides in the conflict.

Nhất Hạnh returned to the US in 1966 to lead a symposium in Vietnamese Buddhism at Cornell University , and to continue his work for peace. While in the US, Nhất Hạnh stopped at Gethsemani Abbey to speak with Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
. When Vietnam
threatened to block Nhất Hạnh's re-entry to the country, Merton penned an essay of solidarity entitled "Nhat Hanh is my Brother". He had written a letter to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
in 1965 entitled: "In Search of the Enemy of Man". It was during his 1966 stay in the US that Nhất Hạnh met with King and urged him to publicly denounce the Vietnam
War . In 1967, Dr. King gave a famous speech at the Riverside Church
Riverside Church
in New York City, his first to publicly question the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Later that year, Dr. King nominated Nhất Hạnh for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize . In his nomination Dr. King said, "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism , to world brotherhood, to humanity". The fact that King had revealed the candidate he had chosen to nominate and had made a "strong request" to the prize committee, was in sharp violation of the Nobel traditions and protocol. The committee did not make an award that year.

Nhất Hạnh moved to France and became the chair of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation. When the Northern Vietnamese army took control of the south in 1975, he was denied permission to return to Vietnam. From 1976–1977 he led efforts to help rescue Vietnamese boat people in the Gulf of Siam , eventually stopping under pressure from the governments of Thailand
and Singapore

document from the Vietnam
War has called Thích Nhất Hạnh a "brain truster " of Thich Tri Quang , the leader of a dissident group.


Deer Park Monastery
Deer Park Monastery
in California

Nhất Hạnh created the Order of Interbeing in 1966. He heads this monastic and lay group, teaching Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Fourteen Precepts. In 1969 he established the Unified Buddhist Church (Église Bouddhique Unifiée) in France (not a part of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
). In 1975 he formed the Sweet Potato Meditation Center. The center grew and in 1982 he and his colleague Chân Không founded Plum Village
Plum Village
, a vihara in the Dordogne in the south of France. The Unified Buddhist Church is the legally recognized governing body for Plum Village
Plum Village
in France, for Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush , New York , the Community of Mindful Living , Parallax Press , Deer Park Monastery
Deer Park Monastery
in California
, Magnolia Village in Batesville, Mississippi
Batesville, Mississippi
, and the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl
, Germany.

He established two monasteries in Vietnam, at the original Từ Hiếu Temple near Huế and at Prajna Temple in the central highlands. Thích Nhất Hạnh and the Order of Interbeing have established monasteries and Dharma
centers in the United States at Deer Park Monastery
Deer Park Monastery
(Tu Viện Lộc Uyển) in Escondido, California , Maple Forest Monastery (Tu Viện Rừng Phong) and Green Mountain Dharma
Center (Ðạo Tràng Thanh Sơn) in Vermont
and Magnolia Village Practice Center (Đạo Tràng Mộc Lan) in Mississippi
, the second of which closed in 2007 and moved to the Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush , New York . These monasteries are open to the public during much of the year and provide ongoing retreats for laypersons. The Order of Interbeing also holds retreats for specific groups of lay people, such as families, teenagers, veterans, the entertainment industry, members of Congress, law enforcement officers and people of color. Nhất Hạnh conducted a peace walk in Los Angeles in 2005, and again in 2007.

Notable students of Thích Nhất Hạnh include: Skip Ewing , founder of the Nashville
Mindfulness Center; Natalie Goldberg
Natalie Goldberg
, author and teacher; Joan Halifax , founder of the Upaya Institute; Stephanie Kaza , environmentalist; Chân Không , Dharma
teacher; Noah Levine , author; Albert Low , Zen
teacher and author; Joanna Macy , environmentalist and author; John Croft, co-creator of Dragon Dreaming; Caitriona Reed , Dharma
teacher and co-founder of Manzanita Village Retreat Center; Leila Seth , author and Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court ; and Pritam Singh, real estate developer and editor of several of Nhất Hạnh's books.


Thích Nhất Hạnh during a ceremony in Da Nang on his 2007 trip to Vietnam

In 2005, following lengthy negotiations, Nhất Hạnh was given permission from the Vietnamese government to return for a visit. He was also allowed to teach there, publish four of his books in Vietnamese, and travel the country with monastic and lay members of his Order, including a return to his root temple, Tu Hieu Temple in Huế . The trip was not without controversy. Thich Vien Dinh, writing on behalf of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (considered illegal by the Vietnamese government), called for Nhất Hạnh to make a statement against the Vietnam
government's poor record on religious freedom. Thich Vien Dinh feared that the trip would be used as propaganda by the Vietnamese government, suggesting to the world that religious freedom is improving there, while abuses continue.

