Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist Peacekeeper

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.” ~ says Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Buddhist Zen master.

Thich Nhat Hanh the buddhist zen master
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist Zen Master

His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.

Originally from Vietnam, the 86-year old peace activist, poet, writer and teacher, has been an apostle of peace from the age of 16 when he became a monk. During the Vietnam War, he faced the question of whether to remain hidden in the monastery and follow the contemplative life of a monk or to go out and help the villagers suffering under bombings.

Nhat Hanh chose to do both, which gave rise to the ‘Engaged Buddhism’ movement – which means to apply Buddhist teachings to bring social and political reform. He opposed his own government during the war, due to which he was banned from his own country, for 39 years.

Prior to that in early 60s in Saigon, Vietnam, Nhat Hanh started a relief organisation that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools, medical centers and resettled homeless families.

Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a peace activist magazine in Vietnam, all this led to his ban. He traveled to the US to encourage peaceful activism, persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and in a way helped to galvanize the peace movement. In 1967, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mindfulness teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, buddhist monk
Mindfulness can help you to be happy in the here and now

Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks. He eventually settled in Southern France, and founded Plum village, a Buddhist meditation practice center and monastery where he conducts retreats on mindfulness, attended by people from around the world.

Nhat Hanh’s teaching of Mindfulness

Nhat Hanh exudes a sense of peace and calmness, something which is quite evident in his talks and teachings, and his thoughts, are simple, but yet profound.

In the video above, ‘Awakening the heart,’ Nhat Hanh talks about being happy with the way things are and to cherish the small wonders of life, many are still running because we haven’t got what we wanted, happiness is possible at any time.

We are so often, caught in sorrow, regret, fear, concern for future, anger, that our mind is not there with our body, we aren’t truly present, but once we bring our mind home to our body, then we are fully present. The way to achieve this, Nhat Hanh says, is by mindful breathing. Mindfulness is the capacity to be aware of what is going on.

It gives the energy of being in the present; breathing in and out mindfully can bring a lot of joy and freedom. In the video above, Nhat Hanh shows the ten mindful movements practiced at Plum village, it focuses on breathing in and out.

There are also videos available of the teachings taking place at the Plum village that you can watch, here’s the link to videos of the monastery.

The message from Nhat Hanh is similar to every other spiritual person or ancient tribe like the Kogis, to avert catastrophe we have to reconnect with Mother Earth, because we are all part of the universal consciousness!

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get the latest updates straight in your inbox!

Please share, it really helps! :) <3

6 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

6 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest for Members

You May Like

7 Buddhist Koans and Their Meanings

Buddhist koans also called Zen Koans are a guiding light in the darkness of life. They have been used for centuries by Zen teachers...

The Divine Simplicity, When Less is More

“Manifest plainness,Embrace simplicity,Reduce selfishness,Have few desires.”~ Lao Tzu I crave for human experiences in daily life, places I visit and people I encounter. "How's the...

Understanding the Eight Realizations of Great Beings

“The Sutra of the eight realizations of great beings” is one of the oldest and most influential Buddhist Sutra. Thich Nhat Hanh’s commentary on this...

Badass Buddha vs. Bystander Buddha

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: Not going all the way, and not starting." ~ Unknown As with most...

7 Zen Principles and How to Apply Them to Modern Life

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” ~ Zen Proverb In our Western world, we have the tendency to always...

4 Parables to Unearth Your Buddha Nature

"As human beings we have the same experience of destructive and constructive emotions. We also have a human mind capable of developing wisdom. We...

For Members

The Psychology of Divergence, Part One

"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." ~ Frank Zappa Divergent was a best-selling novel by Veronica Roth that was turned into an action...

How Ego Turns Your Spiritual Process into Manipulation

"Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are." ~ Brene Brown Stop for a minute and think...

Spider Medicine: The Magic Elixir of Storytelling

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of...

7 Methods to Enrich Your Meditative Practice

"One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so...

Leaving Not A Trace: How To Reduce Your Carbon And Currency Footprint In 5 Biodegradable Steps

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your...

Understanding How Trauma Takes Up Residence in the Body and How We Can Release It.

'Trauma affects the entire organism... healing from ptsd means being able to terminate this continued stress mobilization and restoring the entire organism to safety'...

The Art of Protopia: Three Strategies Toward Progressive Evolution

“Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much harder to visualize....

Understanding your Child’s Love Language

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."~ Frederick Douglass According to Dr Gary Chapman, every child has a special way...

The Existential Black Hole: Discovering Your Own Will to Meaning

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of...

Overcoming God: The Struggle Between Mortality and Immortality

“You are more than your thoughts, your body or your feelings. You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake...

Embracing Vicissitude: On Greater and Lesser Pains

"We don't so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems."...

The Divine Simplicity, When Less is More

“Manifest plainness,Embrace simplicity,Reduce selfishness,Have few desires.”~ Lao Tzu I crave for human experiences in daily life, places I visit and people I encounter. "How's the...