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Thich Nhat Hanh, an influential Zen priest, dies at age 95

Hanoi, Vietnam (AP) —The respected Zen priest Thich Nhat Hanh, who pioneered the concept of mindfulness in the west and pioneered Engaged Buddhism in the east, has died. He was 95 years old.

A monk from Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam, confirmed that Nhat Hanh, known as Thay, died at midnight on Saturday. The monk could not be named because he was not allowed to speak to the media.

A Post to Nhat Hanh’s Verified Twitter Page Something from the International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism also confirmed this news and said: .. “

Born in 1926 as Nguyen Xuan Bao and ordained at the age of 16, Nhat Han distills into easy-to-understand guidance on Buddhist teachings about compassion and suffering throughout his life devoted to working for peace. Did. In 1961 he studied in the United States and taught comparative religion at Princeton University and Columbia University for some time.

For most of his rest of his life, he lived in exile in Plum Village, a retreat center founded in southern France.

The exiled Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh spent his last year at Tu Hiu Pagoda, Vietnam, where he was ordained.
Getty Images / Peter Kramer

There, and in discussions and retreats around the world, he introduced Zen Buddhism essentially as peace by listening compassionately. Wearing a brown robe, he created a careful, entertaining and soothing atmosphere, sharing the stage with the sometimes vibrant Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

“The peace we seek cannot be our personal property. It allows us to be one with those who are suffering and to do something to help our brothers and sisters, ourselves. We need to find inner peace to do, “Nat Han wrote in one of dozens of books. , “Sun My Heart”.

After a 2014 stroke and being unable to speak, he returned to Vietnam in October 2018 and spent his last year at Tu Hieu Pagoda, an ordained monastery nearly 80 years ago.

Nhat Han entered an anti-war movement after returning to his hometown in 1964 as the Vietnam War intensified. So he created “Engaged Buddhism” in support of “Engaged Buddhism” dedicated to nonviolence, mindfulness and social welfare.

Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh speaks in an interview in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Both North and South Vietnam banned Nhathan from returning after traveling abroad for a campaign against the war in 1966.
AP / Richard Vogel

In 1966, he met Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader in the United States, a remarkable encounter for both. Nat Hanh told King that he was a “bodhisattva”, or an enlightened being, in response to his efforts to promote social justice.

The monk’s efforts to promote reconciliation between the United States-backed South and communist North Vietnam impressed King very much, and a year later he nominated Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his interaction with King, Nat Hanh explained one of the rare controversies over the sacrifice of Vietnamese monks and nuns to protest the war in his long life of defending peace. ..

“In a difficult situation like Vietnam, I said this is not suicide because it’s hard to hear your voice, so sometimes we have to burn alive to hear our voice. , It’s an act of compassion you do, an act of love, not despair, “he said in an interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey. “Jesus Christ died in the same spirit.”

Sulak Sivaraksa, a Thai scholar who embraced Nhat Han’s idea of ​​social participation Buddhism, said the Zen Master “suffered more than most monks and was more involved in social justice.”

This file photo, taken on January 17, 2005, shows Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh answering a question from a journalist at Bo de Pagoda in Hanoi.
Nhat Hanh was a civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966. I met you.
AFP / Hoang Dinh Man via Getty Images

“In Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s, he was very exposed to young people and his society was at stake. He was in a really difficult position between the devil and the deep blue sea — on the other hand. So a communist, on the other hand the CIA. In that situation he was very honest — as an activist, as a meditative monk, as a poet, and as a clear writer, “said Shivaraxa. ..

According to Nat Han, “Buddhism means being awake. Paying attention to your body, your emotions, your mind, and what is happening in the world. You are awake. Then you can do nothing but act compassionately to help relieve the suffering you see around you, so Buddhism must be involved in the world. Engagement. If you don’t, it’s not Buddhism. “

Both North and South Vietnam banned Nhat Han from returning after traveling abroad for a campaign against the war in 1966, leaving him “like a beehiveless bee.” Said.

He was only allowed to return to the country in 2005 when the Communist-controlled government welcomed him at the beginning of several visits. Nhat Hanh remained based in Southern France.

Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh speaks during an interview in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh introduced Zen Buddhism at talks around the world.
Associated Press / Richard Vogel

The dramatic return seemed to indicate a relaxation of control over religion. Nhat Hanh’s followers were invited by the abbot of Bat Nha to settle in his mountain monastery. There, he stayed there for several years until his relationship with the authorities began to suffer a call for the end of government control over Nhat Hanh’s religion.

From late 2009 to early 2010, Nhat Hanh’s followers were expelled from the monastery and another temple they were evacuating.

For nearly 80 years, Nhat Hanh’s teachings have been refined into a concept that is available to everyone.

To survive the storm of life and achieve happiness, he advised him to always be careful “breathing back”, even during routine chores such as washing dishes and washing dishes.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings have become internationally known.

“I’m trying to live, relax, live in peace at the present moment, and respond to the event with compassion,” he told Winfrey.

According to Buddhist online, Nat Han moved to Thailand in late 2016 and returned to Vietnam in late 2018 to receive traditional treatment for the aftereffects of a stroke and “walk” on the grounds of a wheelchair temple. Did. Newsletter

It was the quiet and simple end of an extraordinary life, perfectly in line with his love for robbing joy from the most humble aspects of life. “There is no mud or lotus,” says one of his many simple sayings.

Thich Nhat Hanh, an influential Zen priest, dies at age 95

Source link Thich Nhat Hanh, an influential Zen priest, dies at age 95

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