Despite the controversy, Thích Nhất Hạnh again returned to Vietnam
in 2007, while two senior officials of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
(UBCV) remained under house arrest. The Unified Buddhist Church called his visit a betrayal, symbolizing his willingness to work with his co-religionists' oppressors. Võ Văn Ái, a spokesman for the UBCV, said "I believe Thích Nhất Hạnh's trip is manipulated by the Hanoi government to hide its repression of the Unified Buddhist Church and create a false impression of religious freedom in Vietnam." The Plum Village
Plum Village
Website states that the three goals of his 2007 trip back to Vietnam
were to support new monastics in his Order; to organize and conduct "Great Chanting Ceremonies" intended to help heal remaining wounds from the Vietnam
War; and to lead retreats for monastics and lay people. The chanting ceremonies were originally called "Grand Requiem for Praying Equally for All to Untie the Knots of Unjust Suffering ", but Vietnamese officials objected, saying it was unacceptable for the government to "equally" pray for soldiers in the South Vietnamese army or U.S. soldiers. Nhất Hạnh agreed to change the name to "Grand Requiem For Praying".


In 2014, major Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian leaders, as well as Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders, met to sign a shared commitment against modern-day slavery; the declaration they signed calls for the elimination of slavery and human trafficking by the year 2020. Nhất Hạnh was represented by Sister Chân Không .


In November 2014, Nhất Hạnh experienced a severe brain hemorrhage and was hospitalized. After months of rehabilitation, Nhất Hạnh was released from the stroke rehabilitation clinic at Bordeaux University Hospital , in France. On July 11, 2015, Nhất Hạnh was flown to San Francisco to speed his recovery with an aggressive rehabilitation program through UCSF Medical Center. He is back in France since January 8, 2016.


Thích Nhất Hạnh in Vught , the Netherlands
, 2006

Thích Nhất Hạnh's approach has been to combine a variety of teachings of Early Buddhism , Mahayana Buddhist traditions of Yogācāra and Zen
, and ideas from Western psychology to teach Mindfulness of Breathing and the Four Establishment of Mindfulness , offering a modern light on meditation practice. Hạnh's presentation of the Prajnaparamita in terms of "interbeing" has doctrinal antecedents in the Huayan school of thought, which "is often said to provide a philosophical foundation" for Zen.

Nhất Hạnh has also been a leader in the Engaged Buddhism movement (he coined the term), promoting the individual's active role in creating change. He cites the 13th-century Vietnamese king Trần Nhân Tông with the origination of the concept. Trần Nhân Tông abdicated his throne to become a monk and founded the Vietnamese Buddhist school of the Bamboo Forest tradition.


Nhất Hạnh at Phu Bai International Airport on his 2007 trip to Vietnam
(aged 80)

The Vietnamese name Thích (釋) is from "Thích Ca" or "Thích Già" (釋迦), means "of the Shakya clan." All Buddhist monastics in East Asian Buddhism adopt this name as their surname , implying that their first family is the Buddhist community. In many Buddhist traditions, there is a progression of names that a person can receive. The first, the lineage name, is given when a person takes refuge in the Three Jewels . Thích Nhất Hạnh's lineage name is TRừNG QUANG (澄光), meaning "Clear, Reflective Light". The next is a Dharma name , given when a person, lay or monastic, takes additional vows or when one is ordained as a monastic. Thích Nhất Hạnh's Dharma
name is PHùNG XUâN(逢春), meaning "Meeting Spring". Additionally, Dharma
titles are sometimes given, and Thích Nhất Hạnh's Dharma title is NHấT HạNH.

Neither Nhất (一) nor Hạnh (行)—which approximate the roles of middle name or intercalary name and given name , respectively, when referring to him in English—was part of his name at birth. Nhất (一) means "one", implying "first-class", or "of best quality"; Hạnh (行) means "action", implying "right conduct " or "good nature." Thích Nhất Hạnh has translated his Dharma
names as Nhất = One, and Hạnh = Action. Vietnamese names follow this naming convention, placing the family or surname first, then the middle or intercalary name which often refers to the person's position in the family or generation, followed by the given name.

Thích Nhất Hạnh is often referred to as Thầy "master; teacher" or as Thầy Nhất Hạnh by his followers. Any Vietnamese monk or nun in the Mahayana tradition can be addressed as "thầy". Vietnamese Buddhist monks are addressed thầy tu "monk" and nuns are addressed as sư cô "sister" or sư bà "elder sister". On the Vietnamese version of the Plum Village
Plum Village
website, he is also referred to as Thiền Sư Nhất Hạnh " Zen
Master Nhất Hạnh".


