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Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, died at the age of 95

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95

Key takeaways:

  • Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, poet, and peace activist, passed away on Saturday at the age of 95, surrounded by his devotees at the temple where his spiritual journey began.
  • In a magnificent body of work as well as public appearances spanning decades, Thich Nhat Hanh spoke of the importance of “walking as if you were kissing the earth with your feet.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, poet, and peace activist who rose to prominence in the 1960s as a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, died on Saturday at the age of 95, encircled by his devotees at the temple where his spiritual path began.

“Our lovable teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peaceably at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January 2022, just at the age of 95,” his official Twitter account stated.

Thich Nhat Hanh spoke of the importance of “walking as if you are kissing the earth with your feet” in a majestic body of work as well as public appearances spanning decades.

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After suffering a stroke in 2014 that rendered him speechless, he returned to Vietnam to spend his final days in Hue, the ancient capital and his birthplace, after spending most of his adult life in exile.

He founded the “Plum Village” monastery in France as a pioneer of Buddhism in the West, and he spoke regularly to the corporate world and his international followers about the practice of mindfulness — identifying and alienating oneself from certain thoughts without judgment.

“It teaches you how to suffer.” You will suffer far less if you learn how to suffer. In a 2013 lecture, he said, “And then you know how to make good use of suffering to create joy and happiness.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk, dies at 95 - World News
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95. Image from India Today

“The arts of happiness and suffering are inextricably linked.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, born Nguyen Xuan Bao in 1926, was ordained as a monk when modern Vietnam’s founding innovative Ho Chi Minh led initiatives to liberate the Southeast Asian nation from its French colonial rulers.

In the early 1960s, Thich Nhat Hanh, who has spoken seven languages, gave talks at Princeton and Columbia universities in the United States. In 1963, he returned to Vietnam to join a growing Buddhist anti-Vietnam War movement, including self-immolation protests by numerous monks.

In 1975, he wrote, “I saw communists and also anti-communists killing and destroying one another each side thought they had a monopoly on the truth.”

“The bombs, mortars, and shouting drowned out my voice.”

Source: Global News

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