Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a famous Buddhist monk in the world. It is said that his influence in the Western Buddhist community is the second only after the Dalai Lama. He has a compassionate heart and has many activities that are useful to mankind. Within the scope of this article, we mainly talk about the aspect of his cultivating and spreading the dharma.
Zen Master was born in 1926 in Thua Thien – Hue with the birth name Nguyen Xuan Bao. He left the home for pagoda and followed Zen Buddhism at the age of 16 at Tu Hieu Pagoda, Hue City. Zen Master graduated from Bao Quoc Buddhist Institute, officially became a monk at 23 years old. In 1966, he founded Order of Interbeing (Vietnamese: Dòng Tu Tiếp Hiện) and founded many practice centers and monasteries around the world. He was abroad after the Paris Agreement was signed in 1973, living mainly in Plum Village Monastery, Dordogne region, southern France. As one of the teachers of Buddhism in the West, the teachings and methods of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh attract the interest of many components from different religious, spiritual and political views. He proposed living with the mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the awareness of what is happening in the present. “When holding a baby’s hand, we should pay attention to his hand 100 percent. When we hug a person in our arms, be really present, really awake. This is in stark contrast to the way that we usually do in our life. We have the habit of doing many things at the same time, we both answer e-mails and talk on the phone, both meet about a project and down notes for another one. Instead of always doing a lot of things at the same time, we should have the habit of doing only one thing at a time,” Zen Master wrote in his book”Real Power”. He thinks that mindfulness practice helps us succeed in daily work and have peace and happiness.
For better concentration, he advised that every day we should spend time meditating. His meditation method is very simple, easy to practice. Mainly, when breathing in, we whisper, “Breathing in. I know I’m breathing in.” When breathing out, we whisper, “Breathing out. I know I’m breathing out”. Do so during the time of meditation.
He has written more than 100 books, of which more than 40 are in English, with some outstanding works such as Old Path White Clouds, Miracles of Awakening, Happiness in hand, Buddha in us, God in us. On November 11, 2014, one month after his 89th birthday, Zen Master Thich Nhat suffered a stroke. In January 2016, after more than a year of rehabilitation, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh returned to Plum Village. Although he could not speak and was partially paralyzed, he continued to offer his peaceful presence in Plum Village. The Zen master is involved in walking, vegetarian and ritual activities that when he was healthy he often did. At noon on August 29, 2017, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh returned to Vietnam with his students at Danang International Airport. Although Zen Master’s health has not recovered as before, it has progressed well.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh has a compassionate heart. He has spent the time to train himself and served for mankind for 77 years. He left precious teachings in order to dispel the pain in life and have a happy peaceful life.
Photo source: saigoneer.com
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