Thich Nhat Hanh

views updated


Thich Nhat Hanh (Nguyen Xaun Bao, 1926–), a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, coined the term engaged Buddhism in the 1960s to describe the antiwar movement in his country. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King, Jr., Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris peace talks and organized rescue missions to save the "boat people" fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s. Exiled from Vietnam since the 1960s, Nhat Hanh has taught meditation and reconciliation to thousands of followers in the West. He founded the Tiep Hien Order (Order of Interbeing), has established retreat centers in Europe and North America, and has published more than one hundred books of poetry and prose. Stressing the oneness or "interbeing" of all existence, mindfulness in daily life, and service and nonviolent activism on behalf of those suffering tyranny and injustice, Thich Nhat Hanh is a leading preceptor of engaged Buddhism.

See also:Europe; United States


Nhat Hanh, Thich. Being Peace. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 1987.

Nhat Hanh, Thich. Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 1993.

Christopher S. Queen