Nobel laureate Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
nominated Thích Nhất Hạnh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. However, the prize was not awarded to anybody that year. Nhất Hạnh was awarded the Courage of Conscience award in 1991.

He has been featured in many films, including The Power of Forgiveness shown at the Dawn Breakers International Film Festival .

Nhất Hạnh, along with Alfred Hassler and Sister Chân Không, became the subject of a graphic novel entitled The Secret of the 5 Powers in 2013.

Nhất Hạnh has been chosen to receive 2015's Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award .

In November 2017, the Education University of Hong Kong will confer an honorary doctorate upon Thích Nhất Hạnh for his "life-long contributions to the promotion of mindfulness, peace and happiness across the world". As Nhất Hạnh will be unable to attend the congregation in Hong Kong, a simple ceremony was held on 29 August 2017 in Thailand, where Professor John Lee Chi-kin, Vice President (Academic) of EdUHK, presented the honorary degree certificate and academic gown to Nhất Hạnh on behalf of the University.


* 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

* '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: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra, Full Circle, 1997, ISBN 81-216-0703-5 , ISBN 9781888375923 (2005 Edition) * 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 * 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 * 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 * Mindful Movements, Parallax Press 2008, ISBN 978-1-888375-79-4 * Blooming of a Lotus, Beacon, 2009, ISBN 9780807012383 * 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, Shambhala, 2010, ISBN 978-1590308387 * 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 * Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, Rider, 2012, ISBN 978-1846043185 * 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 * No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering, Parallax Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1937006853 * Is nothing something? : kids' questions and zen answers about life, death, family, friendship, and everything in between, Parallax Press 2014, ISBN 978-1-937006-65-5 * Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, HarperOne (1705), 2015, ASIN: B014TAC7GQ * Old Path, White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha, Blackstone Audio, Inc.; 2016, ISBN 978-1504615983 * At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk\'s Life, with Jason Deantonis (Illustrator), Parallax Press, 2016, ISBN 1941529429 * The Other Shore: A New Translation of the Heart Sutra with Commentaries, Palm Leaves Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-941529-14-0


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* ^ Buddhist monastery and zen center ; a secluded retreat originally intended for wandering monks

* ^ Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen
Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. p. 90. ISBN 0-86171-509-8 . * ^ A B C "Religion & Ethics – Thich Nhat Hanh". BBC. Retrieved June 16, 2013. * ^ A B C Nhu, Quan (2002). "Nhat Hanh\'s Peace Activities" in "Vietnamese Engaged Buddhism: The Struggle Movement of 1963–66"". Reprinted on the Giao Diem si. Retrieved September 13, 2010. (2002) * ^ A B Johnson, Kay (January 16, 2005). "A Long Journey Home". Time Asia Magazine (online version). Retrieved September 13, 2010. * ^ Samar Farah (April 4, 2002). "An advocate for peace starts with listening". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved September 13, 2010. * ^ Joan Halifax , Thích Nhất Hạnh (2004). "The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom". Grove Press . Retrieved December 3, 2013. Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. * ^ ""Oprah Talks to Thich Nhat Hanh" from "O, The Oprah Magazine"". March 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2013. * ^ A B C D E Dung, Thay Phap (2006). "A Letter to Friends about our Lineage" (PDF). PDF file on the Order of Interbeing website. Retrieved November 23, 2014. * ^ Cordova, Nathaniel (2005). "The Tu Hieu Lineage of Thien (Zen) Buddhism". Blog entry on the Woodmore Village website. Retrieved September 13, 2010. * ^ "Thich Nhat Hanh". Published on the Community of Interbeing, UK website. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2010. * ^ Mau, Thich Chi (1999) "Application for the publication of books and sutras", letter to the Vietnamese Governmental Committee of Religious Affairs, re-printed on the Plum Village
Plum Village
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Linji school
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* ^ "tricycle: Thich Nhat Hanh Hospitalized for Severe Brain Hemorrhage". Retrieved November 13, 2014. * ^ "An Update on Thay\'s Health: 14th July 2015". Plum Village
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to THICH NHAT HANH .

Wikiquote has quotations related to: NHAT HANH

* Parallax Press – publishing house founded by Thich Nhat Hanh * La Boi Society – publishes books by Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnamese * Sangha
Directory – List of communities ( Mindfulness Practice Groups) practicing in Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition * Plum Village
Plum Village
– Thich Nhat Hanh's main monastery and practice center, located about 85 km east of Bordeaux, France