THICH NHAT HANH
Thich Nhat Hanh was a Zen master, a peace activist, a teacher, and a driving force behind the introduction of mindfulness to the Western world.
We are proud to have our Center named for this soft-spoken Buddhist monk, who devoted his long life to refining the practice of mindfulness and sharing those insights with the world. Thich Nhat Hanh (or “Thay,” which means teacher in Vietnamese) teaches us to live fully in the here and now, to recognize our connections with those around us, and to act with purpose to preserve and protect our planet. We hope our center will spread those values around the world through the study and teaching of mindfulness.
Born in Vietnam in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh entered a Buddhist monastery at age 16. A life of contemplation suited him, yet in viewing the suffering in the world, he also felt compelled to speak up, mobilize, and actively work toward a better future. In so doing, he founded the “engaged Buddhism” movement. Throughout the Vietnam War, Thich Nhat Hanh traveled tirelessly to spread the principles of nonviolence, compassion, and solidarity, working alongside activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who nominated the Buddhist monk for a Nobel Prize at the height of the war. In his home country, meanwhile, Thich Nhat Hanh put his principles into action by founding an all-volunteer relief organization, known as the School of Youth and Social Service. Because of his activism, Thich Nhat Hanh was exiled from Vietnam.
In November 2018, after suffering a stroke in 2014, Thich Nhat Hanh returned to Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, where he ordained. He expressed a wish to stay there for his remaining days. At the age of 95, Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully in the early moments of January 22, 2022, in the Deep Listening Hut at Từ Hiếu Temple, surrounded by loving disciples.