Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen monk, as well as a writer and peace activist. He is well known throughout the world for his teachings and books on mindfulness and peace, having published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism, as well as poems and children’s stories.
He was born in central Vietnam in 1926. In the early seventies, after attending peace talks overseas, he was denied permission to return to Vietnam and went into exile in France, where he has been living for nearly four decades. In 1982 he founded the community of Plum Village near Bordeaux and has lived there since. In addition to the one in France, he has established several monasteries in other counties including the United States, Germany and Vietnam.
Thich Nhat Hanh introduced the concept of Mindfulness to the Western world within a Buddhist context, and wrote the The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation which is considered one of his best known works. Some of his other best selling books include Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living, Savor and Mindful Eating, Mindful Life and You are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment.
“His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.” (http://plumvillage.org)
Martin Luther King called Thich Nhat Hanh “an Apostle of peace and nonviolence”. The media has called him “The Father of Mindfulness”, “The Other Dalai Lama” and “The Zen Master Who Fills Stadiums”. He is affectionately known by his students as Thay which is Vietnamese for ‘teacher’.
Thich Nhat Hanh is also a renowned calligraphist. His works feature short phrases and words capturing the essence of his mindfulness teachings and have been exhibited in galleries and centres in numerous countries.
More recently, Thich Nhat Hanh has founded Wake Up, a worldwide movement of young people who want to train in the practices of mindful living, and he has launched a teacher training programme to introduce mindfulness in schools throughout the world.
Thich Nhat Hanh is now 88 years old and continued to write and teach at Plum Village.Until recently he travelled widely visiting his various centres and leading retreats around the world.On 11 November 2014, he experienced a severe brain haemorrhage and was taken to hospital, where he still is.
Nhat Hanh, Thich. Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.
Arnold Kotler (Ed). Bantam, 1992.
Nhat Hanh, Thich. The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of
Meditation. Beacon Press, 1999.
Nhat Hanh, Thich. Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living. Parallax Press,