Thích Nhất Hạnh (born October 11, 1926) is a Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist now based in France.
He joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, studied Buddhism as a novice, and was fully ordained as a monk in 1949. The title Thích is used by all Vietnamese monks and nuns, meaning that they are part of the Shakya (Shakyamuni Buddha) clan. In the early 1960s, he founded the School of Youth for Social Services (SYSS) in Saigon. This grassroots relief organization rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools, established medical centers, and resettled families left homeless during the Vietnam War. He traveled to the U.S. to study at Princeton University, and later to lecture at Cornell University and Columbia University. His focus at the time, was to urge the U.S. government to withdraw from Vietnam. He urged Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King nominated Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in January 1967. He created the (non-Zen) Order of Interbeing in 1966, establishing monastic and practice centers around the world. In 1973, the Vietnamese government denied Nhat Hanh permission to return to Vietnam and he went into exile in France. From 1976-1977 he led efforts to rescue Vietnamese boat people in the Gulf of Siam. READ MORE
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Japanese word Zen is derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which means “meditation” or “meditative state”.
Zen emphasizes experiential prajñā in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, including the Prajñāpāramitā literature and the teachings of the Yogācāra and Tathāgatagarbha schools. READ MORE
FLORIDA DHARMA GROUPS
Buddhist and meditation groups, centers and sanghas in the state of Florida
December 31, 2009. This 75-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. Also streamed live to Thailand and received at the monasteries at Deer Park and Blue Cliff. Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to practice metta mediation in the first three days of the new year. On the first day we practice for ourselves. On the second day we practice for the other person we love. On the third day we practice for the other person (or institution) that makes us suffer. Concrete practices are described for the coming year.