The happiness and suffering of all humans and all other species is our own happiness and suffering. We inter-are.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Happiness and Suffering
Topic: The Natural World
When we are in harmony with each other, we are also in harmony with the land. We see our close relationship with every person and every species. The happiness and suffering of all humans and all other species is our own happiness and suffering. We inter-are. As practitioners, we see that we are part of and not separate from the soil, the forests, the rivers, and the sky. We share the same destiny.
Early Life and Education: Thich Nhat Hanh was born on October 11, 1926, in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, Vietnam. At the age of 16, he entered the monastery at nearby Từ Hiếu Temple, where he was ordained as a monk. He then went on to study both Vietnamese traditions of Buddhism and Western philosophy at the Báo Quốc Buddhist Academy and the University of Saigon. His synthesis of Eastern and Western thought led him to develop a unique approach to mindfulness and Zen practice, which he shared with people from different walks of life.
Activism and Teachings: During the Vietnam War, Thich Nhat Hanh was a strong advocate for peace and reconciliation. He founded the School of Youth for Social Service, training young activists in Buddhist principles and nonviolent resistance. His efforts to end the violence and his calls for peace drew international attention. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. Thich Nhat Hanh authored numerous books, teaching mindfulness and compassion, and founded the Plum Village Tradition, a network of monasteries and practice centers around the world.
Later Life and Legacy: In his later years, Thich Nhat Hanh continued to travel, write, and teach, spreading the message of mindfulness and love. He suffered a severe stroke in 2014 that limited his ability to communicate but remained an inspiring figure. After spending some years in France at Plum Village, he returned to Vietnam in 2018 to spend his remaining years at his root temple, Từ Hiếu. Thich Nhat Hanh passed away on January 22, 2022, leaving behind a legacy of profound teachings that continue to inspire individuals and communities across the globe to live with understanding, compassion, and interconnectedness. His life's work serves as a beacon for those seeking a path of peace and love in the world.
The World We Have
Hạnh, Thich Nhất. The World We Have: a Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology. RHYW, 2008 [Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology] p. 71.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Theme: Natural World
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