Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh moves back to pagoda after renovation

By Vo Thanh

Tue, 5/28/2019 | 11:57 (GMT+7)

Thich Nhat Hanh has returned to Tu Hieu Pagoda after moving out for two weeks while it was being renovated.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (C) at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue in central Vietnam, May 28, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/T.H.

Hanh, 93, one of Buddhism’s most influential leaders, has been staying at the pagoda in Hue since he returned to Vietnam last October. It was where he studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1942.

He made an appearance at the pagoda roofing ceremony on Tuesday morning. Sitting in a wheelchair, he burned incense sticks to begin the ceremony.

He had left on May 6 for a seaside resort in Da Nang.

When he returned to Vietnam from France, he made it clear to his disciples he would live out his last days at Tu Hieu.

"The Buddhism knowledge and wisdom I acquired from Tu Hieu is now spreading all over the world, and I believe it’s time for me to return to my roots.

"Students of Tu Hieu are now living and practicing Buddhism in many different places around the world and as a way to remind them of their roots, I want to die here in Tu Hieu."

He became a monk at the age of 23 after studying Buddhism for seven years.

In the 1960s he spearheaded a movement by Buddhists in South Vietnam that called for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War.

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He left the country in 1966 and lived in Plum Village in southern France for decades, traveling regularly throughout North America and Europe to give lectures on mindfulness and peace.

His key teaching is that through mindfulness people can learn to live happily in the present, which is the only way to truly develop peace, both within oneself and in the world outside.

He visited Vietnam in 2005, 2007 and 2008, meeting with devout Buddhists and offering prayers for war victims.

In 2014 he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in France for four and a half months. He moved to Plum Village in Thailand in 2016.

Hanh is also a poet and peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, and is the author of more than 100 books, including the bestselling "The Miracle of Mindfulness."

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