Thich Nhat Hanh

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Thich Nhat Hanh Mean?

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk, writer and peace activist. Born in the city of Huế in Vietnam in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh now lives in the Plum Village meditation center in France that he co-founded with Chân Không, a Buddhist nun, in 1982. He travels widely to teach and lead meditation retreats and has had more than 100 books published.

Thich Nhat Hanh has spent much of his life promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict, and for a period of time was exiled from his home country for speaking out against the war in Vietnam.


Yogapedia Explains Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh's monastic education began at the age of 16 when he entered a monastery and was taught primarily by Zen master Thanh Quý Chân Thật. He was ordained as a monk in 1949, and in 1966 he became a dharmacharya (a recognized Buddhist teacher and spiritual leader).

Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings offer a modern perspective on meditation practice, integrating elements of early Buddhism, Yogacara, Zen and concepts from Western psychology. He is known for his emphasis on mindful awareness, joy and inner peace as a means to bring about positive change in the world. His writings and talks explore mindfulness, breathing and nonviolence. He extends his intentions of nonviolence toward animals, too, through veganism, refraining from all animal product consumption.

Thich Nhat Hanh also coined the term, “Engaged Buddhism,” and has been a key leader in the movement of this name. It encourages Buddhists to make use of their spiritual and philosophical insights to play a more active role in bringing about change, particularly in areas of social, economic or environmental suffering or injustice.

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