Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo by Rolf Franke, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
Our community practices in the tradition of the Vietnamese Zen monk, author and poet, Thich Nhat Hanh (otherwise known as Thay by his students). He places great emphasis on learning from direct experience, as we practice mindful breathing, walking and sitting, as well as mindfulness in our day-to-day chores and activities. This practice is often described as “the art of mindful living.”
Born in Vietnam, Thay became a monk at the age of sixteen. Early on, he was faced with the dillemma between contemplative practice and tending to his war-torn community. He did both, and became a large influence on the Engaged Buddhism movement. He is a long-time peace activist, promoting non-violence and looking deeply from world affairs to our immediate relationships.
In his large body of literature, Thay often cites natural phenomena as a means to become aware of our interconnectedness, impermanence and the many factors that shape our lives in every moment.
Today, Thich Nhat Hanh resides in France at the Plum Village meditation center, along with his monastics. He still actively speaks and leads retreats worldwide.