Reports have indicated that Thich Nhat Hanh, beloved Zen Buddhist monk and teacher, at 88 may be nearing the end of his earthly time. The renowned Zen master known for his peace activism, Buddhist teachings, and many books inspiring many people’s lives, as well as immeasurable inspirational quotes posted on social media, is ailing in the hospital sources close to him confirm.
Official news of his declining health surfaced recently with a message from Sister Chan Khong at Plum Village, a monastery for monks and nuns and Nhat Hanh’s sangha, posted to facebook confirming that he was “still in the hospital” but “OK” which means he is still alive but fighting for recovery.
The latest message posted to the Plum Village website further explains that Nhat Hanh had already been in a fragile state the past two months, but that a “severe brain hemorrhage” has brought on a sudden change in his condition. He is in intensive care, though his loved ones are staying hopeful, stating that he has been responsive and that there is still a chance for recovery.
Here is the full message, posted November 12, 2014.
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,
With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014 Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.
At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.
For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advance age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.
All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thay this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thay will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.
Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thay. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thay our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.
For future reports on Thay health and recovery, we will post them officially at www.plumvillage.org, langmai.org, villagedespruniers.org, and www.facebook.com/thichnhathanh.
On behalf of the Monastic Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village,
Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Dang
Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong Nghiem
In the facebook post, the Sisters and the community ask that we “sit, peacefully for Thay, as they are doing, and send him your love.” You may also join in the Avalokiteshvara Chant (found here) to honor him and send your positive energy. “This day itself should be a very very mindful day in his honour,” the message reads, “and because we know that is what would please him more than anything else.”
In unsure times like these, it’s no surprise that Thich Nhat Hanh’s words are the ones to bring us comfort and make the most sense.
“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Death, No Fear”
We’ll be updating as news is officially released.
image via postsfromthepath.com
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With reverence and appreciation I breathe deeply for this great master. May his passing be peaceful.