Saturday, January 22, 2022

RIP Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese master of Zen Buddhism, died this week at 95. He spoke fluent English and French and became famous in both the US and Europe, partly because he was expelled from South Vietnam for opposing the war. He wrote, in an antiwar poem,

Beware! Turn around and face your real enemies — ambition, violence hatred and greed.

He corresponded with Martin Luther King on the subject of nonviolence; King later nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He founded a global chain of monasteries and is one of those responsible for making "mindfulness" such a big part of our culture. He was probably less worried about his own death than anyone else of whom I have written here:

Birth and death are only notions. They are not real. The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation. We only think there is. 

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