Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-2022On Sun, 23 January, 2022 - 11:47
We offer sincere condolences to our fellow Dharmafarers in the worldwide Plum Village Tradition on the death of their founder, Thich Nhat Hanh, yesterday, 22nd January 2022. He was 95.
See Plum Village’s announcement of his passing and their memorial activities.
A Vietnamese Zen monk and teacher, Nhat Hanh founded the Order and Community of Interbeing (part of the Plum Village Tradition), and combined teachings from early Buddhism, Mahayana traditions and western psychology. He was prominent in the teaching of mindfulness and the development of socially engaged Buddhism. His peace work, including campaigning against the Vietnam War, brought him into contact with Trappist monk Thomas Merton and with Dr Martin Luther King.
A Guardian newspaper article (UK) yesterday quotes Suryagupta, Chair of Triratna’s London Buddhist Centre, who first encountered him 25 years ago:
He is definitely a giant of a man and I had the good fortune to be on retreat with him in my early days of exploring Buddhism… What was so striking was, whenever he walked into a space, sometimes there would be hundreds of people there, without saying a word literally as soon as he walked in his presence would instil this sort of stillness and quietness in the crowd… and a softness, you felt yourself relax and be alert somehow in his presence… He showed that Buddhism was really available for everybody and as a Black woman that was really important to me.
The picture here is a still from FWBO Newsreel 4 (1992) reporting on the European Buddhist Union Congress held in Berlin that year, where speakers included Thich Nhat Hanh, Sangharakshita and Sogyal Rinpoche.