Word has come from Plum Village that the Vietnamese Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh has suffered a severe brain hemorrhage and is in critical condition in a hospital in Bordeaux.
Thich Nhat Hanh, 88, is one of the greatest Buddhist leaders of our time, an author, lecturer and popular peace advocate who has spread mindfulness meditation techniques around the world. His peacemaking work began in the mid-1960s, when he was exiled from Vietnam during the war and settled in France, where established Plum Village. His efforts to generate peace and reconciliation inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 and to call him « an apostle of peace and nonviolence. »
In a message urging « collective support » for their master, his monks and nuns write that he is being nourished by « each of our mindful breaths and mindful steps. » They continue: « Please continue to enjoy the blue sky » for him, « the fresh morning air and the small pathways in nature, » and « especially, please enjoy each other, your loved ones, and our togetherness » for him.
The message concludes: « If possible, you can dedicate a day to eat vegetarian as a way to generate compassion to send to Thầy. You can reconcile with your loved ones, or to let go of your resentment of someone and write them a love letter. And in the same Winter Retreat spirit being practiced at our monasteries, you can participate in your local Sangha more, support the collective energy of mindfulness, consume less and reduce your time online. »
He wasn’t there when I visited Plum Village, yet you could feel his presence in a way. He isn’t here now, yet his presence is in a way.
Tich Nhat Hanh has offered me to believe in me being OK at a difficult time in my life.
I can feel now how his life has touched mine. Him without really knowing me, me without really knowing him.
As it still is and goes on.
What a beautiful message of his Sangha…