Thich Nhat Hanh Recovering from Brain Hemorrhage

By Staff Reporter
Buddhistdoor Global | 2014-11-14 |
Thich Nhat Hanh. From Huffington PostThich Nhat Hanh. From Huffington Post

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is receiving 24-hour intensive care in hospital after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage on 11 November.

Known affectionately to his students as Thay (Vietnamese for “teacher”), Thich Nhat Hanh is reported as being still able to respond to external stimuli. The official announcement of Thay’s hospitalization from Plum Village, his international sangha based in Dordogne, France, indicated that he is in a critical but stable condition. People close to Thich Nhat Hanh suggest that a full recovery is likely. He is currently 88 years old, having been born in 1926.

The Zen master has been bedridden in a Bordeaux hospital since 1 November. Until this severe turn of events, he had recovered some of the strength he had lost over the past two months. A message indicating that Thich Nhat Hanh’s passing was imminent briefly circulated on a Facebook group called Chan Indonesia, although this might have been either a mistranslation or a premature assumption from a Plum Village source. Sister Chan Khong, Thich Nhat Hanh’s lifelong comrade since their days in Vietnam and a senior teacher, confirmed with Shambhala Sun that the rumors are incorrect. 

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most influential monks in the West. He is remembered in the United States for his peace efforts during the Vietnam War and friendships with Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton. Martin Luther King Jr. denounced the conflict after meeting the monk and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967, although the award was not bestowed that year. In an essay titled “Nhat Hanh is my Brother,” Thomas Merton wrote, “I have far more in common with Nhat Hanh than I have with many Americans, and I do not hesitate to say it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh exerted a critical influence on the Western understanding of Engaged Buddhism, having coined the idea in Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire (1967). His ideas and practice have been studied by Buddhist ethicists and academics like Sallie King, Damien Keown, and Peter Harvey. He helped to popularize the concept of mindfulness, and has promoted it as a cornerstone of Plum Village practice.

A prolific writer, Thich Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books, more than 40 of which were written in English. Many of his books are essential reading in the Western Buddhist canon, including his biography of the Buddha Old Path White Clouds (1991), Peace is Every Step (1992), Anger (1995), and his interreligious work Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995). His recent thought has centered on ideas like deep listening, environmental awareness (with an almost pantheistic emphasis on nature as “Mother Earth”), spiritual freedom, and everyday mindfulness.

He founded the Order of Interbeing in Saigon in 1966 and Plum Village in 1982.

See more

Plum Village official announcement of Thich Nhat Hanh’s hospitalization
Updates from Patheos

Please support our work
    Share your thoughts:
    Reply to:
    Name: *
    Content: *
    Captcha: *
    Back to Top