One of the most influential individuals to me and millions around the world, Thich Nhat Hanh, an Vietnamese Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95. I thought that it was appropriate that I share a little about who he was and what he achieved throughout his life as his work and studies had a massive influence on my own learning of Mindfulness and how to apply this to everyday life.
His Zen teaching organisation, Plum Village, said the monk “passed away peacefully” at the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam on Saturday.
A prolific author and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, is often referred to as the “father of mindfulness”.
Thich Nhat Hanh, was exiled from Vietnam in the 1960s after opposing the war.
During the height of the Vietnam War, he met with Martin Luther King, persuading the civil rights leader to speak out against the conflict.
King later nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for a Nobel Peace Prize, describing him as “an apostle of peace and non violence”.
The monk spent decades in France after being exiled and went on to establish monasteries and meditation centres around the world, known as the Plum Village Tradition.
During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 books that were translated into more than 40 languages. His last book was published in October 2021.
He travelled on regular speaking tours of Europe and the US, talking about the practice of mindfulness.
But his movement was hindered by Vietnam’s communist government in 2009, when his Zen centre in Lam Dong was forced to close.
In 2018, he returned to Vietnam and was permitted by authorities to spend his final days at the Tu Hieu temple.
A couple of my favourite quotes which are typical of his teachings: