Spiritual Masters of the 21st Century: Thích Nhất Hạnh

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in the South of France and travels internationally giving retreats and talks. Having been exiled from his homeland during the Vietnamese war, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2006. Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. 

In his writing and speaking, he promotes non-violence, compassion for all sentient beings and forgiveness. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967.

Among his numerous credits are his founding the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon and the School for Youths of Social Services in Vietnam. When he is not traveling and teaching The Art of Mindful Living” abroad, he teaches, writes, and gardens in Plum Village, France, a Buddhist monastery and mindfulness practice center.

He presented these Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in 2012 which make up the essence of the Order of Interbeing.

  • Openness
  • Non-Attachment to Views
  • Freedom of Thought
  • Awareness of Suffering
  • Compassionate, Healthy Living
  • Taking Care of Anger
  • Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment
  • True Community & Communication
  • Truthful and Loving Speech
  • Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha
  • Right Livelihood
  • Reverence for Life
  • Generosity
  • Right Conduct

According to Ram Dass, these 14 trainings “are the torch lighting our path, the boat carrying us, the teacher guiding us. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is, and to see that our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. Interbeing is not a theory; it is a reality that can be directly experienced by each of us at any moment. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self” (from Ram Dass’ love serve remember foundation).

Watch Ram Dass interview Thich Nhat Hanh about anger, mindfulness and letting go.

Information from PlumVillage.org – visit the site for more information about Thich Nhat Hanh and the community.


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