Thich Nhat Hanh biography

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Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo by Karen Hagen Liste

Thich Nhat Hanh

How to pronounce Thich Nhat Hanh: Tik · N'yat · Harn

Thich Nhat Hanh Biography

Thich Nhat Hanh lived in exile from his native Vietnam since the age of forty. In that year of 1966, he was banned by both the non-Communist and Communist governments for his role in undermining the violence he saw affecting his people. A Buddhist monk since the age of sixteen, Thay ("teacher," as he was commonly known to followers) earned a reputation as a respected writer, scholar, and leader.

When Thich Nhat Hanh left Vietnam, he embarked on a mission to spread Buddhist thought around the globe. In 1966, when Thay came to the United States for the first of many humanitarian visits, the territory was not completely new to him: he had experienced American culture before as a student at Princeton, and more recently as a professor at Columbia. The Fellowship of Reconciliation and Cornell invited Thay to speak on behalf of Buddhist monks, and he offered an enlightened view on ways to end the Vietnam conflict. He spoke on college campuses, met with administration officials, and impressed social dignitaries. The following year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the same honor. Hanh's Buddhist delegation to the Paris peace talks resulted in accords between North Vietnam and the United States, but his pacifist efforts did not end with the war. He also helped organize rescue missions well into the 1970s for Vietnamese trying to escape from political oppression. Even after the political stabilization of Vietnam, he was not allowed to return home. For many years, he lived in southwestern France, where he founded a retreat center.

Thay wrote more than seventy-five books of prose, poetry, and prayers. His popularity in the United States inspired the mayor of Berkeley, California, to name a day in his honor and the Mayor of New York City declared a Day of Reconciliation during his 1993 visit.

In 2005, following lengthy negotiations, Thay was given permission from the Vietnamese government to return for a visit. He was also allowed to teach there, publish four of his books in Vietnamese, and travel the country with monastic and lay members of his Order, including a return to his root temple, Tu Hieu Temple in Hue.

In November 2014, Thay experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. In July 2015 he was flown to San Francisco to speed his recovery with an aggressive rehabilitation program through UCSF Medical Center. In 2018, he returned home to the Tu Hieu Temple, where he died in January 2022.

Thich Nhat Hanh's website

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Books by Thich Nhat Hanh at BookBrowse
Going Home jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Thich Nhat Hanh but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Deepak Chopra M.D.

    Deepak Chopra M.D.

    Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Going Home

    Try:
    How To Know God
    by Deepak Chopra M.D.

  • Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

    Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

    Howard C. Cutler is an American writer and psychiatrist who practices in Phoenix, Arizona.

    He co-wrote The Art of Happiness with the 14th Dalai Lama. It was on The New York Times Best Seller list for 97 weeks. The ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Going Home

    Try:
    The Art of Happiness
    by Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

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